16 Best arbitrage betting software of 2020 comparison table

best betting prediction software - ZCode

submitted by sweely to bettingpredictionapps [link] [comments]

First Time Entrepreneur - Advice/Opinions are highly welcomed!

Hey Guys, so just a quick intro. I'm a software developer by trade, and have recently put together a roulette betting prediction software, that performs calculations based on the previous spins. I've almost got all of the pieces ready to go to start selling the product online at www.rouletteruler.com.
The software follows a progressive Martingale betting system based on previous spins. Furthermore, the software currently can play 5 different systems (Red/Black, High/Low, Even/Odd, Columns, Rows). It works in the following manner: if you are playing the Black/Red system, and 7 Blacks have come up in a row, it would start betting on Red (The number 7 is arbitrary, as you can set that to what ever you want, based on how risky/safe you want to play it).
The way I proposition the software is a means to play roulette online in a controlled systematic manner, that you can optimize for your own level of risk.
The software itself has taken me a few months to develop, however I am finding more of the time commitment involved comes from finding affiliates, putting together an aesthetic website, and finding advertisers to push our product.
The game plan for the future of this software is to pay advertisers/affiliate marketers a high premium (50%) worth of the product to sell via their channels.
I was wondering what your thoughts were on further growing the product and idea, as well as further getting the product out the door and sold.
If I do get a lot of interest, there are big plans in the next year to push out a Version 2 of the software which would include more risk customization and different systems based on the user feedback.
Let me know what you guys think, be it positive or negative feedback, anything helps!
Thanks!
submitted by conolol to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Reiterate Q2 '22 EPS Est. $0.88 vs $0.38 concensus

The Intel news just confirms what has long been suspected. Now that Intel has come clean that 7nm is delayed until 2023 (at best) here are the consequences:
  1. Forgot to mention, this is Intels Bulldozer. Its going to be very rough for them going forward. But unlike with AMD and Zen, we are too close to the end of Moore's Road for them to make a comeback.
  2. Customers will be flocking to Epyc. Datacenter CPUs get recycled every 3 years and with Intel 7nm coming out in 3 years at best, datacenters will switch to Epyc NOW to the extent possible. THERE WILL BE A SHORTAGE OF MILAN CHIPS. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST. It will be far cheaper for them to make the switch now into Rome and know that with the coming Milan and Genoa they will be on the leading edge for the next 3 years. Rome is better than any Xeon for the next 3 years and Milan even moresso. The only think holding Epyc back right now is covid. But hopefully that passes in early 2021 with the vaccines and 2021 should be gangbusters.
  3. I hope Lisa is smart and prices Milan based on the demand not "to be nice." Don't get cocky and engage in monopolistic Intel level pricing, but targeting 33% operating margin (up from 25%) is very reasonable. AMD should be rewarded for the risks of betting the firm on Zen and having the foresight others lacked. You will soon have to pay taxes again so ultimately that leaves 23% net margin (intel is running at 28-30% net margin).
  4. The future looks even brighter. In 2023, TSMC 3nm will be targeting 300mtmm2. This compares to INTC 10nm at 100mtmm2 and 7nm at 200mtmm2 (if they can even get them yielding). It is likely that 7nm won't even be ready in 2023. 200% density advantage. Let that sink in.
  5. AMD has its sights locked squarely on NVDA by integrating x86 CPU and GPU (not just a tiny APU but big fat GPUs). There is not much NVDA can do to stop this. For the guy who said "AMD will never be a threat to NVDA" lets revisit in 2 years.
  6. Radeon will go from red-headed stepchild to a crown jewel. Genoa will be the catalyst.
  7. Radeon gaming will become dominant. Not only will Radeon sport a superior node over Nvidia and hence have equal or better performance, the consoles ensure that games will be optimized for Radeon.
  8. At some point in the not too distant future, AMD will make $5 EPS. They will be the only manufacturer of leading edge CPUs. There will be a shortage of their chips. OEMs will invest heavily in AMD systems. The horse is about to leave the barn.
  9. For those of you who say Lisa should not be given so much credit I think you are great Monday morning quarterbacks. Everything looks easy in hindsight. But as a manager you get faced with thousands of decisions a year, most very small and a few are very big. You need to get the big macro decisions right and most of the small ones as well or else they accumulate into big problems. But the big ones are the most difficult. I can make a separate post about how Lisa has guided AMD into making the right big decisions over the past 6 years and how she could have easily made the wrong ones. But you just need to look at the stumbles of INTC and soon to be apparent NVDA to see how difficult it is to be a great leader. NVDA have really screwed themselves with arrogance (very common downfall). Their behavior has left them few, if any, friends and many will enjoy their comeuppance. I suspect Jensen rules by fear which is fine as long as the stock price goes up as he will retain loyalty of his employees. But once the stock price heads south, the knives will come out. As long as Lisa & Co stay humble and united (looking at you Raja), they will simply execute and soon come to dominate silicon.
  10. Next big decision for Lisa is to reinvest some of those profits aggressively into software to support their hardware. First class hardware demands first class software (on launch day).
Bottom line, sometime in the not too distance future: $25B revenues. 20-30% net margin. $6-7.5B net income. Let's call this EPS $6. PE of 25= Stock Price of $150.
Laugh all you want. But read my post history and be honest about the accuracy of my calls which have been months/years in advance. Here was my last one:
https://www.reddit.com/AMD_Stock/comments/et681g/my_q4_2019_eps_prediction_from_2017_and_my_q2/
P.S. You can safely buy TSMC as well.
submitted by bionista to AMD_Stock [link] [comments]

How $12 and 10 minutes has ruined Warzone

So after match after match of frustration and being dumped on by hackers my squad mate had an idea. He performed a quick google search, found the site and got the common $12 for 24 hour cheats for Warzone. The following is what we learned and what happened next.
To preface this, before everyone gets upset we set certain rules for ourselves to make sure this was for research etc.
  1. No aimbot period. We know how this works, there’s no reason to be aimbotting people. Plus it makes what we are trying obvious and we wanted to see how well we could “blend in” as first time hack users. (Spoiler alert, easily)
  2. No winning, the goal of this was to see how bad the cheating is, so we did it on a Thursday night around 11pm and made sure to kill our selves instead of winning. Even though as you read in that was pointless.
  3. Only fight to defend ourselves to collect data, no hunting etc and being what we hate.
Here is what we discovered. Every member of this Reddit has to be the only people not cheating in this game. We literally in 7 hours of straight match after match in Trios didn’t have a single game without hackers. Not the entire lobby, but there was ALWAYS 3-4 squads with at LEAST 1 guy using walls. This was obvious as you can see people across the map, it’s so insidious you can see whether they are crouching, ADS, the direction they are facing, their exact distance in meters and THEIR NAME. Oh and if they look at you their little box turns blue, which is by the way how we discovered this game is infected and unplayable. In EVERY SINGLE MATCH we would watch people through walls as they watched us, we would gulag friend crouch a coupe times and they would as well. Let me say again for those in the back who pretend this isn’t a problem EVERY MATCH. We sit in the 1.0-1.5 KD range so it’s not upper lobbies or the lowest lobby. It’s dead middle.
We learned that by the end of circle 4 80% of the squads remaining have a hacker in ever single game we played. They range from the hunters who use the hacks to flank and push and go for kills to the clever guys who use them to watch you and just creep on the edge perfectly out of sight until the end disengaging everyone. There is nothing more obvious then watching someone through a wall and noticing they are watching you as well, there’s no mistaking it. This isn’t made up, this isn’t back burner, it’s real and I feel sorry for everyone still on this game. This taught us that we are done, we assumed it was bad but now we KNOW it’s bad, there is no anticheat period in this game, it was literally $12 and one computer reset and in under 10 minutes we could have ruined the game for 147 other people. PC gaming itself competitively is dead to me and I’ll be buying a PS5 and turning off crossplay for this when it comes out this holiday.
Also, it’s brain dead easy to make it look like you don’t have them, only other hackers will know and they aren’t exactly reporting their own hacks. We would be at 2-3 kills a piece before we died in the gas purposefully and no one we killed yelled hacker or assumed. Pop a UAV before a fight and everyone assumes your legit.
TL:DR We hacked for research, learned EVERY match is full of wall hackers. Quitting the game until PS5 and no crossplay is an option for my squad. Game is broken Game is trash Game is infected and they aren’t doing a thing about it
Edit: didn’t expect this to blow up, I get there’s a lot of deniers and nay sayers which is to be expected. We decided we will make you guys a video but not convinced it will help the rampant delusions of this games fans lol. Now I’m going to clear up some of the most common questions;
  1. Bruh like bruh IW said there are hacker lobbies now bruh I bet when you never hacked before and hacked the very first game their amazing bruhcheat software caught you bruh and put you in the hacker lobby bruh!
  2. No, stop it. The shadow ban process is well documented even ON THIS SUB just search the sub for shadowban and you will see it A. Auto sets you to like 200-3000ping matchmaking and doesn’t ever load you in a match. B. If this was the case then IW sucks because there were PLENTY of clean squads in our matches getting innocently massacred by hackers we were observing. Explain that? You cannot. The hacker lobby issue is DOA.
  3. How can you tell someone else is hacking? What’s this blue box business?
  4. So the easiest way to explain this is this, imagine you have advanced UAV all the time, does that not affect the way you navigate populated areas? You either A. Push and flank perfectly knowing where they are and where they are looking or B. Move on out of a bad area without being seen as you can see where they are looking. This style of movement is deliberate and weird and when you have walls you can see other teams moving this way nonstop. Because hell man you’re doing the same thing. The difference is it’s not just advanced UAV you can see them through the literal map, and they have a red indicator thing on them, you can see if they are crouching, ads, distance away and even their names. Add to that the advanced UAV on the top right of the map and you have some awkward sneaky boys who are obviously walling lol. As far as the blue box, it turns blue when they see you, not just looking in your direction, this tech already exists in a perk so I assume the hackers just piggy backed that code, except with walls it works through the walls so it’s completely obvious if two hackers are staring at each other lol.
  5. Bruh fuck you man we got wins and I get kills if there was hackers in every lobby I wouldn’t win bruh bruh bruh
  6. So you may just be a better player then you think let me put it this way wall hacks are essentially soft cheats they are not aimbot, they are not god mode, they don’t predict circle, they don’t help you make tactical decisions on when to push or chill, they literally just give you info on where someone is and where they are looking. The smaller the circle the less it helps, as the info overload is a bit much and the clutter on the screen can be hard to navigate. They get to circle 4 so easily as because in the start after first round of looting wall hacks are deadly as there’s room to get around and you’re only on one squad usually and you can prevent a third party. If you’re decent at the game and have good aim you will kill these players and never know they existed. It’s easy to hide it (Example, our cheater didn’t kill people he just fed us info so we could kill them, we couldn’t track through walls so ALWAYS looked like a legit kill, we just had better “game sense”)
Edit 2: So my squadmate who ran the hacks wiped his PC after to be safe etc, he didn’t mind doing it again, then apparently he spent last night reading these replies and had a pretty solid opinion, nah fuck em. Lol to his credit he made good points;
  1. You can find how the hacks work and see them working on YouTube in 30 seconds.
  2. Judging by the response and accusatory nature of half the cucks here, even with a video we can already see the replies, “That’s not diff matches” “I don’t think he’s hacking bruh he’s got wall game sense bruh” “How do I know that’s not the same team or you guys are lying in some way” “I need to see data that’s impossible to extrapolate alongside this video to prove it to me” I dunno, felt like a lot of work that’s not our job.
  3. We did it, we shared it, and we no longer care if you believe it, I took a lot of time to reply to even the dumbest of asses on here, it’s time to retire the post, I’ll follow with some parting words and advice.
Advice for how to counter? Play recons and get to the better position as fast as possible and play it slow, is it fun? Nah, but if you want to win and you’re not a hacker that seems to be the best way. The walls get convoluted and hard to navigate through in the final circles, it becomes a mess and relating into to your team also becomes hard, so get to the end and then pick your fights. Good luck guys! Consider the post retired.
submitted by Questioned_Kadavr to CODWarzone [link] [comments]

Thought Process Behind Building a PC. For Beginners, by Beginners.

Disclaimer: I wrote this out of boredom, and to put every knowledge I gathered this last months somewhere for everyone to see. I do not claim any authority nor will take any responsability for whatever you decide to do with this guide. I guarantee that all I wrote, I wrote in good faith. I would really love to be criticized and corrected. Thank you u/buildapc for your help!

Hello fellow /builder! You are probably here to ask for help about your dream pc build. I know I did. For hours. Weeks, actually. I have put together my system about a month ago. Rather than simply sharing my story and showing off my build (I'm not showing because cable management is b a d, ugh), I'd like to give something back to this wonderful community. So here it is, a guide for beginners, in layman terms, without unnecessary technical information.

