Monday, March 5, 2012

And Now for Some Good News

I am personally quite optimistic and grow weary of hammering our readers with negative postings.
The only reason we do it is, as one gutsy young lady said to me, "do you want to know the bad news or not?"
You get a faster and more extreme move out of bad news so yes I want to know it.
From The Economist's Schumpeter blog:
Two books argue that the future is brighter than we think
THE lab-on-a-chip (LOC) is a small device with a huge potential. It can run dozens of diagnostic tests on human DNA in a few minutes. Give the device a gob of spit or a drop of blood and it will tell you whether or not you are sick without any need to send your DNA to a laboratory. In poor countries LOCs could offer diagnostics to millions who lack access to expensive laboratories. In the rich world they may curb rising medical costs.

The world has been so dogged by bad news of late that it is almost possible to forget about tiny miracles like the LOC. But two timely new books remind us that boffins continue to make the world a better place even as politicians strive to do the opposite. Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler make a breezy case for optimism in “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think”. Eric Topol provides a more considered look at why medicine is about to be “Schumpeterised” (his word) by digital technology. These books are a godsend for those who suffer from Armageddon fatigue. They also remind us that technology keeps improving despite economic gloom.

Messrs Diamandis and Kotler argue that the world is on the cusp of a succession of abundance-producing breakthroughs. The technological revolution has gone furthest in the world of smart machines. The smartphone contains a collection of tools—from voice recorders to video cameras to GPS devices—that would have cost tens of thousands of dollars a decade ago. But it is rolling on in lots of other areas too. Carmakers are working on driverless vehicles (see article). Robotics firms are working on friendly bots. Manufacturers are experimenting with 3D printers that can produce everything from musical instruments to blood vessels. Firms of every type are building an “internet of things” that will tell us when our machines are in danger of breaking down or our pipes are leaking water.

They argue that four big forces are speeding these innovations from the drawing board to the supermarket. The first is the rise of a generation of philanthropists who believe that technology can rid the world of ancient evils. Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, is one of them. He sponsors “self-improvement” through schemes for social entrepreneurship and microfinance....MORE, including video
HT: Abnormal Returns

For the last three years* we've posted some version of:

Why do I think the next secular bull market will be based on some combination of 
materials science, advanced manufacturing and nanotechnology?...
whenever I thought the troops needed bucking up.

Look for a late 2014-2015 timeframe for the next (and we're betting last) bottom of the 2000-2015 secular bear market.

*See April '09's "Best strategy for long bear market 2010-2020".
(and yes, we were on-board the move from the March 9, '09 low. Dubiously but posting within 24 hours that the 5% pop on the 10th was the real deal)