Damon Samuel

Lead Manager Market Mix Modeling, AT&T Mobility
Roswell, GA, United States

About Damon

An idea worth spreading

Demographics dictate market size. Gen X will never consume as much as the Boomers in aggregate. We just don't have the same mass. See Richard Gronbach.

Comments & conversations

129809
Damon Samuel
Posted over 2 years ago
Jer Thorp: Make data more human
As a Marketing Scientist I completey disagree with your assesment that this is trivial. We are always working with big data to determine which way the social breezes are blowing. Being able to see aggregate travel patterns or which types of articals are being shared with which groups of people will allow us to target our messages better. That means less clutter for those who aren't interested and more relevancy for those who are.
129809
Damon Samuel
Posted over 2 years ago
The current bandaid solutions for obesity
I am not of the opinion that addressing mental health as you suggest can overcome the fact that people place huge discounts on the future. We know what’s healthy to eat in both quantity and quality yet we consistently choose to be happy now over being happy in the future. When my Father turned 40 he was a healthy man. When he died at the age of 69 it was due to complications of obesity and other poor health choices. He knew they were bad long term decisions but enjoyed their immediate gratifications more than he loathed the long term costs. Therefore the only was to truly address this issue is to bring the costs associated with obesity to be in line with the rewards of a full belly and another piece of cake. Where I grew up as a child there was an abundance of food available but very few of my classmates had weight issues. I believe public shame had a lot to do with that. It increased the cost of over eating to be on par with the perceived benefits. Along the same lines of equalizing the costs of obesity we should really look at where our food subsides go. I saw a pair of charts once, wish I could link, that compared the new US food pyramid for a balanced diet to our food subsides and they were essentially opposite of each other. I also believe we should adjust our corporate sponsored health insurance premiums to be equal to the risk we carry rather than equal dollars per person. As someone who exercises an hour a day I subsidize people like my Father who chose to eat everything they could get their hands on. Again, he never bore the costs of his decisions until it was too late to change.
129809
Damon Samuel
Posted almost 3 years ago
How do you feel about the responsibility of the government towards the young people (18-25) regarding the economic and financial crisis?
@ Addison Yes I have heard of the great depression, I beleive that is what lead to the creation of the FDIC. The banks collapsed because of runs made by depositors when the bank was over leveraged. That is not the same as the bank stealing your money. @ Danita I am not familiar with the details of that case. Even so, it would seem the money was stolen by an employee, not the bank itself. I am also sure it does not fit the original complaint I was disputing that the "Bank steals your money to pay its executives".
129809
Damon Samuel
Posted almost 3 years ago
How do you feel about the responsibility of the government towards the young people (18-25) regarding the economic and financial crisis?
Name one bank that has stolen anyone's savings? You can't. Even if your bank went underwater, your savings are still available to you. Any monies that were held on your behalf that the bank can't pay out of capital are insured up to the FDIC limit. Monies beyond the limit that may be lost to you were still not stolen. Money that has been invested, rather than placed in savings, has always been at risk. When you purchase a stock, bond, mutual fund, swaption, puts, futures, CDO's or any other financial instrument you are putting your capital at risk in exchange for the opportunity of appreciation or a future income stream. Your anger at the outsized paychecks of some lucky few people in finance is ill-informed and misplaced. This comming from someone who lost 90% of their investments by listening to a big banks advice just prior to the dot com collapse. They didn't steal my money, they encouraged me to make bad decisions which they earned fees on. The near total loss was due to the bad investment itself. I have since educated myself and have survived the great recession quite well.
129809
Damon Samuel
Posted almost 3 years ago
Will "Watson" a supercomputer and his offspring eliminate millions of white collar jobs within a decade?
AI is not a threat to knowledge based work at this time, and is unlikely to become so in the future. I’ve dabbled in programming Genetic Algorithms, I’ve programmed the occasional Neural Network, and I’ve built tons of more ordinary statistical models. Even though there are easy point and click GUI’s that allow anyone who can operate a computer to build a model, even though there are automated selection techniques that allow the computer to fit the best possible curve, I have no fear my job is going to be taken over by Watson or any of its descendents. The simple fact is AI at its best operates on very narrowly defined problems. It is unable to account for context. The automated selection techniques can produce fantastic mathematical fits that are nonsensical. For that matter even the GUI’s that layer on top of statistical programs that allow just about anyone to produce a model still do not yield good results in the hands of the non trained and non experienced individual. Consider the following facts that could easily have helped Watson decide Toronto was in the US and not in Canada. 1) Major League Baseball is an American franchise. Toronto has a MLB team. 2) Toronto is south of cities such as Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland. 3) Toronto is an English speaking city in North America Without resorting to an actual list of which cities are Canadian and which are in the US, those facts could easily correlate very highly with belonging in the US. Correlation is not causation. Context matters. Yes computers can do a text search of case law and serve up all the relevant cases that match the criteria a paralegal is looking for. But so can a search on Lexis Nexus and has for many years. It still requires a person to review the results for context and interpretation. AI is making knowledge work faster, and easier. It is not in position to do the work itself.