Fundamentals

In order to even begin to request help for building your pc, first you need to know what your computer is going to be used for! There's 3 orders of information priority:
Primary informations:
If you can't provide these, nobody can really help you, at best they can make educated guesses. These informations relate directly to the parts responsible for your performance: CPU, Graphics Card, RAM, and indirectly to Motherboard.
If you own a monitor, you need to find out its specs either by googling the model name, or in Advanced Display Informations. To find details about your monitor, head to Settings > System > Display and scroll down and click on “Advanced Display Settings”. If you are going to buy a monitor, you should always have resolution and refresh rate in mind when picking one.
Budget and intended purpose are self explanatory!
Secondary informations:
These informations are optional, but might help tailoring your build to your exact needs.
Let's say you like Cities Skylines and are going to play that title 90% of the time. Now whoever is helping you, is going to recommend up to 32 gb ram and a slightly overpowered CPU to handle that. Let's say you want to play e-sports only, you might be able to scale down the project and save something on your budget. It's not an everyday occurrance to find someone who is going to play a couple of titles only, but it's less uncommon than you might think! Knowing this specific piece of information can make a measurable difference.
If your intention is overclocking, then it's a good idea to say so in your build request. Not every piece of hardware can be overclocked, and not every motherboard can support overclocking. Nevertheless, if you need this guide, then I kindly suggest you do not oveclock.
About ambient temperature, it's only really a concern at the high spectrum of the curve, but it might force you to pick a thermal solution.
More on thermal solution later.
Tertiary informations:
These informations are merely cosmetic.
Some people are obsessed by RGB, some are not. If you don't mention your cosmetic preference, nobody is going to care. Function is always over form when building a pc, particularly with a budget in mind.
Most people prefer a brand - I know I do - but most will settle for something else as long as it's better for their needs. If you are a die hard brand loyalist, you should mention that before someone figures out a build for you only to scrap it because you'd rather have a nVidia Graphics Card or Intel instead of AMD CPUs.
It happens mostly when upgrading, but sometimes people want their build to end up in their dream (or old) case. If you are in this position, you should mention that because of space constraints. More on this later.
So, here's an example of a terrible build request:
pls help I need help for a new pc for under 1k, help?
And here's an example of a good build request:
Hello, I own a 1440p/75hz monitor, I want to play AAA titles at ultra and my budget is about 1200€. I prefer AMD, want RGB (unless it's over my budget), and have a mid tower UL7R4 C00L PC case themed red. I also need some advice on water cooling.
Signed: a gentleman and a scholar

Doing your research

Sometimes, you just want to figure out things on your own. Good. Here's what I did, starting with basics.
This is the list of parts directly tied to performance:
This is the list of parts that support your performance:
This is the list of parts that handle your system safety and are indirectly tied to performance
How do you even begin? Let's see first what these parts do.
CPU
The Processor... processes. Want to open a Chrome tab? Process that! Discord in background? A core will take care of that! Preparing a frame for your GPU to render with lights, textures, shadows? That's exactly what your CPU is for.
Explaining how and what a CPU does is over the scope of this guide, so here's what you really need to know: core clock, and core count. And that's it for the most part. These two concepts are interrelated. You could have 64 core to work with at a low core clock and it could handle a ludicrous amount of processes, while unable to handle a single process that takes up to 4 cores but requires from each of them a high core clock. Such is the case with videogames, which mostly work off a limited number of cores and will perform better the faster each used core is. More cores ain't going to help, because the game ain't going to use it unless it is programmed to do so!
Manufacturer usually take care of this for the consumers, by splitting their hardware portfolio in processors for servers and for consumers. AMD server CPUs are called Epyc and have a consumer equivalent (read: from the same generation) called Ryzen. Intel has Xeons for servers and their i3/i5/i7 line up for consumers.
Every generation of CPUs has its own fitting socket. You physically can't put a CPU in a socket that was not designed for that CPU. A CPU socket is a part of motherboards.
If you are going to pick a Ryzen CPU, it is a good idea to check what RAM capacity and clock it works best with. You can find benchmarks online for that.
Some CPUs are integrated with Graphics Card. These are referred to as APUs, and I'm not going to talk about them because I'm uninformed.
Tip: when picking a CPU, check console hardware. I'm not joking. Consoles are meant for gaming and are the common denominator of hardware progress for gaming. PS5 and XBox X are going to have 8 core CPUs, of which 2 are reserved for the system, thus 6 cores for videogames to play with. It's a reasonable expectation that the new standard for CPU core count is going to be 6 in the years to come.
Graphics Card
If you're a gamer, you want to pay close attention when picking a good GPU for your build. The GPU market is not as segmented as CPU market is, and you can easily find benchmarks for each of them at any mainstream resolution tier. Thus, picking a GPU is commonly the first step of your build, because it is directly tied to the resolution and refresh rate of your monitor.
You need not to worry too much about the specs of your GPU. Benchmarks are pretty accurate at predicting their performance, but picking an aftermarket card (sometimes referred to as custom cards) can be tricky. Every Graphic Card design is reinterpreted by different manufacturers, offer different software and bios support, different thermal solutions and features.
Here's some of them:
About I/O shield: this is generally a concern for multi monitor setup, but you should always double check that the graphics card you are buying has the correct port for your monitor, be it HDMI, Display Port, DVI or VGA. Adapters exist, but are unreliable.
AMD and Nvidia have their own V-sync function, which must be supported by the monitor in the first place in order to work. AMD has Free Sync, and most monitors have this. Nvidia has G-Sync, and most monitors do not have this. Good news for Nvidia, though. They finally caved in and added support for Free Sync, but your monitor needs to have both Free Sync and Display Port 1.2 (well, most of them do, and you should always double check that).
Resources:
Motherboard
The motherboard is the lymphatic system of your build. It draws power from the PSU to be carefully administered to your other components. Some people think that cheaping out on Motherboard is a good idea.
To a degree.
As long as your motherboard can handle your CPU power draw, is compatible with your RAM, has enough SATA ports for your storage, has a good number of USB ports and a decent BIOS, it is good to go. Easy right? ...well.
Here's some research you can do on your own:
Motherboard power draw is very hard to investigate, you need to rely on trusted reviewers (such as Buildzoid, Gamer Nexus, Hardware Unboxed) or tier lists on popular forums/sites/reddits.
Note that if you plan to overclock, you must have a good Motherboard.
Tip: the bulk of your work can be done automatically by PCPartPicker system builder. Pick your designated CPU, compatible motherboards will be already filtered. If you pick both CPU and motherboard, RAMs will also be filtered for compatibility.
Resources:
RAM
While PCPartPicker exists, picking a compatible RAM is easy. Picking the right RAM is something else entirely.
First things first: do never, ever, buy a single stick of ram. You want 2 sticks of RAMs, which should be bought in pairs. I can't advice against buying 4 sticks of RAM, but make sure motherboard supports them or do some in depth research because system stability is at stake. Nowadays, 16gb of ram, rated 3200 to 3600 mhz, with a Cas Latency (CL) of 16 is the norm.
Ryzen CPUs are particularly sensitive to RAMs. As a rule of thumb you should get 3000-3200 mhz CL16 rams for Zen+, and 3200-3600 mhz CL16 rams for Zen2. You can get better rams, but there's no guarantee they will be stable if they are terribly overpowered for your Ryzen CPU (a good motherboard and a good overclocker might make anything stable with little compromise nevertheless). Lower latency RAMs usually cost more than higher frequency rams, but will not incur in such issues.
Here's benchmarks for 2 of the most popular CPUs:
Bottleneck
Bottleneck is what happens when in a particular task, one of your component (RAM, CPU or GPU) is at the limit of its performance, while the others aren't. Let's cut to the chase: you can not avoid bottlenecking entirely. Bottleneck is hardware, software and settings dependant. You can not make the perfect match, you can only avoid a bad match.
This is extremely dependant on target resolution and refresh rate. CPU has the same workload at either 1080p or 4k. Meanwhile, a given GPU might give you perfect 144 fps at 1080p, and struggle to reach 75 at 4k. The higher your resolution is, the better your GPU needs to be. Conversely, if you know you are playing at 4k and can push 75 fps at most, CPU might aswell be slightly cheaper, because you ain't ever going to use it to its full extent. With consideration for the target resolution and refresh rate, the rule of thumb is: within a given generation of hardware, same range components will not bottleneck each other (a lot).
Let's say you are playing Cities Skyline at over 100k population. While not much really changed for your GPU, at that point your CPU is probably gasping for watts. Ouch.Let's say you are playing AC:Odyssey. Your GPU is probably working at breakneck pace while your CPU is scheduling her counseling (yup, graphics cards are a she).
The same CPU and the same GPU took turns bottlenecking each other, because the workload for each of them was uneven in each title. This is why if you play only a handful of titles it is a good idea to keep them in mind while you request help or figure out your build.
This is corollary to the previous point. Some specific settings are CPU and/or GPU intensity, and lowering them will make a big difference. This is just here to remind you that you do have some influence over bottleneck, and figuring out a sweet spot where both your CPU and GPU are working close to the same pace is a good idea.
Resources:
You can crosscheck CPU/GPU bottleneck with this site but always keep in mind this is at best a rough estimate that feeds off algorithms, and you should never ever obsess over bottleneck unless you're breaking the rule of thumb (same generation, same tier, with resolution and refresh rate in mind): https://www.gpucheck.com/gpu-benchmark-comparison
Thermal Solutions
Air or water? The answer is: budget.
Air is cheap and reliable, meaning that in the worst case scenario a fan stops spinning and you replace it for 10-15€. Air has diminishing returns, meaning that throwing money at it is only going to help so much performance wise. When buying an air cooler, you need to check for its height to make sure it fits in your case and doesn't touch any other component (mostly happens with RAMs and rarely with Motherboard heat sinks).
Water is expensive, powerful but potentially unsafe. A bad installation, a loose bit, spilled water on a running motherboard, the recipe for disaster. Let's be clear here: water cooling your CPU is a perfectly valid solution (it's the best!), as long as your budget is right. You can't cheap out on a water cooler, because if it breaks or fails it will potentially kill your whole build. If you are going to buy a modest water cooler, my personal recommendation is to go for air instead: you are going to spend less and have literally the same performance. If you can spare more of your budget for water cooling, go ahead. Water cooling has a higher performance ceiling, which means less diminishing returns, which means that as long as you keep throwing money at it, it will get better.
TL;DR: low into mid range Air cooling wins, mid range to high range Water cooling wins.
This is an example of a benchmark between various air and water coolers: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3573-zalman-cnps20x-cpu-cooler-review-benchmark-vs-noctua-nh-d15-others
What do high and low temperatures really mean for your hardware?
Every single piece of hardware is rated for a specific temperature. When it approaches that temperature, the hardware will start thermal throttling until eventually shutting down. You could call throttling underclocking but, at its core, it's a safety measure to prevent irreversible damage to your components. Most pieces of new hardware nowadays also have a "Boost" feature. This feature is effectively a dynamic, factory overclock, meant to push your hardware to its limit while the conditions (read: temperatures) are right. The lower your component temperature, the more it will boost.
Technically speaking, a CPU or a GPU boosting for less while temperatures are high, does not strictly qualify for throttling, but this is merely semantycs. The thing is, that not only your parts are safer, more stable, and will last longer while their temperatures are low. Your parts will also be undeniably faster. A good thermal solution is the safest overclock you can get!
PSU
Your entire build is at the mercy of the reliability of a single component: the PSU. There are standards that you should always look up to when buying a PSU, and the following is written with exactly those standards in mind, and with the intent of teaching you about them.
Before picking a PSU, you first have to figure out the peak power draw of your whole build. This figure is meant to represent how much power your system is going to use under a full synthetic load, while every component is stressed beyond what constitutes normal and even stressful non-synthetic operation. Figuring it out can be tricky and each part has its own caveats. The baseline is always CPU + GPU + a realistic static figure meant to represent the rest of the components. Let's see each of them:
While TDP is a decent baseline, it doesn't exactly refers to the peak power draw. TDP means Thermal Design Power, and it refers to the maximum amount of heat generated in Watts, which might or might not coincide with peak power draw. It's good practice to check for power consumption benchmarks of the CPU you are going to buy, although most of those benchmarks are done with the entire system power consumption figures. The real peak power draw of the CPU under extreme circumstances is rather nebulous. A good bet if you just can't find benchmarks is adding 50% to the TDP to account for synthetic benchmarks, and up to 75% to account for both synthetics and overclock (this figure might not hold up in extreme overclocking). This is a very conservative figure that will most likely cover the vast majority of CPUs. Still, some TDPs are hilariously underrated. I can not stress this enough: you must look for benchmarks for your CPU power draw. Even if you stumble upon a system power consumption, you can use that as a baseline if the build is anywhere near your own.
GPUs peak power draw are much more adherent to their rated TDP, but there's a reliable way to check it out. The Power Limit of every GPU is written in their own BIOS, of which we luckily have a database: https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/
Search for Vendor, Brand and Model. Sometimes the entire range of the Power Limit is provided (minimum, stock, and maximum power draw), here's an example: RTX 2060. Sometimes it's just a single entry of Power Limit, and an Adjustment Range somewhere in there for you to figure out the minimum and maximum power draw, here's another example: RX 5600 XT. In this last example, you can read a nondescript "Total" under Power Limit and under Adjustment Range you can read "Power: -50% to +20%". This also gives you an accurate estimate of the extra power draw resulting from a software overclock.
Motherboard, RAMs, storage, fans and fans controllers, RGB, Water Pumps, WiFi, everything draws power, but it might be less than you would expect. Motherboards draw at most 10W, the biggest RAMs barely reach 10W per stick, SSD/M.2/HDD are in the ballpark of 2-5W. The peak power draw of all components of your system, except for CPU and GPU, is at the very most 50W. And that's a conservative figure, meant to account for the impossible case in which you somehow can push every single thing in your system to its limit.
So there it is, add up the power draw from CPU and GPU, then the static figure (50W), and that's your baseline. Well done! Now add about 25% and up to 40% to that figure depending on your anxiety levels, and that's the capacity you need to look for in your PSU. Not convinced? Check for power consumption benchmarks from reputable sources, they list the entire system setup, and then test the power consumption of the whole system at the socket. Even if the entire system is not exactly the same as yours, you can scale things up or down intuitevely researching those components.
Now, let's move onto PSUs.
PSUs have 3 main characteristics:
The rated capacity expressed in Watts refers to the stable point of continuous power delivery. In truth, most PSUs will handle much more power than that, this limit is commonly referred to as Peak or Maximum Power. For example, my PSU is rated at 550W, but benchmarks have shown it's peak power to be over 700W.
Good PSUs are very efficient. 80 Plus has taken it upon themselves to test the efficiency of most of the PSUs ever made. 80 Plus badges range from White (ew) to Titanium (ow). A 80 Plus Bronze is the absolute least I would settle for, but it's not a guarantee that you're buying a good PSU. Gold is a good standard, and most PSU that come with that badge are pretty good.
Quantitative data is not enough, not every PSU is born equal, and they will differ for quality. You can't possibly figure out the quality of a PSU without buying, testing, benching, and taking it apart. Luckily, some people on the internet have already done that for you. Refer to the resources down here to research for a PSU that fits your needs.
Resources:
Revisioned with the unvaluable help of u/GallantGentleman, the conversation took place here.
Case
A case is not merely cosmetic. A good case will support multiple fan configurations, have great cable management, and most importantly will fit all your components. Once you account for all of that, you can pick a case based on your taste. So here's what to consider before you even begin to care about aesthetics.
A few words or airflow. Positive and negative pressure are a measure of how much air is getting in your case versus how much air is getting out of your case. If you push more air out, it's negative pressure. If you push more air in, it's positive pressure.
Based on my own tests and everything I could find on the internet about it, I firmly believe positive air pressure is better than negative air pressure. Not only dust filters are going to keep your case dust free for longer while you have positive pressure, it is also that much better for GPU temps. Negative air pressure is still valid, I simply think it is inferior.

