Skip to content

SOUL IN THE GAME, Real World Risk, Rebellion, Voting to Destroy the Establishment | Facebook

Reader: “Dear N., I have read all your books and have a question. How do you recommend an average young man navigate the modern world? “.

Me: “Never ask a vague question“. (3/13/16)



The rise of protectionism may have a strong rationale. One fundamental flaw with economic thinking is that humans are assumed to be doing things to make a living and improve their economic condition. This is partially true. But people are also doing things for existential reasons. We may be better off economically (in the aggregate) by exporting jobs. But that’s not what people may really want.

I write because that’s what I am designed to do –and subcontracting my research and writing to China or Tunisia would (perhaps) increase my productivity but deprive me of my identity.

So people might want to *do* things. Just to do things, because they feel it is part of their identity. It may be cruel to cheat them of that. They too want to play. They want to have their soul in the game.

Bureaucrats don’t get it because they don’t do things.

NOTE I: More technically, it is erroneous to think that one necessarily has to “maximize” income if one seeks it (economists used naive mathematics in their optimization programs and thinking). It is perfectly compatible to “satisfice” their wealth, that is, shoot for a satisfactory income, plus maximize one’s fitness to the task, or the emotional pride they may have in seeing the fruits of their labor. Or not maximize anything, just do things because that is what makes us human.

NOTE II: TK. (3/12/16)


Announcement: Our next Real World Risk (Taking) Mini-Certificate is June 6-10, Princeton Club in NYC.

Comments by the previous class found on social media:


What we are seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30y of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, microeconomic papers wrong 40% of the time, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating only 1/5th of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats wanting to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. I have shown that most of what Cass-Sunstein-Richard Thaler types call “rational” or “irrational” comes from misunderstanding of probability theory. (3/9/16)


The *establishment* composed of journos, BS-Vending talking heads with well-formulated verbs, bureaucrato-cronies, lobbyists-in training, New Yorker-reading semi-intellectuals, image-conscious empty suits, Washington rent-seekers and other “well thinking” members of the vocal elites are not getting the point about what is happening and the sterility of their arguments. People are not voting for Trump (or Sanders). People are just voting, finally, to destroy the establishment. (3/7/16)

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *