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    Trader Mike

    INFO VISUALIZATION: Trader Mike is a great blog about the [endlessly entertaining culture that tries to predict the] stock market. My favorite thing about this blog is his chaotic charts and graphs:

    There are a number of problems with this representation -- the most striking to me is the clutter and that awful gradient background with the volume histogram barely distinguishable from the background. You run into the same problem with those pesky EMA lines.

    (EMA, it turns out stands for Exponential Moving Average; basically a statistic that hopes to be the derivative of the line created by any particular stock price over time -- never mind that that is impossible since the future data doesn't exist yet. One thing I remember from Calculus is that the end of a line (in this case, the current stock price) has no derivative, because it has no slope. So, in actuality the EMA is just another moving average, and moving averages by nature lag behind the actual data.)

    In any matter, what I find more telling about this visualization is that Mike's little, short comments are always worth much more illuminating then all of the other data represented by the visualization. This is why, in my opinion, you'll be a more informed investor by reading the Economist then you will be by going blind staring at these kind of graphs all day everyday. It's the idea that stock prices aren't determined by their stock history, but rather by the psychology of investors, the company itself, earning reports, the economy, the weather, the government, exchange rates, geography, employees, and six billion other factors known as world consumers. (Imagine what it might look like if you could find a way to gather and present all of that data clearly and in an informative way. m(@_@)m )

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