Now Build It!

Let's help the guy who requested help earlier.
Hello, I own a 1440p/75hz monitor, I want to play AAA titles at ultra and my budget is about 1200€. I prefer AMD, want RGB (unless it's over my budget), and have a mid tower UL7R4 C00L PC case themed red. I also need some advice on water cooling.
He wants to play AAA/ultra at 1440p/75hz. Let's assume he lives in Europe. A 2060 Super or a 2070 super will do him good. Let's check benchmarks: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3486-nvidia-rtx-2060-super-and-2070-super-review-benchmarks . Well, the 2060s could keep up with that for the time being, but if there's any budget headroom, a 2070 super would do him better.
Now let's pair his GPU to a decent CPU. He needs to push at least 75 fps in the most demanding games. GPUcheck says R5 3600 will not bottleneck the 2070, which is cool, but gpucheck is good at a sight, you still need to check crossbenchmarks if you can find any, in this case you should look for the difference between 3600+2060s and 3600+2070s at 1440p. Here's something:
2070s + 3600 @ 2k*1440p (ultrawide) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0xdYMInuiA2060s + 3600 @ 1440p https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfc9cXWYtBk
All fine. 2070s can handle 1440p/75hz like a breeze and will max anything you throw at it for the next 2-3 years.
I'll just put the CPU and GPU in PCPartPicker, put a Tomahawk because it works with literally anything, and grab the best rams for a R5 3600 and the most reliable PSU I can find.
https://de.pcpartpicker.com/list/BNfG8M
There, within budget.
Does it even matter that there's no case? I mean you can stretch a bit, right? Right?

Revisioned on 21/07/2020. Some formatting fix, expanded Thermal Solutions, revisioned the entire PSU section with the help of u/GallantGentleman. Thank you all for the support, criticism, advices, and the awards! This guide is now over, and hopefully it will help anyone who stumbles upon it.
submitted by Cozzolino92 to buildapc [link] [comments]

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian: We are entering a 'crypto spring'

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian: We are entering a 'crypto spring' submitted by SnoopCheese to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

Bullish Options Plays [2-4 Month Horizon]

Bullish Options Plays [2-4 Month Horizon]
This post covers 4 Bullish Option Plays across various industries.
Criteria for selecting Bullish Options Plays:
  • 500MM + Market Cap
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM +
  • Uptrend detected
Using these criteria, I have curated a basket of plays. The time frame of these options are 3-6 months out, to avoid Theta burn and maximize ITM potential. The beauty of these plays is that the stock only needs to move up a few % to be profitable, with a long time horizon as a hedge. Close the position within 2-4 months to minimize theta and maximize delta opportunity.
1) Wells Fargo $WFC [BANKING]
Wells just got hammered after an expected poor earnings. This makes it a prime candidate for upward movement.
Bullish Wells Fargo Case:
Wells has a history of prudent underwriting, and we are probably closer than not to a turn in the credit cycle.
Wells Fargo's retail branch structure, advisory network, product offerings, and share in small and medium-size enterprises is difficult to duplicate, ensuring that the company's competitive advantage is maintained.
Wells offers the scale advantages of a money center bank without the risks and volatility associated with extensive capital markets operations.
Wells Fargo Profile, from my personal research platform
Meets Criteria?

  • 500MM + Market Cap [99B]
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM + [46M]
  • Uptrend detected [Bounced off 52Wk Low as support]
  • **Within 10% of 52 Week Low [52 Week Low was $22, WFC is trading at $24.14]
$WFC Overlay with $JPM - The charts are nearly identical
As a big 4 bank, it is impossible for the Fed to allow WFC to go down. They have a good balance sheet, with a P/E ratio of 8.9, down from 11. The lower P/E ratio alone will bring in more long-term investors. If that isn't enough to make you comfortable, WFC offers a whopping 8% dividend yield, making it even more attractive.
This is an attractive investment for both options and stocks.
Let's take a look at options on $WFC, which I found using my unusual options scanner:
Big Bullish bets for October 16 2020, 2 days after their next earnings.
More Bullish Bets on WFC for October 16 2020
These huge bets range from $25 to $30, 3 months down the line. This averages to a $2.5, or 11% increase over the next 3 months. With this information, I propose:
WFC $27.50c Oct 16 2020, trading at $1.30 at time of writing. 24% Probability ITM.
WFC $30c Oct 16 2020, trading $0.79 at time of writing. 16% Probability ITM.
I am currently invested in $WFC stock, and hold the $30 Oct 16 Calls.
2) Twitter $TWTR [Technology]
Twitter is poised to dominate with its huge reach and rumored subscription platform for content creators. Source:
https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/8/21317266/twitter-subscription-platform-codename-gryphon-job-listing
This is a buy the rumor, sell the news play. I anticipate Twitter announcing this platform in the next 3 months.
Bullish Twitter Case:
Investments in product enhancements and video content could return the monthly active user growth rate to the double digits.
The deal with the NFL to live-stream Thursday night games and provide a platform for interaction and conversation about the games may attract more premium content providers to use the Twitter platform.
Growth in ad revenue per user remains strong at Twitter, more than offsetting the deceleration in user growth.
Twitter Profile, from my personal research platform
Meets Criteria?
  • 500MM + Market Cap [27B]
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM + [30M]
  • Uptrend detected [Strong upward trend since March]
$TWTR Overlay with $FB - the charts are nearly identical
The value that $TWTR and $FB lost due to lack of advertiser revenue has been recouped. The arrival of a subscription service is very bullish, because more and more people are looking to make money online since being laid off by COVID - Twitter's reach makes it incredibly well positioned to solve this problem. Subscriptions made $MSFT and $AAPL cash cows, expect the same for $TWTR.
This is an attractive investment for both options and stocks.
Let's take a look at options on $TWTR, which I found using my unusual options scanner:
Huge Bullish $TWTR bets for Jan 15, 2021
Huge Bullish $TWTR bets for Jan 15, 2021
Huge Bullish $TWTR bets for Jan 15, 2021
These bets were placed BEFORE COVID, and $TWTR is trading at the same price as when these were placed. The strikes range from $40 to $60, 6 months down the line. Taking a Strike of $40, that is 15% OTM of the current price. If they announce the platform within the next 6 months (I predict they will), the stock will explode.
With this information, I propose:
TWTR $40c Dec 18 2020, trading at $3.25 at time of writing. 28% Probability ITM.
TWTR $40c Jan 15 2020, trading $3.45 at time of writing. 29% Probability ITM.
Buying $40 Jan 15 2020 Calls are only $20 more for an extra month. Look to close these after their earnings next quarter, when they will likely announce the subscription platform.
I am currently invested in $TWTR stock, and hold the $40 Dec 18 Calls.
3) Southwest Airlines $LUV [AIRLINES]
Warren Buffet and COVID have caused investors to turn a nose up at airline stocks. I don't blame them - the uncertainty will affect airlines more than most other industries. That said, don't miss this opportunity to profit off Southwest Airlines, as they have the best balance sheet in the industry.
Bullish Southwest Airlines Case:
Southwest enjoys the strongest brand in the industry thanks to its simple fare prices, free checked bags, and solid customer service. This brand equity will enable it to continue growing faster than peers and support unit revenue.
Mergers among Southwest's competitors will engender pricing power for the airlines, and oil prices will remain low for longer, boosting Southwest's top and bottom lines.
Southwest's aggressive expansion will continue, driving growth at the carrier.
Southwest Airlines Profile, from my personal research platform
Meets Criteria?
  • 500MM + Market Cap [20B]
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM + [15M]
  • Uptrend detected [Strong upward trend since June]
$LUV Overlay with $AAL and $DAL - Delta and American have been hit worse than Southwest for a reason.
$LUV is performing better than its competitors, with higher lows and higher highs when comparing the charts. With the best balance sheet, its exposure to oil has been proven to be overcome since the whole oil futures fiasco. They have been prepped for the second wave and are most likely to weather the storm out of all the airlines.
My options scanner did not find any significant options data for $LUV.
I propose:
LUV $40c Dec 18 2020, trading at $3.05 at time of writing. 25% Probability ITM.
LUV $40c Jan 15 2020, trading $3.40 at time of writing. 26% Probability ITM.
I am currently invested in $LUV stock.
4) Ericsson $ERIC [Telecommunications Equipment]
With growing tensions between the US and China, it is unlikely Huawei will be allowed to provide 5G infrastructure. The UK just announced that Huawei will NOT be providing 5G infrastructure, so Ericsson is poised to seize a huge market share.
Bullish Ericsson case:
Income sources could diversify as licensing revenue from 5G patents may grow through applications outside of Ericsson's handset manufacturer agreements.
5G may afford Ericsson a longer spending cycle and higher equipment demand than previous wireless generations. Additionally, 5G should create more use cases for Ericsson's software and services within Internet of Things device networks.
Ericsson's turnaround measures are happening at an opportune time. Management's focused strategy should expand operating margins while 5G infrastructure spending increases top-line results.
Ericsson Profile, from my personal research platform
Meets Criteria?
  • 500MM + Market Cap [29B]
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM + [13M]
  • Uptrend detected [Strong upward trend since March, even stronger after UK Huawei announcement]
$ERIC Overlay with $NOK - Both stocks are strongly trending upward, with almost 100% gains since march.
$ERIC is poised to bank on 5G since Huawei is being punished in retaliation to Chinese handling of Hong Kong. Expect more growth as infrastructure expands and Apple announces their 5G line this fall. Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-iphone-12-rumors-5g-release-camera-specs-2019-6
My options scanner did not find any significant options data for $ERIC.
I propose:
ERIC $11 Nov 20 2020, trading at $0.50 at time of writing. 25% Probability ITM.
I am no longer invested in $ERIC stock - truly kicking myself for selling, because I had a great cost basis a year ago. Regardless, I am picking up these calls.
Conclusion
Based on my research, $WFC, $TWTR, $LUV, and $ERIC are poised for big gains over the next 2 quarters. All the plays have a 25% chance of being ITM, but do not need to be ITM to be extremely profitable.
TL,DR:
WFC $27.50c Oct 16 2020, trading at $1.30 at time of writing. 24% Probability ITM.
WFC $30c Oct 16 2020, trading $0.79 at time of writing. 16% Probability ITM.
TWTR $40c Dec 18 2020, trading at $3.25 at time of writing. 28% Probability ITM.
TWTR $40c Jan 15 2020, trading $3.45 at time of writing. 29% Probability ITM.
LUV $40c Dec 18 2020, trading at $3.05 at time of writing. 25% Probability ITM.
LUV $40c Jan 15 2020, trading $3.40 at time of writing. 26% Probability ITM.
ERIC $11 Nov 20 2020, trading at $0.50 at time of writing. 25% Probability ITM.
submitted by iKalculated to options [link] [comments]

Rebuttal to "Zoom (ZM) stock analysis" with an actual analysis

Rebuttal to
The highest-voted post of today was a post saying that Zoom is overvalued, linking to a "stock analysis". I was underwhelmed, so I suggest a counter-analysis.
Debunking the previous "analysis"
Basically, the only arguments were that: the earnings per share and the revenue per share are low. Both of which are usually irrelevant for an early stage company with a high potential for growth.
The earning per share are completely useless for such a company:
  • Amazon had very low profit, or had losses for a large part of their history (so P/E ratio was >500 for 3 years, with a quarter at 3,600 and 7 quarters at infinity P/E ratio, source). The average annual return on Amazon stock was +35% since then (1,000% total)
  • Facebook had a P/E ratio of 1200 at their first quarter. Average annual return of +37% since then (933% total)
  • Tesla never made a profit, so their P/E ratio has always been infinite. But average annual return of +49% since their IPO (3,700% total)
  • Edit: I chose the most famous examples. But, because many commenters focused on those particular companies, I looked for random ones. Between tickers AAA and ACA, in the Russell 2000, I found Axon Enterprise, Ameris Bancorp, Asbury Automoative Group, ACADIA pharmaceuticals, and Axcelis Technologie. All traded with infinite P/E ratio, all of them were excellent buys at the time. P/E ratio doesn't mean anything by itself, especially for small and medium companies.
I'm no financial analyst, but I think I can do better than that youtube video.
The first thing to do is to look at their 10-K (annual report) https://investors.zoom.us/static-files/09a01665-5f33-4007-8e90-de02219886aa
A good analyst would probably read the whole thing. I just went to page 38 to read this:
Zoom financial statement
Here, you can see that their YoY growth in revenue was +148% in 2017, +118% in 2018, +88% in 2019. So, if the pandemic had not happened I would have assumed a revenue growth of 60-70% in 2020. Which would mean a 1 billion revenue in 2020, without a pandemic. The "practical investor" video states "suppose that Zoom does very well and their revenue for this year is 1 billion dollars". So, their optimistic estimation with covid19 and everybody working from home and talking about Zoom is... my base expectation for the counter-factual "no covid".
Why $68 was a fair share price in 2019 For a company growing so fast, no one should care about their current EPS or revenue. Without the pandemic, you could imagine a $3-4 billion of annual revenue within 6 years. Compared to most companies, their cost of revenue is super low (20%). The research & development cost can scale pretty well (if you have 10 times more users, you can afford 10 times more software engineers, but you don't *need* 10 times more engineers). Same for "General and administrative". And their cost of sales and marketing would probably go down when they leave exponential growth (most of the revenue coming from recurring customers, it costs less to keep them than to get new customers). So, if they were dominant in that field, I could see them having a profit of 40% for their core business. They would probably use most of that do diversify, invest in new products,... (like Google is no longer just a search engine, profits from the engine funded their investments in other projects). But for an investor that's equivalent, that's money which grows the value of the company. In that situation, you would get $1.2-1.5 bn of profit/year. Let's say they have an EPS of 20 then, that means a valuation of 24bn share price of $96 in 2026. So, if I want a return > 5%, I would pay at most $68 in 2019. Which was basically the share price back then.

