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Idiots Abroad

So I am reclining last night reading the latest issue of New Scientist when I come across an article referring to Indian rationalist Sanal Edamaruku. ¬†Edamaruku is a sort of Indian James Randi in that he looks at claims made by superstitious idiots and then promptly points out that they are superstitious idiots….my kinda guy…

So he was called to investigate so called miracle water that was dripping spontaneously from the feet of a statue of Jesus. And being short on critical thinking the faithful immediately assumed this was a sign from God. Turns out to be little more than a leaky pipe.

For undertaking an exercise in critical thinking the Catholic Church is now calling for his arrest¬†under section 295A of the Indian penal code. This charges a person with “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community”.

Game theory states that when we come to make decisions we are bounded by the quality of information we receive, the time we have to make the decision and our cognitive ability. We always operate under these three restrictions. So we have a bounded capacity for logical decision making. My feeling is that the opposite is true for irrationality – for this the human race seems to have a boundless capacity for being an idiot. This idiocy is something that needs to be struggled against not only in others (often a pointless task) but also in yourself.

The relationship to trading is plain and simple – dont be a superstitious idiot. There are no magic numbers, phases of the moon or special lines.



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