Mental Masturbation

My definition of Mental Wanking reads like a medical affliction.

Main Entry:
men·tal mas·tur·ba·tion

stimulation, especially of one’s own mind commonly resulting
in time wasting. Can be achieved by missing the point or an
acute lack of realism. More prevalent in certain fields, critics ( in
particular literature ), software engineers, tv buffs etc. Can
occasionally be accompanied by
mental fantasies, arrogance, bad temper and or delusions.

For those looking for individual definitions of the word I took the following from Websters.

Main Entry:
: erotic
stimulation especially of one’s own genital organs commonly resulting
in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of
sexual intercourse, by instrumental manipulation, occasionally by
sexual fantasies, or by various combinations of these agencies

And the following entry for Mental:

Main Entry:

1 a: of or relating to the mind; specifically : of or relating to the total emotional and intellectual response of an individual to external reality <mental health> b: of or relating to intellectual as contrasted with emotional activity

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Exim4 Unrouteable Address

I have no idea when or why this started happening for me but I started getting Unrouteable address appearing for any external address.

I’m a huge fan of Debian but there are some things that really piss me off. One is the way they have completely screwed the exim4 configuration. Exim4, if you are not an administrator or mail guru is not the simplest thing in the world to configure, it’s config file is fairly involved and you can do anything in it. Add DEBCONF variables to this and you have a complete nightmare configuration.I spent two days tracking this error down to the following:


That was all I had to add to /etc/exim4/exim4.conf.template

Why this changed I have no idea. The setting I am using in /etc/exim4/update-exim4.conf.conf is


I really cannot make head nor tail out of this at all. I sometimes wish I had started learning Postfix instead of Exim but part of me thinks that it’s not Exim but rather the way it has been packaged up thats compicated.

Financial Market Observer Effect

I was recently reading Four Pillars of Investing and one part really stuck out to me. A hedge fund manager doing back tests on data could beat the market consistently but was unable to understand why these techniques failed when tried on Wall Street.

To a physicist the answer might seem obvious. It’s known as the observer effect.

Trading is a physical action with an observable effect on the market i.e. people see the shares being traded, the stock price may change. It’s impossible to take money out or put money into the market and not create ripples hence the discrepancy between what happens in real life and back tests. Back testing is a popular method in testing investment strategies but it’s no substitute for the real thing.