Saturday, June 04, 2011

Certainty... the enemy of flexibility.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines"

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of my readers has rightly excoriated me for my certainty regarding upcoming events. I take this criticism with deadly seriousness, as being "fox-like" (as Tetlock would say) is best when attempting to comprehend the likely outcomes in something SO complex as the world economy. Myopically phase-locking into one mode of thinking, or failing to at least entertain the dark matter of "unknown unknowns", is a recipe for disaster.

I say this because I pay special attention to CERTAINTY and HUBRIS in the popular memorandum from investment advisors, "little statesmen", philosophers, and divines when attempting to identify financial bubbles.

Its not anywhere near an exact science, but to paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart I often "know it when I see it".

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