Posts filed under “Philosophy”

90% of Everything is Crap

sturgeons-law
Source: Mental Floss

 

 

As someone who has spent his fair share of time debunking nonsense, I love the elegant way Theodore Sturgeon trashed this anti-SciFi trope in the March 1958 issue of Venture:

“I repeat Sturgeon’s Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of SF is crud. Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. are crap. In other words, the claim (or fact) that 90% of science fiction is crap is ultimately uninformative, because science fiction conforms to the same trends of quality as all other art forms.”

Excellence is rare, stupidity abounds,

 

 

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Mental Floss notes the following trivia: “First, as you can see above, Sturgeon himself termed this “Sturgeon’s Revelation,” however, accidents of history (and the OED) turned it into Sturgeon’s Law. There actually is a “Sturgeon’s Law,” and it is: “Nothing is always absolutely so.” Second note — Sturgeon is the basis for Kurt Vonnegut’s recurring character Kilgore Trout.”

Category: Philosophy, Quantitative, Rules

The Narrative Fails

Its Friday (and a hot summer Friday at that), and as such, I like to wax philosophical about what I see around me as some of the broader issues today. Cullen Roche of Pragmatic Capital sets the scene for us: “The economy continues to do okay, the stock market is hitting all-time highs every day,…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Investing, Philosophy, Psychology

Nikola Tesla: Passing Through

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla!   “Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Weekend

Confidence Crisis

Cassandra Does Tokyo is a former hedge fund manager and ex NY Trader, who is now living abroad. ~~~ I am in a reflective mood, navigating, what one might call say, a crisis of confidence. What is the root of this self-doubt? I am, you see, squarely in my middle years, and as I look…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology, Really, really bad calls, Think Tank

QOTD: “Founding Fathers” edition

Happy Independence Day! On the anniversary of the United States birth — before we became a corrupt plutocracy (back then we were a corrupt slave owning nation) — we did have some leaders who were inspirational. Regular readers know that the quote of the day is often filled with terrific gems from some of the…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Weekend

Questions for Investors At 2013′s Halfway Mark

Here we are, on the last day of Q2 2013. It is no exaggeration to say that this has been an unusual and exciting year. I suspect most investors would prefer their markets with a lot less excitement. Perhaps we can begin a movement to bring back boring banking. Regardless, we don’t have to wait…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Investing, Markets, Philosophy

Morgan Housel Is A Permanent Optimist . . .

  Hey, today we are having lunch with the astute Morgan Housel of MF. I have been enjoying his writing for years now — he is my favorite Motley Fool writer. Here is his very simple explanation for why the end-of-worlders have been wrong, and will continue to be wrong, for most of the future…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Investing, Philosophy

Does Math Exist or Is It a Human Creation?

Math is invisible. Unlike physics, chemistry, and biology we can’t see it, smell it, or even directly observe it in the universe. And so that has made a lot of really smart people ask, does it actually even EXIST?!?! Similar to the tree falling in the forest, there are people who believe that if no person existed to count, math wouldn’t be around . .at ALL!!!! But is this true? Do we live in a mathless universe? Or if math is a real entity that exists, are there formulas and mathematical concepts out there in the universe that are undiscovered? Or is it all fiction? Whew!! So many questions, so many theories… watch the episode and let us know what you think!

Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation? | Idea Channel | PBS

Hat tip boingboing

Category: Mathematics, Philosophy, Video

QOTD: The World

Here is a quote to distract you from the Red on your screens this week: “The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research ‘childhood.’ “There follows a…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology

The Ex Post Facto Market Rationale

  Ex Post Facto: from or by subsequent action; subsequently; retrospectively; retroactively. From late Latin, literally, from a thing done afterward     I want to discuss a problem that exists in the narrative form of market commentary, one that I hinted at last night but did not have the time to fully explore in…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Markets, Philosophy