Questions to ask now that there is Covid19
How does covid change the company valuation? I don't think the personal use matters directly: those users are unlikely to get a paying account. And people will stop drinking over Zoom after the pandemic (at least not nearly as often). The money will come from professional accounts. But those free personal account can help as a marketing tool, getting people used to the tool, everyone talked about Zoom.
The questions are:
  1. For how long people are required/encouraged to work from home because of the pandemics
  2. Does this significantly change culture after the pandemics?
  3. What shares of the professional video conferencing does Zoom capture?
  4. What are their margin on revenue?
My estimates would be:
  1. Lots of variance, but I guess a large share of the jobs which can be done remotely will be encouraged to work remotely, at least part of the time, until enough people have been vaccinated to reach herd immunity (hard to predict but end of 2021 is reasonable).
  2. If it lasts for so long, many companies will have put things in place making remote work easier. People will have gotten better at this. Most people will return to the office, but I bet it will change the remote-work culture in a big way.
  3. That's the biggest interrogation mark for me. Because of the quality of product, tons of users used the free version during the pandemics (even though there are many other free services). So the name recognition is almost universal. When somebody will think about choosing a video conferencing service, Zoom will be on their mind. But they will only keep those users if they are worth it: they seemed to work better, but they have to keep their competitive edge.
  4. I'm not that worried about margin, their cost of revenue has consistently been under 20%. I don't see cost of cloud computing going up significantly. Their main cost has been sales and marketing. This is expected when you are in exponential growth phase, the percentage will decrease later. The main threat is if competitors push the price down. For this, they have to make a product good enough that companies will choose to pay for Zoom, rather than using free versions (like Microsoft teams included in office, or google meet).
Estimating the value
So, is Zoom overvalued? To be worth $240 today, I would like them to be worth $300 in 5 years, in 2020 dollars (5% inflation-adjusted annual return).
If anything, the pandemics accelerate their growth, upfronts it. In 5 years, they will be mature without easy room to grow in developed markets (at least for their videoconferencing product). So their value would come from their earnings, not expected growth. Price share of $300, means a company valuation of $83bn. To justify a $83bn valuation, I would like at least $4.1bn of profit (P/E ratio of 20), preferably $5.5 (P/E ratio of 15). Let's say $5bn
What would it take to get $5bn of profit? I'll assume their cost of revenue stay at 20%, their administrative go from 10% to 5% (economy of scales), marketing goes from 50% to 20% (market is more mature), research and development stays at 10% (important to keep their edge). That means their profit could be 40% if they did not see investment opportunities. So to get $5 bn of profit, they would need $12.5bn of revenue.
Can they get to $12.5bn of revenue (in 2020 dollars)? They price their main service at $20/month/host. So they would need 50 million paid accounts (less than that if you count higher priced items like zoom rooms).
Those may be for people working from home, companies which have more than one office,... My guess is that most worker who could work from home, could benefit from good videoconferencing. Even if they work at the office, they might use it to meet with people in other buildings. In my previous companies, all our conference rooms were equipped with Zoom, we all had accounts, even though nobody was working full-time remote.
Before covid 5% of the workforce worked from home, both in the US and EU (total of 20 million). But 50 to 70% of people could work from home (so > 200 million people, just with US and EU). Counting the whole world, I could see 400 million regularly using videoconferencing for work (growing population, countries like China switching from manufacturing to service as they develop,...). Most won't need it often enough to justify paying for it. So free solutions will do for them. But I could see 150 million people paying for a good videoconference service, and 50 million of them choosing Zoom.
Is it optimistic? Maybe. But if remote work grows, if colleges use Zoom for some classes,... Fifty million accounts is far from absurd. And, again, that's not counting their other products (right now: Zoom Rooms, Zoom Video Webinars, and Zoom Phone, maybe others in the future).
Option play? That's where I'm really not sure. It's not clear to me that Zoom is over or undervalued. But there is a lot of variance. If they become the dominant player, they are under-valued, if Microsoft crushes them with Team they are way overvalued. I don't see much middle ground. So I would probably do a straddle with deep OTM calls and puts very long-dated (like 01/2022). But, of course, the Implied Volatility of ZM is high, so those options are expensive.
I bought some 01/2022 $160 calls when ZM was around $115 (just after the price crashed from Facebook announcement, I thought it was dumb, I don't see companies using Facebook for their video-conferences and that's where I see the money). But I sold those when ZM reached $150, for a 90% profit (if I sold today, I would have gotten > +300% profit).
Again, I'm not a stock analyst, and I don't have experience in the videoconferencing field.
EDIT: Since I detail how I came up with the valuation. You can easily plug-in your own estimations of paid users in a few years, and return target (Eps when mature, return until then) to get to your esfimation of ZM value. EDIT 2 : Added other examples of good buys at infinite P/E ratio
submitted by frisouille to options [link] [comments]

I interviewed the survivors of a mass suicide. My last broadcast will never air. [Part 4]

