Saturday, February 22, 2020
The Winner's Game in investing—open to all investors, so every investor can be a real winner—is almost easy. Almost. The first secret for success is that each investor has to ignore the "beat the market" hype that pervades the advertising that floods out of stockbrokers, "performance" mutual funds, and the investment letters from stock market gurus—all working with Mr. Market.
The second secret for success is that each investor must decide for himself or herself what investment policy will, over the long term, have the best chance of producing the particular results he or she most wants to achieve. These winning investors are not in competition with each other; they are in competition only with themselves. Can they stay "on mission"—even when Mr. Market goes into his gyrations?
-Charles D. Ellis, Winning The Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing
Suppose two politicians are running for president, and one goes through the farm section and is asked, "What are you going to do about the farm question?" And he knows right away—bang, bang, bang. Now he goes to the next campaigner who comes through. "What are you going to do about the farm problem?" "Well, I don't know. I used to be a general, and I don't know anything about farming. But it seems to me it must be a very difficult problem, because for twelve, fifteen, twenty years people have been struggling with it, and people say that they know how to solve the farm problem. And it must be a hard problem. So the way that I intend to solve the farm problem is to gather around me a lot of people who know something about it, to look at all the experience that we have had with this problem before, to take a certain amount of time at it, and then come to some conclusion in a reasonable way about it. Now, I can't tell you ahead of time what conclusion, but I can give you some of the principles I'll try to use—not to make things difficult for individual farmers, if there are any special problems we will have some way to take care of them," etc., etc., etc.
Now such a man would never get anywhere in this country, I think. It's never been tried, anyway. This is in the attitude of mind of the populace, that they have to have an answer and that a man who gives an answer is better than a man who gives no answer, when the real fact of the matter is, in most cases, it is the other way around. And the result of this of course is that the politician must give an answer. And the result of this is that political promises can never be kept. It is a mechanical fact; it is impossible. And the result of that is that nobody believes campaign promises. And a result of that is a general disparaging of politics, a kind of lack of respect for the people who are trying to solve problems, and so forth.
-Richard Feynman, from his lecture This Unscientific Age contained in The Meaning Of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist
Sunday, February 16, 2020
...................................................................and life its ownself.
We rushed to judgement, but with the benefit of hindsight, it honestly seems fine. It’s possible that people on Twitter may have used the platform for low-stakes performative outrage instead of making an effort to be reasonable about an otherwise-benign comment.