Tuesday 23 December 2008

Suppose you were to be 10 feet tall...

10-feet tall men have no place outside fables. However, they sometimes get into bad science fiction, forcing saner writers to point out that such giants are biologically impossible. 

I get a sense of déjà vu while reading books on the stock market. “Suppose you were to hold such and such a set of stocks over such and such a period...” a guru would begin, then go on to show what a silly fool you’d be if you did that. 

Now, how many actual investors get into the situations illustrated in these books? If not may do, why talk about these? Are these to be taken solely as constructs for instruction? Well, there is merit in that, more so when you consider how far science has come with theoretical models that grossly simplify the natural world. 

Yet... it somehow doesn’t jell. The scientist is well aware that he’s approximating within the limits of computing power and perception (the greatest mind would burst if it was to have a handle on every gory detail). Does the stock market guru? More importantly, does his reader? 

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