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Arnold Millson is a short man with sideburns and patchy facial hair, and he stands watching me with beady eyes as I approach the front porch of his house as though I am liable to bite him. I know that he is in his late forties, but he appears significantly older.
You always hear about it being something that happens to kids, wandering around in places where they oughtn’t, fucking about near a well and then plop, in they go. I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise that I went down, what with my bad leg. But the truth is, the first thing I felt when I opened my eyes wasn’t pain or confusion, it was just sheer embarrassment. You always hear about kids falling down wells, not 38-year-old men. But there I was, slightly dodgy hip, lodged in a fucking thirty foot hole in the ground.
Not that there had been any warning. No signs, no wall, just a literal hole half-way down the slope of a hill that I’d come cresting over. Just bad luck really. Coming the other way, I would have spotted it a mile away and avoided it easily enough. But I didn’t, and I was left stuck in the darkness in waist high water that was stale and dark and smelled of piss (possibly mine). Thank fuck I had my phone on me and it had kept dry in jacket pocket. A quick call and my sister was on her way with the police, but what did that mean really? Well, it meant I wouldn’t die in there, but it wasn’t like I could give her my exact location. I didn’t have GPS—couldn’t get it down there either—and she had to get the police and then come find me and that wasn’t going to be quick.
So I was stuck down there, not forever, but in the end it took them 11 hours to find me, and a further two to rescue me.
Those thirteen hours? To me, they were like the longest book ever written. It started with a kind of patient stoicism. I resisted the urge to panic, especially knowing help was on the way. I disregarded my surroundings and focused on the light overhead, I ignored the smell around me and the way the water made my skin tingle. I told myself I wouldn’t let it get to me, the blind panic. I focused on my breathing, spoke aloud to break the silence, I even sang for a while.
That was the first hour. Sooner or later my mind was going to wander, it had to. So I tried to set it on an organised path. I kicked around with my feet until I hit something solid. It was a beam of wood, I stood up on it, lifted myself a further six inches out of the water, then stood back down. It was too hard to balance on, what with my leg. But that was pretty much all I could sense around me. It sounds silly now, but I didn’t want to look around too much, so I kept my phone light off for that fist hour.
It was the spiders. I knew they were down there. I’m terrified of them and I know from experience the best place to find the big nasty hairy ones is in a dark hole rarely tread by human feet. And oh boy, was this place hallowed ground for arachnids. So far I’d roughly figured out that the wall was soft earth with thick roots bulging out, but I could hear something dripping and it wasn’t above or below it was next to me, and somehow it sounded far away. I told myself this was exactly why I had to keep my mind on track; the dripping didn’t matter. It didn’t mean anything. But it was a long time to stand there and pretend like I wasn’t terrified so in the end I gave in, I turned the light on and regretted it instantly.
There were at least seven of them, massive enormous hairy things. Too big for home living, these weren’t the kind of house spider you’d find under a sofa. I hated them, I hated the sight of them, their sheer presence burning a hole in my skin right through the clothes. The biggest one was nearly as wide as my palm, and for a brief moment I told myself I’d fallen right into my personal hell.
The thought was right, my timing was wrong. As soon as it was on, my light sent all the buggers crawling away, and okay, while the sight of their wiry legs clamouring over each other nearly made me sick, the truth was that’s all there was to it. They were harmless, utterly and completely benign. And once they were gone I was finally able to recall why I’d turned my light on in the first place, and I swung it around looking for the source of the dripping until I spotted a small cast-iron grate in the wall.
I’m not exactly an expert on wells, so I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I generally figured wells were full of water or just big holes. If any tunnels intersected them they ought to be full of water too, or at the very least made by underground rivers and so on. Who, I wondered, took the time or effort to stick a great big bloody grate on one of these tunnels and for what possible reason? To keep someone out? To keep them in?
And this tunnel was no more than two or three foot high, and the grate even smaller than that, maybe a foot at most. I tried angling the light around but all I saw were dripping walls thick with clay and stone, a place so utterly dark it practically resisted the torch. For a brief moment I considered trying to pull the grate loose, but I was concerned it might damage the structure of the well. I also couldn’t say for sure whether I wanted to get much closer to it than I already was.
I tried telling myself that it was a calming presence. The tunnel right beside me should have done something to break up the oppressive sense of enclosing space, but if anything it made me feel vulnerable. I looked up towards the light and saw no sign of anything, just a pale blue disk, and I wondered briefly if the spiders had left me behind for… well, for what? I didn’t know. I was thinking silly things that at the time didn’t seem rational. But the feeling felt as real as the water soaking my hips and legs. I felt vulnerable once I knew about the tunnel. I didn’t like having it there, right by me, and without thinking I angled away towards the opposite wall. I turned my light off and, desperate to clear my mind of this worry, I looked back up towards the sky.
And someone was looking down. I should have leaped with joy, and for a moment I almost did. But I couldn’t see this person. It wasn’t like glimpsing a mate on the street. All I could see was an outline, a shadow cut right out of the sky. The distance felt alienating, I couldn’t hear or see a thing about them. It was all drips and splashes by me but from up there? Nothing but the stony silence of a gentle breeze. And this person, they were leaning over the hole with both arms across the span as if they were surveying a catch. I suddenly felt a little like a trapped rodent.
“Hello!” I cried out. “I’ve fallen down! I’ve fallen…”
They slid away without making a noise. It could have been nothing, no one there at all except a trick of the light. Or perhaps there was someone and all they saw was darkness. Perhaps the wind was so strong up there they had no chance of hearing me. Or perhaps…
I looked back at the grating, that sense of vulnerability magnified. My mind was making the strangest connections. Wasn’t the Kentworth compound nearby? Didn’t they dig tunnels? Kids talk about strange shapes and noises up there all the time. But that’s just hearsay and rumour, isn’t it?
By now my heart was racing. Isn’t it amazing how vivid the imagination can be sometimes? I got lost in my own head, standing there, eyes wide, staring at the patch of shadow where I felt a gentle draft waft through. I couldn’t see a damn thing but in my head I could picture everything clearly. Right there, just a few feet away, was a twisted monster, their smile pinned wide to either side of their head like in that Hellraiser film that scared the hell out of me as a kid. And I kept replaying this scene over and over, torturing myself. Sometimes it’d be a dead kid, pale hands clutching either side of the bar, a malicious ghost intent on trapping me in a twisted re-enactment of their own death. Other times it’d be spiders, one great big one popping the grate aside so its crooked knotted legs could envelope and drag me towards the centre of its octagonal body. Or maybe even thousands of little ones bulging through the bars like jelly pushed through a sieve!
To think that kind of terror lies beneath all our feet. All I had to work with were slippery walls, water, and mud, but in a few short hours my own head turned that place into Hades itself. I kept wondering how it had gone from a brisk morning walk to unrelenting psychological torture in a single misplaced step. And eventually it got too much to bear. I checked my phone and saw that it had been no more than half an hour since I last looked. All that my imagination had done was slow down the passage of time and make it infinitely worse so I worked up the nerve to turn on the light and re-examine the small tunnel. It was just like before, just mud and stagnant water that trickled so faintly into the well, it didn’t even make a noise.
I moved the light around some more, but every time I did the shadow cast by the bars moved all over the place. It was like a strobe light and I was getting ready to give up when my brain told me to freeze. I didn’t know why, not straight away, but it had done so with such urgency that I stopped completely. And that’s when I saw it – movement that had been masked by my own. I still couldn’t say what exactly it was, but it looked almost like the wall itself was moving.
And then the wall looked at me. What was just seconds ago a misshapen pile of mud was a head turning to look right fucking at me. There was no nose, not even a mouth really, just features cut into clay, but those eyes were bloodshot orbs, rich and vivid with detail, familiar but somehow utterly alien. I couldn’t read them, their expression, and that scared the hell out of me. My mind was on fire with a thousand questions about who they were, how they got there, if they were even human… But the one that was embossed in red letters and splayed across my mind like a neon exit sight, that was the one that I seized on and couldn’t let go.
What did they want?
They didn’t flinch when I spotted them, but they did start moving faster. It felt like I was watching myself from afar, like an out of body experience. I couldn’t fathom that this was happening. That someone was down there, looking like something out of a horror film and moving right towards me. When they reached the grate they started to push against it, and this thing was exactly riveted into concrete. I could see it starting to bulge, and I ran forward and slammed a foot against the metal to hold it in place.
That meant getting closer though, and it meant I got a glimpse of them before I kicked the grate back into place. All I saw were bits and pieces, eyes, rotting teeth, something shiny that caught the light. I soon got to find out what that was when something slid into the heel of my foot, long and sharp. I pulled back immediately, shocked and disgusted at the sight of blood running and mixing with the rancid ground water I stood in, and when I looked back there was a glistening blade slip jutting from between the bars.
And then, it repeated. The grate started to move, started to push. A single eye, penny sized pupils with ghostly reflections, looked back at me with terrifying apathy. I stepped forward and kicked again, this time they missed. But I saw the full length of that blade and part of me registered just how bad the situation was. The next time I kicked at them, I wasn’t so lucky and the blade slipped right into the arch of my foot, tearing through the roof of my hiking shoes and painting a gristly image on the way back out. But I didn’t let up, I kept it there, holding it tight while my attacker indulged and hacked away like they were breaking up ice. The only sounds were my yelping, the splashing water, and the heavy gurgling breaths of whatever lay on the other side.
And I thought it had been hell before…
When they eventually stopped attacking, my right foot was in ribbons and I fell back into the water with relief. Thank God I landed on that beam, it kept my head above the water and stopped me losing all balance. That thing grinned right then, stretching a toothless mouth from ear to ear that dribbled with pink froth. There was still no nose, no hair, just a shape carved right out of the mud. At least that’s what it looked like. That hungry gullet must have led to a real flesh and blood stomach, my attacker probably no more than a lunatic caked in clay, but whoever they were they’d been twisted so far from the human ideal they scared me worse than any special effect I’d ever seen.
I found myself starting to scream. This thing wasn’t going away. It wasn’t slinking back into the depths. It was savouring this experience, savouring my terror and suffering. At least that’s what I imagined, because in truth I don’t know what it wanted. That face, even when smiling, looked like an idiot’s face devoid of all rational thought. It just kept breathing, panting, slobbering, eyes fixed on me like a pervert in the bushes. And I just wanted it to stop. I wanted to wake up, to burst the bubble and escape the hallucination.
Anything except staying there like that, stuck in its line of sight while my mind turned the seconds into decades.
I didn’t pass out. I didn’t wake up. It didn’t try breaking through again. There was no conclusion, no inciting incident to push past the fear. Just me and that thing, less than a metre apart, and it would take another seven hours before I finally escaped.
They amputated my foot, not just from the sheer damage that had been done to it, but because of the rancid infection that grew. The diseases lurking in that water damn near killed me and the official word is I broke my leg in a gnarly way and spent half a day trapped in a fever dream. Oh boy, I sure wish that was something I could believe. But every one of those long agonising seconds trapped down there are still engraved in my memory like an obituary in granite. I pinched myself, slapped myself, cried, wept, jumped up and down. Nothing about my time down there was a dream. It was hard, real, and when it caught the light it glistened like metal.
-
The current interviewee has requested strict anonynimity.
The acquisition of the compound in question was never up for discussion, with us or any one on the research team. It had been found, that was all that mattered. If not for that letter I would never have drawn the connection between the compound we tested and the events at the Kentworth compound. On one hand it was a relief to realise that this thing was bigger than just us, but at the same time I think we’d all secretly been hoping we’d been going mad and this suggested otherwise.
Thank God we never moved onto human testing. It’s bad enough we weren’t really equipped for the job. You always think that the government will choose people at the top of their game for this secret spy shit but more often than not they contract a company like ours and just don’t tell anyone the truth. I’ve heard they single out firms with poor safety records as a cover and we’d just come out of a horrific scandal involving some children, a river, and a chemical that turns you blue. Even at the time I remember thinking we’d make some pretty good patsies if that’s what they were looking for.
I was vindicated with time, but not before the worst of it. Like I said, we never got onto humans but we started out testing with mice and rats. When we’d first mapped the chemical structure of the compound all our software told us it’d be inert in the central nervous system, although one deep learning algorithm we sometimes use on forensic cases went buck wild and practically melted. We didn’t think anything of it because the early tests that immediately followed showed that the compound was exactly that – inert. There were no behavioural changes whatsoever, and aside from odd electrical readings on an EEG, brain scans also showed no differences.
Of course, some things need to accumulate over time. And brain scans are very limited in what they really tell us. It’s like trying to predict what software a computer is running by getting a heat map of its components. Sure, it does tell you something. But it’s not exactly a magic window into the underlying activity. All you can do is just keep testing and see what comes of it.
I suppose I should mention at this point that our lab was based in a pretty remote location. Our firm is a subsidiary of a subsidiary to some massive PMC, and we were housed with a few other teams on an oil rig looking into certain bacteria. And, well, this was a pretty tough place to live at the best of times. It was lonely but always busy, always teeming with hundreds of faceless people who ignored you as they rushed past. And my team, we were buried way down in the depths of this place, hanging over the sea beneath.
So people got spooked. I don’t know how exactly, but they did. It hadn’t happened before, but one-by-one my staff start calling in sick more and more often until pretty soon I’m left wondering why I’ve been left in the lurch. Turns out, after a very frank and heated meeting I held one day in our lunchroom, that there was a kind of spreading anxiety. There were maybe six of us at most, and I listened as they told me about the way the rodents stared at them, the way machines were breaking at ten times the usual rate, and the way they felt watched in any given room when left alone.
The worst thing was that I’d noticed it too. The mice and rats had slowly changed. Behaviour had altered by degrees over the space of a month, and now they no longer squeaked or played or groomed. Instead they simply watched, and it was always us who held their attention. They stopped sleeping, eating, even moving. And a fair few of them started to die from sheer lethargy. That was when someone stepped up and told me how they’d seen something particularly worrying. They were cleaning out the tank one day, dumping the dead rats into a special refuse sack ready for incineration, when they’d reached in and the live ones attacked her, nipping at the heavy duty glove and fighting so violently that she lost it to their grip. Thankfully she pulled her hand out in time and snapped the glass lid shut, but the nightmare wasn’t over.
Because that was when the bag moved, the one filled with dozens of dead pink bodies, their dull-red eyes glaring at her from pointed albino faces.
Thank God the incinerator is right there in the lab and thank God she’d had the sense to turn it on ready. In one swift burst of terror and bravery she snatched the bag and practically threw it into the flames, crying at the sound of their pained squeals.
But what was all of this I was hearing, exactly? I had to do something with the information, that was for sure, but I didn’t know what. We took on dangerous work, we knew that. In the end I agreed to a new rule where no one would be left alone in the lab, even if someone had to go to the toilet they’d just have to go in pairs and stay close. I treated it as a kind of infectious fear, dismissing my concerns that we were all long-time staff used to the work conditions.
I also decided to take on more of the lab work itself. And just to show everyone we were in no real threat, I took on a number of late-night tasks and did them on my own. I used to go in at night ready to run any necessary tests and do my best to pretend everything was okay. The thrum of the ocean and the endless cacophony of machines seemed impossibly distant down in that lab, and pretty soon I got the vague sense of being buried underground. It was the silence, see. That place was never silent, not even at night. There were thousands of specimens in that room and the other four that were adjacent. Mice, rats, rhesus monkeys, zebra fish, you name it, we had it. It wasn’t like we could pop down to the corner shop we had to stock up and somehow, everything was just dead silent. Not a peep, squeak, howl, or gibber.
The first time I noticed it I took stock of my surroundings and tried to swallow my terror. The specimens weren’t sleeping, at least not the rats. They were all wide eyed, backs pressed to their cages, glaring at the glass observation cases we used for testing. And the rats, in turn, were watching me, hind legs bunched ready to pounce, their pink ears upright and alert, and their slithering tails coiled around their rotund bodies. In the end I gave up pretending. I ran the tests so quickly I dropped a bottle of iodine and left it where it was rather than clean up. I decided I’d come in early the next day to sort it out. Anything, I told myself, anything was better than staying there on my own.
When it came time to run a new condition, to take half the rats that had survived and stop their intake of the compound, I thought it’d be good to see what happened. I was still naïve enough to find all this oh so slightly thrilling. The pulse pounding terror I felt was still just alien enough, and things still seemed safe enough, that I wanted to go ahead. I couldn’t even imagine just how… I mean, I figured they’d die or go back to normal, right?
They tore through themselves, and then the glass. And that’s not an exaggeration. They tore through themselves first and then, with limbs half severed and guts exposed, they moved onto the glass and gored themselves making a hole. We’re still not entirely sure how they did it, but as soon as they were through they made a beeline for the other rats, the ones still on the drug, still unaffected. One of the technicians tried to interfere but pulled back after a few of the rats broke away from the quivering sea of furry bodies and started nipping at his heels. By the time someone finally rigged up some liquid nitrogen to blast them with, they’d broken through to their companions and soaked the walls in blood.
When it was over we were left with one hell of an ice sculpture. The way they’d obscured the glass with bloody smears meant we never got a proper look at what was going on, but once the mist had cleared and all you could hear was the cracking of ice and flesh we saw a mound of half-melted flesh. It was like a battle-scene paused in time, except the mountain of gore took on a strange quality close to the centre. We spotted rats with three eyes, five legs, two tails, so on. It was like they had started to merge, like cell division in reverse.
I remember we were arguing over whether to incinerate it. I was attempting to put forward the case for keeping it, arguing we owed our employer results and this was one of the most profound things we could offer them. Maybe they’d even up our funding! The others weren’t having it though, crying for me to just let them dump the whole thing in the fire. I was dead set against it until, from behind, I heard a quiet rustling. I looked back. We’d spent hours staring at that thing and arguing with each other, and close to the very top you could see the frost receding. And where it had faded, and white fur bunched together in impossible knots began to thaw, there was the faintest motion of a single claw flexing and scrabbling at the ice, as if making to break free.
I burned it. The others thought it was a moral victory of some kind. Hell, even I felt a flush of rightness as three of us hurled it into the searing heat. But I also knew we didn’t live in a fairy tale, and our employers would want to know what happened. Maybe it was because I was the guy who’d have to explain it to them, but I didn’t think they’d be too happy with what I had to say.
And of course, they weren’t. Any hopes of a funding rise went out the window, and I was told pretty much point blank I’d lose my job if we didn’t carry on with further tests. I asked if that meant more rats and the answer made me feel like I was losing my mind.
Oh no, they said. We were moving onto the monkeys.
-
The man before me is unusual only in that he is wearing sunglasses even in a darkened room. Unlike all other interviewees, he reached out to me to discuss his thoughts on the Kentworth compound and insisted I hear his thoughts on the matter. He is wiry but exudes a calm energy, amongst other things, and speaks calmly into the microphone.
You’re smaller than I expected. Sorry, that was a little joke. It’s just I’ve heard of you, have you heard of me? I’m something of a writer and, I don’t know. Maybe Peter read my book or one of the others at his cult. I met him once, bought a book off his father. He was rude. I think he thought I was a tourist, someone passing through looking for a bit of inspiration to write another cheap novel. I thought he was a little shit, truth be told. And I ignored the angry teenager until his father finally sent him out the room and our business continued. If you’d told me he would go on to do what he did, I would have thought it unlikely.
Despite all his supposed power, Peter was just a little boy trying to reach his mother. She had been a strict Christian, and she met a mysterious end not long after her husband returned from a most peculiar overseas trip. I can bloody well imagine how she must have reacted to her first glimpse of his nocturnal activities. What I can’t imagine is her going along with it. I think Peter figured that out too, and I think he spent the rest of his life desperately trying to prove her right. But, at the same time, the power within those books is undeniable. Their mere existence pisses all over the notion of an Abrahamic god, or at least one who cares about us.
And there, I think, lay the first seed of Peter Rollins’s very strange activities. He wanted to find God and he wanted to do it in a way that proved once and for all that his mother and father could have coexisted. But what do I know? I’m just a writer, an armchair psychologist. I can’t help but wonder if you know that, though. Or whether it might be necessary to afford a little context to the things you see.
Context is always good, I explain.
Well, that was why Peter went looking for God. What he found, of course, was an observer, someone who watches. Only Peter had never really thought too hard about philosophy, or the world, or the very essence of knowledge. It didn’t occur to him that in the same way we have the idea of something—let’s say a chair—in our head, so too must this other thing learn and remember us. To be known is a very powerful thing, some might say the very building blocks of our existence are made out of nothing more than neurons and molecules. We think nothing of it, looking at something and making a representation of it buried deep within our minds.
If Peter had read his father’s work a little more closely he might have realised that there are some things that do not think in electricity, but rather in bubbling meat and hard physical matter. Whole universes made of a single living thing whose mind works on the turning of planets and the dying of stars. A cosmic brain where everything thought is rendered not in abstract patterns of neural activity, but in actual real physical matter.
And everything it sees, observes, knows, gets added to its mind. Which of course means Peter is still alive, in a sense. You know we have this saying about how the dead “live on in our memories”? Well, depending on who’s remembering you, that’s not always a good thing. Especially not when your own memories and thoughts are part of reality and so you’re just kind of spilling out everywhere. And that’s not even to get onto the topic of the other things that are tucked away in the memory of this Cosmic being. When Peter first burst the membrane between realities I’d hazard a guess more things poured out than were sucked in. That bit of land won’t be right again for another million years by my estimate. Everything’s a little thinner there now, and I’d bet some things are still very keen on reaching right on over and reliving the last party they had. It’s like sticking your hand through the bars of a lion cage.
I guess the irony is Peter went looking for God, but he wound up finding a pretty good substitute for the Christian notion of Hell. Then again, he’s also in a place where his own thoughts can be reality. I bet he gets off on that. Wouldn’t surprise me if he’s just recreated the Kentworth compound with more underage girls and no money troubles. He really did strike me as that shallow. Although somehow I doubt he’s having a ball over there. At least he has friends, right? And an ever-expanding list at that.
They’re unlikely to cross paths.
Ah, right, big place.
Bigger than you can imagine.
I suspect that’s by design. We humans weren’t meant to know everything. I guess that must make all of this [The interviewee gestures to my body] a bit of a trip.
Can I ask something?
Do they know? Am I giving it away? Where do you even publish this? I guess it doesn’t matter to you does it. All that matters are that people read it because you only need a flicker of their attention to recognise them and then, boom, got ‘em. You can look anywhere, just so long as you know where it is you want to look.
I’m not hurting anyone.
No but I think most people would agree it’s an eerie idea. Anyone you look at… I mean, am I being remade right now over there? In your world? Well, I guess time isn’t linear for you is it? What was it I read: it expands ever outwards like the stars in the sky? So in a sense your idea of Peter predated the real, actual Peter.
Apples and oranges.
Well, I suppose the upside of it is that I’m sort of immortal now, aren’t I? There’ll always be an exact physical copy of me over there, living, breathing, existing. It’s just a little uncomfortable to imagine what exactly that must be like. And everyone else? Anyone who reads this?
It would be like asking you to unremember a chair you just looked at. Everyone who is made of aware of me, is in turn brought to my attention.
Remarkable. Absolutely remarkable. Are you going to go for the whole world or just a nice collection?
I haven’t actually thought about it. I have certainly enjoyed the observing of people up close, just as I have enjoyed watching the people who read the transcripts.
Well, you have all the time in the world to decide.
Yes, I suppose I do.
I don’t suppose while I’ve got you here you have anything to do with my own little predicament do you?
No, that was entirely your own doing. Do you have anything else to add to your testimony? I am, after all, meant to be doing the observing.
No, no, that’s fair enough. I understand. I appreciate you speaking to me like this. It’s been a long journey getting here.
I know.
Right, of course you do. You have created an atom-perfect replica of my own brain. And, in fact, you created it before I was born.
Try not to think about it.
I could tell you the same thing!
I guess if I do have anything to add, it’s that you should know Peter Rollins was a nasty piece of work but his followers were all just down on their luck. I’m not an overly compassionate fellow but I’d like to think they’re not at the mercy of whatever else lurks in the literal corridors of your mind. I’d like to think that if they are burning, that somehow, Peter’s fire is a little bit hotter than everyone else’s. Because I know what some of those rites involved, I also know the kind of pain you have to inflict on a person to learn what he learned, and well…
He really does deserve it.
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Will the Green Bay Packers win OVER/UNDER 9 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Matt LaFleur’s first season as Green Bay’s head coach has to be considered a success. He led the team to a 13-3 record, which secured the NFC North title.

