Slopers and Area 51

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The first thought I had this morning was this: what is it about lunatics that strikes a chord with Slopers?

I mean, we joke around at being tin-foil-hat-wearing types, but I don't think anyone seriously believes it to be true. However, there is a common element between us and the wack-a-loons out there, which is where I believe this resonates from.

The majority of the public operates under a couple of premises I believe to be false:

(a) things are pretty much as they appear;

(b) in the end, everything is going to work out OK, just like in the movies

The loonies believe these to be false, of course, because there's a conspiracy around every corner and an alien behind every cloud. Even this week's briefly-mysterious contrail in Los Angeles was instantly deemed to be "a nuclear ICBM heading to Iran." Errr, no. It was an airplane. It just took a little figuring out to deduce this.

Slopers, in my opinion, are more like to believe:

(a) things aren't always what they appear, but to find the truth takes a lot of time, research, examination, and thought;

(b) individuals will strive toward positive outcomes, but sometimes their efforts will fall short, or circumstances will simply force an undesirable outcome upon them

I'm only partway through the already-terrific Griftopia book that just came out, and one of the earliest statements the author makes is that understanding our modern, complex world is hard. It takes the kind of time, effort, and examination I just mentioned. And the cold fact of the matter is that 90%+ of the public isn't interested, motivated, or intelligent enough to make that kind of effort.

I'm smarter than the average bear, and I've spent years studying the financial markets, and even I find it very, very difficult to really grasp everything that gets discussed week in and week out here on the blog. If it's hard for me, well, hell, it's going to be hard on a lot of others, too!

My point is that there is an intersection between ourselves and the loonies – – – a big dose of skepticism – – – but hopefully it ends there.


On a final note, I'm giving a talk in San Francisco this afternoon, so I'm out for the rest of the day. Guest editors are encouraged/welcome to submit articles for posting later this weekend. I know a lot of old timers (Fujisan, Nathaniel Goodwin, etc.) seem to have disappeared, although I'm in touch with them. So those that are still out there – get crackin'!