Fusion IQ’s Barry Ritholtz joins Markets Hub for a look at a historic market rally and the one trait Wall Street is plagued by.

Category: Bailouts, Investing, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

3 Responses to “Ritholtz: Why Original Thought Is Shockingly Rare”

  1. Anonymous Jones says:

    Not sure how much the title has to do with the video, but it made me remember seeing the “shockingly rare” in that list you posted a couple days ago, specifically because it was the one that struck me as out of place.

    In any event, I’m not sure why we should expect original thought to be anything but rare. Our language was constructed into its current form to express the thoughts that most people had or wanted to express. There’s a school of thought that the genesis of the language makes its extremely unlikely that we even possess the linguistic machinery (i.e., grammar and words) to do much of any thinking that is actually “original.” Sure, there are almost infinite combinations of words, but most wouldn’t make sense to any person you would want to communicate with through language.

    And even if you don’t agree with the linguistic machinery constraint, day-to-day experience should wipe out the shock factor with respect to how bereft humanity is of original thought.

    But in general, anything that most people think is original is really a mistake of those people based upon their ignorance of history rather than any truth in their supposition.

    I found your item stimulating, in other words…

  2. louis says:

    Is this the only rally ( of the 6) that has had this much help?

  3. Richard W. Kline says:

    So Anonymous, the fallacy in your argument is the assumption that ‘original thought’ occurs via linguistic expression. There is every reason, and much evidence, to grasp that this is _not_ true. Yes, once insights are achieved, they often have to be described. ‘Language’ is the last cognitive capacity to come into play in creative insight however. (And that is even if the hypothesis you cite is true regarding limited linguistic lability. I would argue strongly, but not here, that that hypothesis is wholly false.)

    Original though lies largely in any or all of three (at least three) insights: a) comparing dissimilars to find a common feature, b) scrutinizing a context to identify a salient feature, or c) scrutinizing a context to identify a hitherto neglected relational order within it. Human neuro-anatomy is optimized even at the level of genetically mandated structures to neglect most envioronmental information in favor of a few features judged important; there is great survival value in that. Hence, the ‘natural bias’ in human percetption, and secondarily in human thought, is NOT to see things ‘originally.’ We should expect insights to be other than the default setting. That said, groups can give more or less permission to _do something with_ the insights which occur, and secondarily give more permission to ‘see things differently.’ The really hard part with insights is not having them, speaking from personal experience, but realizing something substantive from them. That’s the Edisonian ’99% perspiration’ relationship, which is very real, and leads many to give up for the unoriginal platitudes or rote directives which ever pay well. One has to be something of a crank case to turn on a new light bulb, to coin a phrase.

    But rarest of all is a willigness to listen, judiciously but intelligently, to original observations of others. Most original insights will be flawed, and many will be wholly wrong. Still the flawed can be refined, and the wholly wrong ofen jog a new insight by themselves, not least via one thinking the new insight through a step at a time to see how it went off the rails. Most people and virtually no organizations have the time and tolerance for this kind of judicious listening. Part of that is personal bias: most folks like to hear comforting repitions of notions they already believe to be true. Part of it is that many new insights are, in fact, bunk, and their ordure rubs off, undeservedly, on the rest. In the main, though, folks and organizations just don’t have the time and patience required, usually because they haven’t acquired the skill to ‘scratch and sniff’ the new rapidly. For all those reasons and more, it is extremely rare that insights gain traction. The best we can hope is go get them down on paper and disseminated so that if, as usual, they are ignored, they are nonetheless lying around available to some crank case with an inquiring mind. Usually after the visionary is safely dead and not in a position to sue for residuals, judging by history . . . .