Wall Street Playboys (on Twitter) posts some interesting commentary about financial markets and human behavior.
A lot of it is stuff I don’t agree with, which is why I read it.
Always nice to get a different perspective and… you can often learn a lot by challenging your own beliefs and opinions.
Anyway, one of their recent tweets went something like this:
“As a general rule one should realize humans are irrational and like proving people wrong.”
This has a sort of feel-goodness to it for perpetual skeptics and cynics.
But look closely.
Do you see the inherent contradiction here?
Namely, that they’re using reason and logic to “prove” humans are irrational.
Now… I’m no Aristotle, but methinx in order to come to the conclusion that all humans are basically irrational, you (and indeed every other human) would need to be basically rational.
Well, what does the term “irrational” mean?
It means not logical or reasonable. In order for you to understand that which is not logical, you need to understand that which is logical, and you need to know what constitutes “rational” before you can say that something is “not rational” (AKA irrational). In other words, the concept “irrational” is logically dependent on the concept “rational”. It can’t be the other way ‘round.
What Wall Street Playboys are asserting here is an example of The Fallacy of the Stolen Concept, albeit a loose version of it.
Awwwwwe shit. This is starting to sound like actual thinking.
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s possible for a person to be irrational in specific areas of their life or to sometimes be irrational and other times be rational.
But, people must be fundamentally rational first. The irrationality is like an infection — a disease.
OK but what does any of this have to do with the price of tea in China?
Simple as a dimple, my friend.
This, and many other, fallacies are spread all over the Interwebs as sure as a farmer spreads manure all over his fields.
Buying into them means buying into a falsehood which… is obviously bad for your financial success.
That which is false is, by definition, not true.
Do you want to base any financial strategy on something which isn’t true?
I’ll let you decide that.