The Packers held off the Seahawks to a 28-23 home win in the first round of the playoffs, but were ousted by the Niners in a brutal 37-20 thumping (a game in which the Packers dugged themselves into an early 27-0 hole).

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Aaron Rodgers will be entering his 16th NFL season. He had another excellent year with a 26-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio and over 4,000 passing yards. He finished as the 7th-best QB in the league according to PFF ratings.

At 36 years old, he is likely to have a few good years left. After all, Drew Brees and Tom Brady posted nice statistics in their late thirties.

Rodgers has been very durable throughout his career, but he’s not invincible either. Tim Boyle was the backup plan last year, and the team needed to upgrade the position while starting to think about the post-Rodgers era.

Still, drafting Jordan Love was the most questionable and talked-about pick in this year’s draft. People expected the Packers to go with a veteran backup QB. Rodgers has mentioned several times he wants to play in his forties; he can still offer a good five years of solid play in the frozen tundra.

Love has possesses great size, throws with velocity and he’s very mobile. The main knock on him is the decision-making and inconsistency.

As a sophomore, he threw 32 TD passes versus 6 interceptions. He regressed a lot last year by posting a mediocre 20:17 TD:INT mark. Granted, his surrounding cast was very weak and he had to go through a coaching change.

Love can throw from many different arm angles; he reminds people of Patrick Mahomes in this regard. He can throw a fastball or a soft touch pass.

Quick note: he almost quit football when he was 14 years old after his dad committed suicide. However, he knew his dad would want him to keep playing, so he did just that.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Aaron Jones is a top running back in this league. Along with Jamaal Williams, they form a lethal duo.

Including the playoffs, Jones ended up scoring 23 touchdowns in 18 games. His 19 regular season scores were the second most in Packers history. His numbers have increased in each of his first three years as a pro. He is also excellent as a pass catcher.

Despite playing in the shadow of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams still finished as the 17th-best RB based on PFF rankings. He does not seem like a lead back, but he’s a perfect change-of-pace guy. Much like Jones, he can do some damage as a receiver as well.

Williams has been a steady performer thus far in his career. He has rushed for 450-550 yards in each of his three seasons, while catching a minimum of 25 balls. He has 15 total TDs over this three-year span.

If you thought GM Brian Gutekunst made a strange move by drafting QB Jordan Love in the first round, he doubled down with another head scratcher in the 2nd round when he took A.J. Dillon.

Message to Mr. Gutekunst: Aaron Rodgers needed pass catchers, not a third running back! I really don’t get this pick either. I’m not saying Dillon won’t be good in the NFL; only time will tell. However, it clearly wasn’t a position of need for the Packers.

Dillon is a power back who rarely breaks off huge runs. He racked up big numbers in three seasons in Boston College. He’s unlikely to become a three-down starter, especially since he’s not a good pass catcher. He will likely be used sporadically as a rookie.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Davante Adams is one of the best at his position. He had a streak of three straight seasons with at least 10 TD receptions snapped last year, but he still caught 83 passes for 997 yards in 12 games (he missed four games because of a toe injury).

Outside of Adams, all pass catchers appeared lost on the field. None of them developed a good chemistry with Rodgers.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a huge disappointment last year. He showed promise as a rookie with over 500 receiving yards. Here’s a jaw-dropping statistic: after Week #7, MVS did not get more than 19 receiving yards in any meeting. That’s awful.

One of the guys benefiting from Valdes-Scantling’s poor play was Jake Kumerow. He got more playing time than expected, but still only caught 12 passes. He is closing in on 30 years of age and is limited as an athlete, so he’s not a long-term answer for sure.

Allen Lazard was also thrown into action far more than expected. He finished second in terms of receiving yards for Green Bay, but let’s face the reality: the undrafted guy remains more of a #3 or #4 WR for any team.

Geronimo Allison was another bust last year. His top performance over the last 12 games (including the playoffs) was a meager 33 receiving yards. He left for another NFC North team, the Detroit Lions.

In other words, the #2 role is wide open. The team hopes newly acquired Devin Funchess can step into that role. The former second rounder had his best season in 2017 with the Panthers with a 63-840-8 stat line. He signed with the Colts last year, but played just one game before breaking a collarbone. He will be 26 years old this season and provides an interesting prospect for the Packers.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

We’re not done talking about 2019 busts. Jimmy Graham was one of them. He clearly looks washed. He received the lowest grades of his 10-year career, and deservedly so. The Packers released him and he signed a few days later with the Bears (a horrible mind-boggling two-year, $16 million contract).

Marcedes Lewis received surprisingly good marks from PFF. If you look into the numbers, the good grade occurred mainly because of efficient run and pass blocking. He’s not much of a pass catcher and he will be 36 years old when the season begins.

Robert Tonyan will also be in the mix, but the guy that has the best chance to break out as a receiver in 2020 only caught three passes last year (all in the playoffs): Jace Sternberger. Taken in the third round of the 2019 draft, Sternberger was a threat at Texas A&M in college. He missed most of the regular season because of injuries, but the door is wide open with Graham’s departure.

We might also see third-round rookie Josiah Deguara. He has a great motor and plays extremely hard. He’s undersized as a tight end, though.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

The Packers had a pretty solid offensive line in 2019. All five starters managed to play at least 84% of the offensive snaps. And they all finished above-average according to PFF ratings!

The bad news, however, is the Bryan Bulaga left for the Chargers. Despite turning over 30 years old, he still played at a high level.

The Packers decided to replace him by signing Rick Wagner, formerly of the Lions. Wagner’s PFF grades from 2016 to 2018 were as follows: 74.0, 75.2 and 71.4. Last year, his play deteriorated a lot and he was tagged with a 59.0 grade. He finished as the #61 tackle among 81 guys.

I like the fact that the team is returning four out of five guys, but replacing Bulaga with Wagner has to be viewed as a downgrade.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The Packers offense finished in the middle of the pack in points scored per game. Barring major injuries, I expect about the same production in 2020.

The QB and RB situations remain the same.

Adding Funchess is not a huge move, but it won’t hurt. The team clearly needs someone to step up opposite of Davante Adams. At tight end, losing Jimmy Graham means close to nothing since he was so ineffective. Sternberger might bring a nice contribution, but we can hardly expect him to be a game-breaker.

Finally, the OL will take a dip with the loss of Bulaga. I don’t believe Rick Wagner can do better than him.

All in all, I view the additions/departures as a slight negative for Green Bay, but having so many starters returning to the lineup for a second straight season is always a good thing in the NFL. For these reasons, I expect a similar output as 2019 from this unit.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

Kenny Clark had a fantastic season! He is one of the best interior rushers in the NFL. He recorded six sacks for the second straight year, and PFF ranked him as the 13th-best interior linemen out of 114 qualifiers.

The same nice comments cannot be made about Dean Lowry. He had the worst season of his four-year career as a pro. He did not post a single sack and wasn’t great against the run either.

Reserve Tyler Lancaster is only there to provide some depth. He isn’t particularly good in any aspect of the game.

The team did not make any move regarding this position during the offseason.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

During the last offseason, the Packers acquired two Smiths: Za’Darius and Preston. They burst onto the scene and got 13.5 and 12 sacks, respectively.

Obviously, both received high marks for their pass rushing abilities, but Preston finished as an average linebacker overall because of mediocre run defense and poor coverage.

Kyler Fackrell was a huge disappointment in 2019. After racking up 10.5 sacks in 2018, he only got one in 2019! He signed a one-year deal with the Giants.

First-round pick Rashan Gary wasn’t necessarily impressive during his rookie season. He played 23% of the snaps, while obtaining two sacks but very pedestrian marks from PFF (an overall 55.8 grade, which is near the bottom among edge defenders).

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Green Bay lost its leader in tackles from the past three years, Blake Martinez. After starting 61 of the last 64 Packers games, Martinez decided to join the New York Giants. He had the second-most tackles in the league last year, but don’t be misled by that number. Martinez still finished slight below-average (52nd out of 89 LBs) because of poor play against the run.

The Packers also lost some depth at the position when B.J. Goodson left for Cleveland.

Green Bay picked up a linebacker from the Browns roster: Christian Kirksey. He was picked in the 3rd round of the 2014 before being involved in all 16 games from his first four seasons in the NFL. However, he has been plagued with injuries over the most recent two years; he played 7 games in 2018 and only 2 games in 2019.

He is also capable of racking up tackles, as shown by his 2016 and 2017 seasons where he obtained 146 and 138. His PFF grades during his first four seasons varied between 61.9 and 69.3. Just to give you a rough idea, a 65.0 rating would have been good for 29th place out of 89 LBs.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Jaire Alexander has done the job as the #1 corner. He has obtained 72.4 and 71.2 marks from PFF during his first two seasons, which is well-above average. He’s so-so defending the run, but his coverage skills are very good.

The number two corner, Kevin King had five interceptions last year after getting just one over his first two years as a pro. He did show some improvement after two rocky years. He finished 2019 as a middle-of-the-pack corner.

Tramon Williams played 74% of the snaps and had a surprisingly good season despite his age. He will be 37 when the 2020 season begins. He is currently a free agent and it remains to be seen if the Packers bring him back or not.

In summary, Alexander and King are both pretty young and could still be improving, but Tramon Williams provided quality play and it’s uncertain if someone else can pick up the slack.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage were the top two guys here.

Along with Za’Darius and Preston Smith, the Adrian Amos was another excellent signing by the Packers during the 2019 offseason. Amos had been a reliable guy in Chicago for four seasons, and he continued to excel in the frozen tundra.

After being selected as the #21 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Darnell Savage did show some flashes as a rookie last year. He finished as the #47 safety among 87 qualifiers, which is very satisfying for a rookie. He earned nice marks in coverage (77.4), but horrible ones against the run (37.7).

Will Redmond will be back as the number three safety. He’s not starter material for sure.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Most of the starters are returning in 2020. That’s the good news.

The team lost their leader in tackles, Blake Martinez, as well as pass rusher Kyler Fackrell and CB Tramon Williams.

The only acquisition worth of note is Christian Kirksey. Him not having played very much during the last two seasons brings some question marks.

The Packers defense struggled against the run last year, and there’s no reason to believe that will change in 2020. Green Bay still finished 9th in points allowed, which was a very acceptable result.

Unfortunately, a decrease in effectiveness is expected and I predict this unit will end 2020 as a middle-of-pack defense (12th – 19th in points allowed).

