Books 02 (Nov 08 - Nov 09)

Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby kennynah » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:11 pm

Title : Fooled by Randomness
Author : Nassim Nicholas Taleb


I am surely not to first to highlight this book in this forum...but perhaps, i might be the first to comment that it is overly rated for its insightfulness and usefulness.

In the few hundred pages, there's only one and only one resounding message; and that is,

Not all swans are white.....

Now that I have completed reading Part I in all but 1 hour, I conclude that I could have better spent this time napping my Sat afternoon away. This is because if I had read this book when I was 15 years old, I would still not have found it revelationary. The sole concept that however remote a probability of an event occurring, does not preclude it from occurring, should not be more than common sense to anyone with a normal level of intelligence.

I will skip Part II and III .... but that could be bcos I've always been very cautious about reading philosophical writings.
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby Aspellian » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:00 am

kennynah wrote:I will skip Part II and III .... but that could be bcos I've always been very cautious about reading philosophical writings.


Hi Kenny,

can you please share with us the reasons for being cautious about philosophical writings? :) i will very much like hear from your viewpoint.
I tot one is to read widely and philosophy makes you "think more" and it is up to individuals' moral standards whether to accept or debuke such philosophical writings.

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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby kennynah » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:01 am

we inadvertently get influenced by what we read, no matter how hard we try not to be...
all of us develop our own sense of philosophy, our guiding life's principals, so to speak... we do so, through our experiences, our religious faith or simply copying others...

and i fear that sometimes, if we are not careful, we copy from others....we regurgitate what we read, thinking it our own philosophy, when in fact, we haven't spent enough time thinking, reflecting and understanding them...

forming our own philosophy of life, is like investing...those trading/investing plans we develop, we understand them very well, we develop them because of some past investment experiences.... but if we try to mimic others; like 3% or 7% or whatever cut loss, without really knowing why we do so, then, we surrender ourselves to the thoughts of others... we lose a little of our own identity as a result..

anyways... as they say....

You Think, therefore You Are :!:
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby Aspellian » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:51 am

Hi Kenny, tks for sharing. it really sets me thinking. generally humans nowadays dun think as much.... :lol:
just TOL on the following...

interesting. if you do not read more, do you subject yourself to think you know all? but to know more, you subject yourself the danger of knowing something bad (subject to arguments on whose standards, judgements etc). or to protect yourself from something potentially bad, you stop learning. hmm.. cause and effect :?:

of cos there are certain things we know are bad and are pit-falls in life. if we persist in doing or believe that we can control, it will create more harm than good. cos at which point in time do we lose control?

example: initial standard was one drink a week. then we change the standard to 2 drinks a week, then max 3 drinks a week, then a bottle on special ocassions, then we declare that we are not alcoholic or addicted and never ever gets drunk even though we drink every single day....

same as porn, casual/paid sex, adultery, gambling, drugs, lies, cheating, occult etc... there could be floodgates once we open it.

similar concept could be applied to philosophical writings - we may open floodgates and change our lives for the worse without us realising....

PROMISE, PASSION, PEACE, POWER, PURPOSE, PLAN, PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE, PROTECTION
DELIGHT, DISCIPLINE, DILIGENT, DETERMINATION, DESIRE

"Its not whether you're right or wrong thats important, but how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong." - Warren Buffet
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby kennynah » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:03 pm

yes...dilemma... dont read wide enough, we may not provoke sufficient thoughts and can become myopic...but read too carelessly, we risk the dangers we discussed...

so..in the end, we try striking a balance...

and so, i chose to discontinue reading nassim taleb's writing..i didnt like what i read, and i dont always quite agree with his 5cents-10cents concepts about life...
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby Aspellian » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:59 pm

Knowing what is the right balance is very important.

A good guage will be feeling. If one FEELs GENUINELY great, joyful, passionate and no single thought of greed, guilt, remorse, dilemma - then go ahead and embrace whatever one is doing.

BUT if one is constantly/ocassionaly/traumatized by inner struggles, outward relationships struggles etc and you FEEL bad... this could be a signal that something is not right....

PROMISE, PASSION, PEACE, POWER, PURPOSE, PLAN, PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE, PROTECTION
DELIGHT, DISCIPLINE, DILIGENT, DETERMINATION, DESIRE

"Its not whether you're right or wrong thats important, but how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong." - Warren Buffet
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby la papillion » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:33 pm

kennynah wrote:Title : Fooled by Randomness
Author : Nassim Nicholas Taleb


I am surely not to first to highlight this book in this forum...but perhaps, i might be the first to comment that it is overly rated for its insightfulness and usefulness.

In the few hundred pages, there's only one and only one resounding message; and that is,

Not all swans are white.....

Now that I have completed reading Part I in all but 1 hour, I conclude that I could have better spent this time napping my Sat afternoon away. This is because if I had read this book when I was 15 years old, I would still not have found it revelationary. The sole concept that however remote a probability of an event occurring, does not preclude it from occurring, should not be more than common sense to anyone with a normal level of intelligence.

I will skip Part II and III .... but that could be bcos I've always been very cautious about reading philosophical writings.


Yo knn,

I like your distilled summary :) The most impt thing I got from the book is that it's hard to know if an event will never happen or that it simply has not happened. I think that's something to think about.

I kind of like his style of writing though :)
An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return - Benjamin Graham
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby kennynah » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:40 pm

yes..we wont ever know when a crisis/jackpot event will occur... we just need to protect our trading positions accordingly for the disastrous event that might occur anytime...

having a stop loss limit order can help but it is not 100% guaranteed.... this is also the reason that we must try to not commit 100% of investment capital in one specific vehicle; ie all into stocks, or all into properties, or all into bonds, or all into durian plantation, etc...

by not committing risk of ruin investing style, no black swan events can totally wipe out one's capital...i think this is by far the safest way to deal with unexpected disastrous events...

but having said this... we must also recognise that there are jackpot events...example.. an investment in a obscure drug making company and their research into life saving drugs is approved by FDA... this jackpot event can sky rocket this counter to mars... but i say...we dont have to be worried about this happy problem...just have a small capital invested in such companies...for this "golden" swan event to occur
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby la papillion » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:42 pm

Yea, just worry about the downside. The upside should be able to take care of itself. Applies equally well to life in general :)
An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return - Benjamin Graham
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Re: Books (Nov 08 - Sep 09)

Postby helios » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:29 pm

Reading Conspiracy of the Rich ... the latest book of Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert K.
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