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April Fools: A Point of Order, Randomness and Fat Tails

I dunno, perhaps you're one who thinks it's silly -- a person I can be on any given day. On the other hand, if you've followed along you know my affinity for randomness and being fooled.

Being fooled is the most important aspect, because we really can't do anything about randomness. And why would we want to? What's life without surprises? April Fools is a decent, once per year exercise in demonstrating just how susceptible we all are.

Just this afternoon I caught a blurb on the radio as I was shutting down the car before stepping into the 4th Street Bowl Coffee Shop for their Monday $10.95 ribeye steak lunch special (It's fucking good). I like simple, straightforward, unpretentious cafes; and I'll have to blog about that, one day. The blurb was in reference to some new "government plan" (what else to keep the populace alarmed  and yet confident all at once?) to oversee financial markets. The quote went something like this: "And oversee hedge funds so they don't take too much risk." Let's set aside the fact that a hedge fund is prohibited, by law, from even talking to you or showing the public their returns unless you're an institution or have registered as a "qualified investor," meaning you have a minimum liquid net worth of $1 million.

Jesus, fuck. Now, I'll readily acknowledge that this is mere opium for the unbelievably stupid and ignorant masses, but I had to shake my head.

There is one big fucking reason you're not living in a cave (more precisely: that you exist at all): people who took enormous risks, laying everything on the table. Nine out of ten lost it all (randomness, not necessarily bad ideas always). You live and prosper because one in ten paid off. Stupid, stupid people. You know, the only reason they come up with this is that they think you're stupid enough to gain comfort from it.

I'm convinced they're dead right.

As a final note, let me reiterate that a post like this is written in the general. I.E., in general, people are fucking stupid, or they put on a pretty good act. It's always been that way. So, am I blogging to admonish the stupid fucks? No, not at all. I blog to sharpen the elite. You must know your enemy, and that's not to say that redemption isn't possible. I used to be of the stupids.

(I didn't get to Fat Tails, but I'm done, for now. Later. The Bell Curve is only half the picture.)