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Green Bay Packers are expected to win 9 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results (excluding the simulated years where the Pack won exactly 9 games, since in those cases your bet would have tied):

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 9 WINS 51.4% bwin +115 +10.5%
UNDER 9 WINS 48.6% Heritage Sports +100 -2.8%
Tip: Bet OVER 9 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +10.5%
Rank: 25th-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -106

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Packers’ 16 regular season games:
HOME: -6 vs ATL, -10 vs CAR, -4.5 vs CHI, -6.5 vs DET, -11.5 vs JAX, -3 vs MIN, -2.5 vs PHI, -3.5 vs TEN.
ROAD: 0 @ CHI, -2 @ DET, 0 @ HOU, +2.5 @ IND, +3 @ MIN, +5.5 @ NO, +6.5 @ SF, +2.5 @ TB.

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

TOMORROW: I'll talk about the team whose ROI is the 24th-highest in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Did you like this write-up? If so, comment below! I'd like to know YOUR opinion on what to expect from the Packers' 2020 season!

Professor MJ
submitted by David-MJ to sportsbook [link] [comments]

Bullish Option Plays for you [Various Industries]

Bullish Option Plays for you [Various Industries]
This post covers 4 Bullish Option Plays across various industries.
Criteria for selecting Bullish Options Plays:
  • 500MM + Market Cap
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM +
  • Uptrend detected
Using these criteria, I have curated a basket of plays. The time frame of these options are 3-6 months out, to avoid Theta burn and maximize ITM potential. The beauty of these plays is that the stock only needs to move up a few % to be profitable, with a long time horizon as a hedge. Close the position within 2-4 months to minimize theta and maximize delta opportunity.
1) Wells Fargo $WFC [BANKING]
Wells just got hammered after an expected poor earnings. This makes it a prime candidate for upward movement.
Bullish Wells Fargo Case:
Wells has a history of prudent underwriting, and we are probably closer than not to a turn in the credit cycle.
Wells Fargo's retail branch structure, advisory network, product offerings, and share in small and medium-size enterprises is difficult to duplicate, ensuring that the company's competitive advantage is maintained.
Wells offers the scale advantages of a money center bank without the risks and volatility associated with extensive capital markets operations.
Wells Fargo Profile, from my personal research platform
Meets Criteria?
  • 500MM + Market Cap [99B]
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM + [46M]
  • Uptrend detected [Bounced off 52Wk Low as support]
  • **Within 10% of 52 Week Low [52 Week Low was $22, WFC is trading at $24.14]
$WFC Overlay with $JPM - The charts are nearly identical
As a big 4 bank, it is impossible for the Fed to allow WFC to go down. They have a good balance sheet, with a P/E ratio of 8.9, down from 11. The lower P/E ratio alone will bring in more long-term investors. If that isn't enough to make you comfortable, WFC offers a whopping 8% dividend yield, making it even more attractive.
This is an attractive investment for both options and stocks.
Let's take a look at options on $WFC, which I found using my unusual options scanner:
Big Bullish bets for October 16 2020, 2 days after their next earnings.
More Bullish Bets on WFC for October 16 2020
These huge bets range from $25 to $30, 3 months down the line. This averages to a $2.5, or 11% increase over the next 3 months. With this information, I propose:
WFC $27.50c Oct 16 2020, trading at $1.30 at time of writing. 24% Probability ITM.
WFC $30c Oct 16 2020, trading $0.79 at time of writing. 16% Probability ITM.
I am currently invested in $WFC stock, and hold the $30 Oct 16 Calls.
2) Twitter $TWTR [Technology]
Twitter is poised to dominate with its huge reach and rumored subscription platform for content creators. Source:
https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/8/21317266/twitter-subscription-platform-codename-gryphon-job-listing
This is a buy the rumor, sell the news play. I anticipate Twitter announcing this platform in the next 3 months.
Bullish Twitter Case:
Investments in product enhancements and video content could return the monthly active user growth rate to the double digits.
The deal with the NFL to live-stream Thursday night games and provide a platform for interaction and conversation about the games may attract more premium content providers to use the Twitter platform.
Growth in ad revenue per user remains strong at Twitter, more than offsetting the deceleration in user growth.
Twitter Profile, from my personal research platform
Meets Criteria?
  • 500MM + Market Cap [27B]
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM + [30M]
  • Uptrend detected [Strong upward trend since March]
$TWTR Overlay with $FB - the charts are nearly identical
The value that $TWTR and $FB lost due to lack of advertiser revenue has been recouped. The arrival of a subscription service is very bullish, because more and more people are looking to make money online since being laid off by COVID - Twitter's reach makes it incredibly well positioned to solve this problem. Subscriptions made $MSFT and $AAPL cash cows, expect the same for $TWTR.
This is an attractive investment for both options and stocks.
Let's take a look at options on $TWTR, which I found using my unusual options scanner:
Huge Bullish $TWTR bets for Jan 15, 2021
Huge Bullish $TWTR bets for Jan 15, 2021
Huge Bullish $TWTR bets for Jan 15, 2021
These bets were placed BEFORE COVID, and $TWTR is trading at the same price as when these were placed. The strikes range from $40 to $60, 6 months down the line. Taking a Strike of $40, that is 15% OTM of the current price. If they announce the platform within the next 6 months (I predict they will), the stock will explode.
With this information, I propose:
TWTR $40c Dec 18 2020, trading at $3.25 at time of writing. 28% Probability ITM.
TWTR $40c Jan 15 2020, trading $3.45 at time of writing. 29% Probability ITM.
Buying $40 Jan 15 2020 Calls are only $20 more for an extra month. Look to close these after their earnings next quarter, when they will likely announce the subscription platform.
I am currently invested in $TWTR stock, and hold the $40 Dec 18 Calls.
3) Southwest Airlines $LUV [AIRLINES]
Warren Buffet and COVID have caused investors to turn a nose up at airline stocks. I don't blame them - the uncertainty will affect airlines more than most other industries. That said, don't miss this opportunity to profit off Southwest Airlines, as they have the best balance sheet in the industry.
Bullish Southwest Airlines Case:
Southwest enjoys the strongest brand in the industry thanks to its simple fare prices, free checked bags, and solid customer service. This brand equity will enable it to continue growing faster than peers and support unit revenue.
Mergers among Southwest's competitors will engender pricing power for the airlines, and oil prices will remain low for longer, boosting Southwest's top and bottom lines.
Southwest's aggressive expansion will continue, driving growth at the carrier.
Southwest Airlines Profile, from my personal research platform
Meets Criteria?
  • 500MM + Market Cap [20B]
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM + [15M]
  • Uptrend detected [Strong upward trend since June]
$LUV Overlay with $AAL and $DAL - Delta and American have been hit worse than Southwest for a reason.
$LUV is performing better than its competitors, with higher lows and higher highs when comparing the charts. With the best balance sheet, its exposure to oil has been proven to be overcome since the whole oil futures fiasco. They have been prepped for the second wave and are most likely to weather the storm out of all the airlines.
My options scanner did not find any significant options data for $LUV.
I propose:
LUV $40c Dec 18 2020, trading at $3.05 at time of writing. 25% Probability ITM.
LUV $40c Jan 15 2020, trading $3.40 at time of writing. 26% Probability ITM.
I am currently invested in $LUV stock.
4) Ericsson $ERIC [Telecommunications Equipment]
With growing tensions between the US and China, it is unlikely Huawei will be allowed to provide 5G infrastructure. The UK just announced that Huawei will NOT be providing 5G infrastructure, so Ericsson is poised to seize a huge market share.
Bullish Ericsson case:
Income sources could diversify as licensing revenue from 5G patents may grow through applications outside of Ericsson's handset manufacturer agreements.
5G may afford Ericsson a longer spending cycle and higher equipment demand than previous wireless generations. Additionally, 5G should create more use cases for Ericsson's software and services within Internet of Things device networks.
Ericsson's turnaround measures are happening at an opportune time. Management's focused strategy should expand operating margins while 5G infrastructure spending increases top-line results.
Ericsson Profile, from my personal research platform
Meets Criteria?
  • 500MM + Market Cap [29B]
  • Average Daily Volume 5MM + [13M]
  • Uptrend detected [Strong upward trend since March, even stronger after UK Huawei announcement]
$ERIC Overlay with $NOK - Both stocks are strongly trending upward, with almost 100% gains since march.
$ERIC is poised to bank on 5G since Huawei is being punished in retaliation to Chinese handling of Hong Kong. Expect more growth as infrastructure expands and Apple announces their 5G line this fall. Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-iphone-12-rumors-5g-release-camera-specs-2019-6
My options scanner did not find any significant options data for $ERIC.
I propose:
ERIC $11 Nov 20 2020, trading at $0.50 at time of writing. 25% Probability ITM.
I am no longer invested in $ERIC stock - truly kicking myself for selling, because I had a great cost basis a year ago. Regardless, I am picking up these calls.
Conclusion
Based on my research, $WFC, $TWTR, $LUV, and $ERIC are poised for big gains over the next 2 quarters. All the plays have a 25% chance of being ITM, but do not need to be ITM to be extremely profitable.
TL,DR:
WFC $27.50c Oct 16 2020, trading at $1.30 at time of writing. 24% Probability ITM.
WFC $30c Oct 16 2020, trading $0.79 at time of writing. 16% Probability ITM.
TWTR $40c Dec 18 2020, trading at $3.25 at time of writing. 28% Probability ITM.
TWTR $40c Jan 15 2020, trading $3.45 at time of writing. 29% Probability ITM.
LUV $40c Dec 18 2020, trading at $3.05 at time of writing. 25% Probability ITM.
LUV $40c Jan 15 2020, trading $3.40 at time of writing. 26% Probability ITM.
ERIC $11 Nov 20 2020, trading at $0.50 at time of writing. 25% Probability ITM.
submitted by iKalculated to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

I just need a number!

Long ago, at a Fortune 500 company far away...
I had a consulting gig with Giganto Corp., helping them code their Java 1.0 web app. My first task was to update the app's UML diagrams, which were manually maintained and required per "the process." I got out of that task as quickly as I could by just putting it off and writing code instead, and nobody ever complained that the diagrams which had been out-of-date when I was hired continued to be out-of-date. But I think that since they had given someone the task, my boss was able to check it off and claim compliance with the process. Not malicious compliance, but that's just setting the scene for what kind of workplace this was. The actual malicious compliance comes later.
Giganto liked to rotate their middle managers around routinely, whether things were going well or not. I never knew whether this was to give them more experience in different departments, or limit the damage that any one manager could do in one place, or what. But part way through the gig our middle manager got rotated out, and New Manager decided we had to have was a Gantt chart. UML diagrams and Gantt charts, a clear recipe for success, and the project would be a shining beacon of New Manager's abilities.
One of the things you have to have for a Gantt chart is numbers. New Manager needed (or at least his Gantt chart software required), for every task we had done, its estimate, and the actual time it took. He also needed estimates for incomplete tasks. And, of course, the dependencies between tasks. Now, for all the process this place had, they didn't have any tracking of the time taken on a task. Not on software, not in a spreadsheet, not on index cards. Nothing. Programming lead assigned tasks, we did tasks, moved on to the next one. So where was New Manager going to get his numbers? In a meeting, of course.
We all gathered for the Meeting of Numbers. For each task, New Manager would name the task, and then the developer who did it would say how long it took. "DB component for account table?" "1 week." "UI component for account selection?" "in progress for 2 days, 4 days left." And so it went, until New Manager impaled me on a task from my past:
"Controller for account configuration?"
"Uh, I did that, but I don't know how long it took."
"You don't?"
"No, that was months ago. I really don't remember."
"But I need a number."
"I'm sorry, any number I gave you would be made up. You probably don't want a made up number, do you?"
His frustration was starting to show. "No, of course not. But I have to have a number."
"Uh..."
His face turned red and he hit the table with a closed fist. 1
"I just need a number!"
Finally, the light bulb went off in my poor confused brain. Having only once said he wouldn't accept a made-up number, he had said three times (and loudly) that he needed a number. Three is more than one, so:
"Four point five three days!"
"OK! Thanks!"
The other, smarter developers were probably making up many of their numbers also, just with less fuss than I made out of it. Gantt charts are of questionable usefulness in software, and with the data he was getting, probably even less useful. I think it's a sure bet that the Gantt chart was useless in predicting when the project would be done. But contractors being expensive jettisonable pods, I left the project before it was finished, and never found out for sure how it turned out.
1 I thought that only happened in movies; I've never seen it in any business setting before or since.
submitted by WayneConrad to MaliciousCompliance [link] [comments]

How the hell is one supposed to choose a career? Related: Please help me choose a career.

