May

24

 Modern cockroaches have been around since the early Cretaceous period (about 150 million years ago) so they obviously have something going for them. I know at the University of Florida entomology school students were known in the 80s to take Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches home to study and appreciate –  But more recently we have the following:


1.

"For decades, people have been getting rid of cockroaches by setting out bait mixed with poison. But in the late 1980s, in an apartment test kitchen in Florida, something went very wrong.

A killer product stopped working. Cockroach populations there kept rising. Mystified researchers tested and discarded theory after theory until they finally hit on the explanation: In a remarkably rapid display of evolution at work, many of the cockroaches had lost their sweet tooth, rejecting the corn syrup meant to attract them."

2.

Dylan Grice, an analyst formerly with Societe Generale, has written about cockroaches and discussed a simple portfolio strategy (which may be similar to others) named after them. But even he may have underestimated the evolutionary aspects of the roach "algorithm" (and its ability to avoid deadly baits).

'But what I like best about cockroaches isn't just their physical hardiness, it's the simple algorithm they use to survive. According to Richard Bookstaber, that algorithm is "singularly simple and seemingly suboptimal: it moves in the opposite direction of gusts of wind that might signal an approaching predator." And that's it. Simple, suboptimal, but spectacularly robust…'

Craig Mee writes:

Very good point, Pitt. Defense. Defense above all else keeps you in the game. Floundering in volatility and leaving yourself exposed with no control is always a bad move. As in trading so in life.

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  1. Anatoly Veltman on May 24, 2013 6:56 pm

    I see market importance of both items:
    1. e.g. Gold could one day revisit $300, if investors lose sweet tooth
    2. quite a hint for not fighting the wind

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