“Scientists sometimes resist new ideas and hang on to old ones longer than they should, but the real problem is the failure of the public to understand that the possibility of correction or disproof is a strength and not a weakness…
…Most people are not comfortable with the notion that knowledge can be authoritative, can call for decision and action, and yet be subject to constant revision, because they tend to think of knowledge as additive, not recognizing the necessity of reconfiguring in response to new information.”—Mary Catherine Bateson, ” 2014 : WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT?: The Illusion of Certainty.” Edge.org. 2014.
R.I.P., Mary Catherine Bateson.
“…it is highly probable that we are in a major bubble event in the U.S. market, of the type we typically have every several decades and last had in the late 1990s. It will very probably end badly, although nothing is certain. I will also tell you my definition of success for a bear market call. It is simply that sooner or later there will come a time when an investor is pleased to have been out of the market. That is to say, he will have saved money by being out, and also have reduced risk or volatility on the round trip. This definition of success absolutely does not include precise timing. (Predicting when a bubble breaks is not about valuation. All prior bubble markets have been extremely overvalued, as is this one. Overvaluation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for their bursting.) Calling the week, month, or quarter of the top is all but impossible….
…Nothing in investing perfectly repeats. Certainly not investment bubbles. Each form of irrational exuberance is different; we are just looking for what you might call spiritual similarities. Even now, I know that this market can soar upwards for a few more weeks or even months – it feels like we could be anywhere between July 1999 and February 2000. Which is to say it is entitled to break any day, having checked all the boxes, but could keep roaring upwards for a few months longer. My best guess as to the longest this bubble might survive is the late spring or early summer, coinciding with the broad rollout of the COVID vaccine. At that moment, the most pressing issue facing the world economy will have been solved. Market participants will breathe a sigh of relief, look around, and immediately realize that the economy is still in poor shape, stimulus will shortly be cut back with the end of the COVID crisis, and valuations are absurd. “Buy the rumor, sell the news.” But remember that timing the bursting of bubbles has a long history of disappointment.”-Jeremy Grantham, “Waiting for the Last Dance.” GMO.com. January 2021
I thought in March 2020 that COVID-19 was going to clobber markets, and I was dead wrong. Too early. But, at some point, markets have to reflect the economic reality, which should happen Real Soon Now.
“…a stupid person causes damage to others while deriving no gain, or even possibly incurring losses. We invariably underestimate the number of stupid individuals in circulation as the probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of other characteristics or credentials (e.g., they can have a Ph.D. or be President). We (the non-stupid) are vulnerable to the stupid and their actions as we find it difficult to imagine and understand — or to organize a rational defense against — an attack that lacks rational structure or predictable movements. Or, as Friedrich Schiller put it, against stupidity the gods themselves fight in vain.”-Scott Galloway, “Stupid.” ProfGalloway.com. January 8, 2021
Also, we are all, at one point or another, a stupid person. The trick is to reduce the duration and frequency. See also: Hoodoos, Sucking Black Holes, Psychic Vampires, The Unhappy & The Unlucky, Toxic People, Narcissist’s Prayer, etc.
“To develop this test, we investigated what philosophers and psychologists have said about what humans fundamentally value, and then conducted two studies of our own, collecting and statistically analyzing the intrinsic values of 500 people in the U.S. Taking this test will help you:
1. Figure out your most important intrinsic values.
2. Discover what your unique intrinsic values say about you.
3. Understand why intrinsic values are so important.
An intrinsic value is something you value for its own sake.
Put another way, an intrinsic value is something you would still value even if you got absolutely nothing else from it. Sometimes intrinsic values are referred to as ‘terminal values,’ because they reflect the end points in our value system that all our other values are aiming at. Non-intrinsic values are sometimes called ‘instrumental values,’ because we only care about them as a means to achieve other ends.”–Intrinsic Values Test
My top value: I have agency and can make choices for myself. Surprising no one.
“If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? … [Buddhist Enlightenment and the corresponding freedom from suffering, obviously]
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? … [Not being preoccupied with accomplishments.]
When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? … [Any given month, probably during a movie.]-Daniel Jones, “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love.” The New York Times. January 9, 2015.
In 3 sets of 12, designed to become increasingly intimate. Reading through, it also occurs to me that there are implied values in these questions. For instance, how many people think in terms of superlatives, e.g., perfect days, most grateful, truth about yourself, greatest accomplishment, most treasured, most terrible, etc. The latter questions also have a focus on finality and resolution. What does it mean to find someone’s death disturbing?
But, on the other hand, the questions reveal what is core in relationships, that is, vulnerability, regard for the other person and some sense of shared experience and purpose. A useful exercise to go through with the people close to you.
What would it take to be content in this moment, just as it is? Changing our minds; both the hardest and easiest thing we can do.
"All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind,
Made by mind.
Speak or act with a peaceful mind,
And happiness follows
Like a never-departing shadow."