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Damon Samuel
Posted almost 3 years ago
What were some things related to personal finance you wish you were taught earlier on in high school that you only learned later in life?
Jake, given your age I personally would recommend a low cost index fund. There are some you can invest as little as 25 dollars a month in. It does not sound like much and with the volatility currently in the market it may flucuate some. But over the course of time as you continue to put 25 dollars a month in, you will start building a sizable balance. If anyone tries to sell you a market timing scheme or something that promises rates of return that are guaranteed or larger than 10% per year, they are trying to take advantage of you. Dollar cost averaging small amounts of money will not make you fabously rich, it will allow you to develop a nice sum of money if given enough time. And time is clearly on your side right now.
129809
Damon Samuel
Posted almost 3 years ago
What were some things related to personal finance you wish you were taught earlier on in high school that you only learned later in life?
I was lucky; when I was fresh out of school I trusted what little savings I had to a big name brokerage and believed they had my best interests at heart. I lost virtually everything. In reality it was not a lot of money but I now consider it an investment in my personal education. I don’t necessarily agree with some of your points, especially stated as absolutes but I do agree with the sentiment. If we wish to become economically self sufficient we need to make better financial decisions. The biggest piece of advice I would give to someone still in high school is to find a good textbook on personal finance and study it. I’m not talking about Napoleon Hill, Robert Kiyosaki, or Thomas Stanley; I am referring to any actual text book that is required in a certified financial planner program. The goal is to learn more than simply balancing a budget or understanding how compound interest can help or hurt your goals. The goal is to learn how to apply risk management techniques to your finance to weather the bad times and improve your position in the good ones. I am disheartened by all the financial pain and suffering I see people going through and I shake my head at how many of them were living paycheck to paycheck prior to the Great Recession. Several years ago I saw a retirement piece and the financial writer wrote a line I have quoted many times, I just wish I remembered who to give credit too. “Failure is not a singular event, it is the accumulation of poor decisions and poor thinking.” I believe the reverse to be true as well and that in the long run getting lucky or unexpected setbacks will even out and you can have financial success if you consistently make good decisions.
129809
Damon Samuel
Posted almost 3 years ago
Is the internet, not formal education, the new great equalizer?
I just watched the lecture you referred to http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html Very impressive. I'd like to note that the self learning was limited to children that operated in groups. Assuming those qualifications are met, it is clear that the internet is non discriminatory. The question becomes, does the internet discriminate against illiterate adults whether alone or in groups. Thank you for sharing this talk with me.
129809
Damon Samuel
Posted almost 3 years ago
Is the internet, not formal education, the new great equalizer?
Even with how-to's and the other tools you mention you still expect the illiterate to need assistance in order to learn how to use the internet. Learning to read is not an easy process for anyone, children or adult. It takes time and effort to accomplish. I know this as I can speak a couple other languages, albeit poorly, but I am completely illiterate in them. Beyond basic reading ability you must add computer/internet competency as you mentioned to access the collective knowledge stored on the internet. These issues combine to form a barrier to access that would prevent even the most well intentioned illiterate person from effectively utilizing the net to help level the playing field. I do not believe it impossible for the illiterate to benefit from the internet. I do believe the medium discriminates against them by the very nature of its primarily written format.
129809
Damon Samuel
Posted almost 3 years ago
Jessica Jackley: Poverty, money -- and love
So you would turn away helping others because the means do not include a tie to your religion? I for one believe this is a fantastic tool for helping others help themselves and have been moved to participate. Would you have these farmers and herders turn away my assistance and generosity since I don't beleive in God as you do? Seems to me your position is more amoral than the fact that people want to help their fellow humans without bringing religion into the picture.