Do Rational People Exist?

Does it make sense to talk about “rational people”? That is, is there a sub-population of individuals who consistently exhibit less cognitive bias and better judgment under uncertainty than average people?  Do these people have the dispositions we’d intuitively associate with more thoughtful habits of mind?  (Are they more flexible and deliberative, less dogmatic and…

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Buy Hope And Pray

Whilst out at lunch the other day I spied a couple reading this article . The article itself is nothing spectacular, it merely notes the fact that one analyst who covers BHP had placed an underweight  rating on the stock back in May. Now I freely confess that despite having been a broker I have no idea what…

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Dunning-Kruger in Groups

    We may be seeing the Dunning-Kruger effect in groups. The Dunning-Kruger effect reflects a persistent bias in how we assess our own specific competence in an area. The effect is often summarized (usually for the purpose of snark on an internet exchange) as, “dumb people are too dumb to realize how dumb they…

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Interesting piece from the ABC’s Health Report on the importance of checklists. The concept I have always found interesting is the notion of a time out before doing anything, even when you feel a time pressure. As traders we often feel compelled to act as quickly because of the thought of missing out.

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The Louder the Monkey, the Smaller Its Balls

Howler monkeys are the loudest land animals on Earth, capable of bellowing atvolumes of 140 decibels, which is on the level of gunshots or firecrackers. Not surprisingly, male howlers frequently use this power to advertise their sexual fitness, catcalling females with their ear-splitting roars. But in a beautiful twist of expectations, scientists have now found…

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The Failure Of Ego

One of the more interesting things about following hedge funds is the behaviour of those who run them. At various times they will get into wonderfully childish slanging matches with one another that generally take on the following dialogue. Hedge Fund Loser One – The stock you own is bullshit… Hedge fund Loser Two –…

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