Hello, SSC. I am using a throwaway.
This is a beast of a post. A few thoughts related to its size:
  1. Sorry
  2. Please don't read the whole thing; it's skimmable.
  3. TL;DR – lawyer, doctor, psych researcher, or (jokingly, unless…) novelist?
To make a long story short, I'm an unhappy software engineer (unhappy with my career, not with life in general), and I committed about a year ago to making a change. Since that time, I've vacillated wildly in my thinking on the various career options available (never able to fully commit), and at this point it's causing me a ton of anxiety: I've gotta choose something, but there just doesn't seem to be a clear answer. My family and partner are running out of patience, and I feel the same way: It's time to get a move on, already.
"Getting a move on" is super fucking hard, though (not to mention terrifying, given the stakes). How are you supposed to compare, on the one hand, cognitive fit (i.e. being good at your job) with, on the other hand, likelihood of being able to pursue your own lines of inquiry or expression (i.e. not feeling like a cog)? Where does money fit into all of this?
The sheer number of different paradigms for career choice seems to be evidence that nobody else really has a clear idea either:
"Do what you love."
"Do what you like the most out of medicine, law, finance, and engineering."
"Work sucks: Make money and retire."
"Working for someone else sucks: Start a business or be your own boss."
Then there are the more complicated ones, like Ikagi, or the Waitbutwhy octopus, or 80,000 Hours' five-star system.
Every different paradigm comes up with a different answer, and the same paradigm often comes up with different answers depending on things that seem like they should not be able to shift paradigms, like what mood I happen to be in at the moment.
I do have some concrete things to work with, namely that I think I've been able to pinpoint why I don't like software engineering. Three main reasons:
1 - Lack of Cognitive Fit:
On pretty much every sort of standardized test thrown at me, there will invariably be a huge imbalance between subscores (verbal = higher, math = lower), with further cleavage between the mathematics subscores (numeric = higher, spatial = lower). This comports with my general "feeling" about these things: Reading and writing are easy and enjoyable; statistics is doable and tolerable; spatial math is difficult and unpleasant.
This has manifested itself in difficulties with software engineering, which is, after all, concerned with how best to build complicated, invisible structures. My in-the-major grades in school were mediocre at best (they were high outside of my major); my work performance is middling. The overall feeling of working in software engineering is that of wading through cerebral molasses, and at no time is this feeling more acute than when I'm working with other computer people: They just get it, and I just don't get it. With all due respect to grit, conscientiousness, growth mindset, etc., I often feel like I am simply running up against the limits of my mental machinery. All fine if it's worth the fight, but...
2 - Lack of Subject-Matter Interest
CS as an academic discipline is interesting enough, but it's never "grabbed me" in the way that some other academic disciplines have. I've never found my mind wandering towards topics in CS in the same way that it often wanders towards topics in, e.g., biology, psychology, economics, literature. I would never read a book on software engineering or computer science for fun.
Why the hell did you major in it, then, you stupid, dumb idiot?
I wish I had a better answer, but it was some combination of peer pressure (the cool, ambitious kids were ALL majoring in CS in 2011 (that may still be the case now, IDK)) and a desire to be employable.
3 - Lack of Workplace Autonomy
A product manager tells you to build the thing, so you build the thing. You (sometimes) get to choose how you build the thing, but if you don't have any underlying interest in how the thing is built, the whole experience just feels like drudgery.

_________

With all that in mind, I was able to build a pretty complicated paradigm that would take an entire post by itself to explain but basically boiled down to the following: Emphasize cognitive fit, subject-matter interest, workplace autonomy, and ability to do good, while trying as best you can to hold onto some of the positive features of software engineering (tons of stability, quite good pay, not-terrible working hours).
That got me down to four main possibilities. For the sake of simplifying the discussion, let's say that remaining a software engineer isn't an option. Here they are:
Law (JD):
On the one hand:
- Super high points for cognitive fit. Rules governing human behavior mediated entirely through the English language? Lots of reading and writing? Beautiful; give me more.
- The potential (if done in a certain way) to feel like you’re “fighting for the good guys.”
- For better or worse, I “vibe” with lawyers. Even the greedy ones tend to be "words people," because “money-driven” + “good with words, sucks at math” tends to equal “lawyer." I've never met, for example, another group of people who like crossword puzzles as much as I do.
On the other hand:
- Nearly every lawyer I’ve talked to says it’s straight-up difficult to get a job where you fight for the good guys and much easier to get a job where you’re fighting for the “neutral-at-best” guys.
- At the end of the day, I’m more interested in the law and less interested in being a practicing lawyer, mostly because of the same autonomy problem in software engineering: A higher-up tells you to do the thing, so you do the thing. In an ideal world, you solve the autonomy problem by, say, working at a think tank or in academia. But I’ve gotten that beaten out of my head by the chorus of voices saying, “Don’t go to law school if you don’t want to practice.”
- Long hours and a culture of overwork lead to high stress. Varies between firms (and between firms and government), but a work-hard-play-hard culture seem to pervade the profession, and, to put it bluntly, most of the lawyers I know seem pretty fucking stressed.
- When I tell lawyers that I’m considering law school, many of them say, “Don’t do it.” People in other fields don’t say that when I tell them I’m considering their field.

Medicine (MD) or Research Medicine (MD/PhD):
On the one hand:
- High level of interest in the subject material. I self-studied AP Bio back in the day by reading the textbook cover-to-cover. When I’m reading nonfiction for fun, there’s a pretty good chance it’s bio or medicine-related. To this day, I don’t really know why I didn’t study it in college. Network effects, probably.
- I could see myself being interested in practicing psychiatry, endocrinology, sleep medicine—any field where the emphasis is more “This strange concoction of chemicals makes you feel a certain way!” than it is “The machine that synthesizes urine broke down again.”
- I put “MD/PhD” because I find the idea of being a physician-scientist more appealing than one or the other. Being able to treat actual real people and then retreating to the lab to do solitary mind work really does sound like the best of both worlds. Either way, though, the process would start with a postbacc, so I guess technically I don’t have to decide yet.
- I did a thing where I downloaded the SSC dataset and looked at all the different careers, and doctors had the highest levels of life satisfaction out of anyone (for whom I could find a coherent career field in the spreadsheet). This held even when they were in school and residency (i.e. couldn’t be entirely explained by income (although it could, I suppose, be explained by “income or the expectation of future income”)). Two main ways I can think of to explain this: 1. Being a doctor is (relatively) fulfilling and makes people happy. 2. Becoming a doctor is so difficult that only (relatively) happy and well-balanced people are able to complete the process. This might sound naïve, but my honest bet is number one. In what other profession do you get paid SO MUCH MONEY to work so intimately with other people? So many high-enjoyability, low-pay professions (teaching, social work, etc.) are basically about taking a pay cuts so that you can work closely with other people. And in medicine you don’t have to take the pay cut.
On the other hand:
- Maybe there are doctors reading this and thinking, “You naïve little twerp; do you know how hard you have to work and how good you have to be to do what you’re talking about doing? Genetic research? Neuroscience? Start honing your colonoscopy skills, bucko, because you’re going to have to pay off your loans just like the rest of us.”
- On a related note, I know a lot of lawyers but no doctors, so I have heavy doses of “realism” from the law side, but not the medicine side.
- Med school, from what I understand, is the most demanding of the professional schools. I honestly can’t say for sure that I’d be able to get through it.
- While I like reading popular books about medicine, I don't really get off on academic papers about medicine. Maybe it’s just because I don’t know the lingo yet, or maybe it’s a warning sign that my interest in the field is going to turn out to be superficial.
- It would take a long time. Between postbacc, med school, (maybe) PhD, and residency, I’m looking at another decade before I make money again. Which is fine if I enjoy the process like I think I will. But if I don’t enjoy the process, it’s going to be a long ten years.
- Less reading and writing than I’d like, although that’s partially mitigated by doing an MD/PhD rather than just a PhD. I just really want a job where I get to read and write on the daily and the quality of the writing matters a good deal. “Just do that outside of your job!” Yeah, but in practice it’s hard.

Academia (PhD in Psychology):
On the one hand:
- I like sitting down at a desk, reading about things, thinking about things, doing what it takes to get the answer to something that’s been nagging at me, and then writing about the process of finding that answer. The fundamental idea that I could get paid to do something like that is still mindblowing to me.
- Checks ALL of the boxes that bugged me about software engineering: You have a degree of autonomy, and you presumably get to work in a field that you’re interested in and that you’re a good cognitive fit for. Law stumbles a bit in the autonomy department. Medicine stumbles a bit in the cognitive fit department. This baby don’t stumble.
- To test my enthusiasm for academia, I read as many research papers as I could get my hands on from as many different fields as I could get my hands on. The result? I enjoy reading research papers. I could see myself writing them. This is a good thing, as I understand it, for a career in academia.
- In terms of which disciplines “won” (greatest level of interest), three were head and shoulders above the rest: Psych, soc, and econ. I talked to some econ PhDs, and I honestly don’t think I have the mathematical acumen for it. Between (cognitive) psych and soc, neither of them has great career prospects, so it’s a wash there, and I’m slightly more interested in psych, so I might as well just do psych.
On the other hand:
- Due to mediocre undergraduate GPA and lack of research, I’ll probably have to do a masters or a postbacc first (time and $$)
- You gotta always be scrapping for grants and funding. Nobody likes scrapping.
- For better or worse, there is a distinct “good” outcome (tenure) that I might not achieve. I know that this is a really contentious topic, and I don’t mean to get anybody riled here, but yeah: I’m gonna be gunning really hard for the outcome that allows me to teach, do research, get paid well, and be difficult to fire. And I might not get it. And that’s extremely worrisome to me. “Making it” in academia, if you have the basic chops, is probably not as unlikely or fluky as, say, making it as an actor. But it’s still unlikely (depending on your field) and still fluky! You could get an advisor you end up not gelling with, and then you’re fucked. You could pursue a line of research that nobody really cares about, and then you’re fucked. (This is what people have told me, anyway). That’s all super scary to me, and it’s definitely an argument in favor of law or medicine, which have more of a “get the degree and collect your job” feel to them.
- Arduousness: Everyone says that it’s difficult and demanding and stressful and that you have to make sacrifices. I believe them. And, while I think I’m willing to make those sacrifices, it’s one matter to say that you’re willing and another matter to actually not drop out of the program when you really feel like dropping out.
- Covid-19 is currently in the process of upending higher education. It might be fine! But the next few years are a bit of an event horizon: We don’t really know what things are going to look like on the other side. In other words, more risk.

Writing (MFA):
On the one hand:
- A cool “wild card.”
- In the “You find out you have 5 years to live, what do you do?” thought experiment, I get an MFA and write a novel every time. Writing creatively is an activity that both hits a ton of neurons AND is somehow infused with meaning for me.
- It’d be super fun.
On the other hand:
- Risk. Risk, risk, risk, risk, risk. Follow your dreams, they say. But what if my dream was to be a professional basketball player in the NBA? Should I follow that dream? To put it another way: I know that I’m a good writer, but it seems like you enter the realm of “luck not optional” when you’re seriously trying to make a living by writing books. I ballparked my odds of eventual success (defined as “I get to write without doing anything else on the side”) at 25% if I get into a top MFA program (which I probably won't anyway). That number is already scarily low to me, and it may well be generous.
- My past is littered with the carcasses of unfinished novels. I’ve managed to finish short stories, and I’ve managed to finish screenplays. The novel is the white whale. I think I could do it from within the structure of an MFA program, but who knows?
- If I don’t “make it” straight out of the MFA program, I’ll have to go back to doing something pay the bills, and that something will probably be software engineering. And then I’m back where I started: Doing software engineering for money while writing on the side. If I end up just “Doing X and writing on the side,” then I would have been better off spending my grad school golden ticket getting up to speed in an X—law, medicine, psychology—that I enjoy more than software engineering.
Where I'm at right now:
Trapped in a terrible cycle, pretty much. It goes like this:
I choose medicine, and a voice goes, “Really? Once again subjecting yourself to a career where reading and writing artfully isn’t really an integral part of the process? Doing ‘science,’ which we suspect you might not be great at doing? You should do law instead, where your mental machinery seems more suited to the process and the people seem more like ‘your people.’”
So I choose law, and a voice goes, “Really? Once again committing to a dynamic where you show up to the office and a superior throws a bunch of work at you and you do the work and go home without having pursued your own lines of inquiry or advanced human knowledge?” “I’ll be a professor,” I say. “No, you really won’t,” the voice says. “Think of all the unhappy lawyers who said they were going to be a professor or go into human rights or whatever. If you want to do research, you should get a PhD instead.”
So I choose a PhD (in psychology or sociology), and a voice goes, “Really? A non-econ social science given the state of academia right now? Do you really think there’s a nice tenure-track job waiting for you on the other side of this? If you’re gunning for the risky thing you might as well go all the way and do an MFA.”
So I choose an MFA, and a voice goes, “Really? And have to go back to software engineering in two years when you write a book and nobody gives a shit? Why subject yourself to that? If you’re going to write on the side, just be a doctor: It’s better than software engineering in terms of subject-matter interest and humanistic elements, but it offers similar stability and predictability.”
Then we’re back at doctor, and the cycle begins anew.
Since I listed pretty much every career option out there, I feel compelled to address some of the few that I left off my list.
FIRE: Just gut it out for ten more years and then retire! But the thing is, I like working—I like sitting at a desk, reading, writing, doing stuff—and I can think of nothing more enjoyable than embarking on one of the career paths that I listed above. So all I would get by FIRE-ing is more financial stability when I finally pursue one of them. WHICH AIN’T NOTHING. Believe me, I know. But I don’t think it’s worth the tradeoff of being miserable for another 10 years and starting round two close to age 40.
Become a Product Manager (PM): Okay, so you don’t like making pie. How about you supervise the people that make pie; wouldn’t that be more fun?
No, I just fucking hate pie.
***Further Wrinkles:***I applied to law school last cycle and got into a school just outside of the T14. Still on the waitlist for pretty much all of the T14 except HYS. I am what the kids call a “splitter” (high LSAT, low GPA), so I don’t have any expectations of getting into HYS, and if I do get into CCN it will probably be because Coronavirus fucks everything up and they have to let a bunch of people off the waitlist.
If I decide to not do law school this year (either because I decide to do something else or I decide that I can’t commit when I’m this unsure about things), I will be giving up something in-hand that I might not be able to get back. Which is scary.
A Final Miscellaneous Thingy:
Since I haven’t actually DONE any of this stuff yet, it would be cool if there were some sort of way to dip my toes into two of the options and see which I like better (the proof, as they say, is in the pudding). Something like a premed postbacc program that would allow you to volunteer in a psych or neuroscience lab. I don’t know if that’s a thing, though. Or maybe it is, but by doing it you just make yourself a weak candidate for BOTH med school and psych PhD programs.
Okay. Phew. If you’re still here, first of all, thank you, and second of all, sorry. Thoughts? Feel free to be super discouraging, too. “I’m a doctor, and every vibe you’re putting out says, ‘flunks out of med school.’” That’s information! That’s helpful!
Thank you again. God bless you, SSC.
Edit: Thank you all so much for your kind and thoughtful answers! Tapping out of the thread for a bit while I go eat and do work and that kinda stuff. Gonna look at and respond to all of these, though; I've just been kinda responding in a random order, but I'll get to 'em.
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