20 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Your Decisions

April 30th, 2017


  1. People hear one person mention a stock – they have no idea who the person is, their qualifications, their knowledge of the stock, and they’ve never heard of the stock until just now. They proceed to buy it, buy into every dip, and months later post “so…any news on ___”
  2. Well, for the 1 month I’ve been following this random stock, it twice dipped and recovered so I’ll buy into this 10% “dip” based on terrible company news
  3. r/wallstreetbets
  4. Applies to everyone but me
  5. “I’m thinking about maybe going long XXX, any thoughts” Person who is short XXX for no reason other than they think a 100 year old company will go bankrupt tomorrow because they had one customer service complaint “LOL YOU STUPID IDIOT, WHO WOULD GO LONG XXX?!?!!?”
  6. TA used by people that learned about it via one 3-minute Youtube video
  7. Not my fault you’re all wrong
  8. The outcome of every meme stock. “I’m down 10%, holding” “I’m down 30%, holding” “I’m down 90%, holding”
  9. 1,000 posts a day here with a variety of information and demonstrated successful strategies and you just continue to buy 3x ETFs
  10. Getting so upset with the performance of your 3x ETFs that you stop clicking other posts at all
  11. This is the most serious one that costs people here the most money. Just because you took a bet on something and it worked out doesn’t mean the reason you did it was anything more than a pure gamble and does not make a repeatable strategy
  12. Connected to #11 – thinking you’re the greatest trader in history when 7 out of 10 gambles go your way then plowing your whole life saving into the same “strategies”
  13. If I just buy everytime the stock drops 0.5% my basis will eventually be zero and I’ll have free money
  14. 3x ETFs
  15. Well, this is a semiconductor company that’s been around for decades and there’s zero reason to assume that it will suddenly break out beyond the market as a whole but they do have a new product that’s a direct competitor for existing product so its probably my moonshot
  16. XXX makes an amazing product that’s the cool new thing. I won’t focus on the fact they have $10 billion in debt and if they don’t sell more of that product than the world could ever possibly consume they’re going bankrupt by year end
  17. The market must always go up.
  18. Assuming that no one here could possibly be a stock pumper. People worry about r/hailcorporate and big uses selling their accounts to companies but surely if u/completerandothatsnewhere mentions a stock that trades two shares a day he has my best interest in mind
  19. Not realizing that people that posted here a lot and disappear are fairly likely to have lost all their money and be in some desperate situation somewhere which could easily happy to any of us
  20. The market must always go up.

The mother of all conspiracies.

April 15th, 2017

One of the most frightening theories is one of the simplest. There is no conspiracy, there is no illuminati or small group of hidden, super rich, mega powerful leaders. Everybody is just looking out for their own, and following their own beliefs.

All the travesties and pain in the world are because of that. (Source)

I think this is why so many people believe in conspiracy theories. They’re comforted by the idea that someone is in control and steering the ship, so to speak. Even if they have bad or evil intentions, at least someone is in charge.

The reality is that the world is rudderless. Even the “powerful” people can do relatively little. There’s nobody really in charge.

I’m not saying that powerful people don’t exert an enormous amount of influence or that certain groups don’t conspire in some ways to achieve ends that are less than good for mankind. All I’m saying is that, at the end of the day, they’re just people and they do the same stupid things we all do, and are subject to all our same flaws. They’re not superhuman.

My Thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election

November 10th, 2016

The DNC rigged the primaries and gave us Hillary as the Democratic front-runner.  Many Bernie Sanders voters did not appreciate this.  Suffice to say, four million less people (democrats) came in to vote for Hillary than they did in 2008 for Obama: 69.5 million people voted for Obama in 2008. Despite the increase in population and the resulting increase in the number of voters over 8 years, Hillary still only got 66 million this year.

The Republican vote did not increase significantly from 2008 to 2012 to 2016.  While 63 million people voted for Trump this year,  McCain got 59,948,323 in 2008 and Romney got 60,933,504 in 2012.  So that’s just HOW horrible Hillary Clinton was.

Gigapixels of Andromeda

November 4th, 2016

Enjoy yourself while you can.

October 15th, 2016

The Roman Empire existed for nearly two thousand years with varying ideologies.

Think about that.

Two thousand years. Each person born thinking he’s gonna be somebody. So many politicians scheming and backstabbing. So many wars.

All forgotten.

We will be forgotten too.  Water existed on Mars for billions of years. It is entirely possible there was an entire generation of civilizations that died and lived there, all ultimately forgotten and reduced to nothing but orange dirt.

Nothing matters. The Universe is indifferent. Enjoy yourself while you can.

The Parable of the Onion

June 21st, 2016

As found here:

I like to tell people about “The Parable of the Onion” in Dostoyevsky’s, “The Brothers Karamazov.” Though my recounting of the parable is somewhat embellished, its heart remains the same: We can only help ourselves by helping each other. The story goes like this:

Once upon a time there was an old woman who had died and found herself in hell. She complained to Satan that her assignment to the netherworld was a mistake.

Satan told her, “You’ve been a greedy, selfish woman all your life. Surely, this is where you belong.”

The woman thought a long time, trying to recollect some shred of altruism in her life. After several minutes she exclaimed, “Aha! I did a good deed once! I gave an onion to a beggar.”

Satan replied, “Oh, yes. That is right. You pulled an onion out of the ground in your yard and handed it (bulb, stalk, and all) to a beggar at the fence.”

At that very moment, God’s hand descended into hell, holding the onion out for the woman to grasp. Holding onto the onion with both hands, the woman found herself miraculously being pulled up and out of hell.

As she rose, to the woman’s horror, dozens of people began to grasp at her legs and ankles, and as they were pulled up along with her, yet more people grasped onto the lower-most people’s own legs and ankles, until it seemed that the bowels of hell clung like an endless chain from a single woman’s body and the onion to which she clung.

Though there was great weight tethered to the onion, the connection remained secure and God’s hand continued to lift eveyone up out of hell. Remarkably, the onion held; it did not fray.

More and more people who had previously been doomed for eternity found themselves slowly, miraculously, being raised from hell by way of the woman’s firm grasp on the onion. There were soon thousands, and after several minutes millions of people hanging from the onion.

Yet the onion held fast.

Halfway to heaven, which is a long distance up from hell, the woman looked down at the vast human chain following her.

She was angry and resentful that these people — who may have done even less good in their lives than herself — should be so easily redeemed by virtue of simply clinging to her spindly old legs. She was also afraid, and so excaimed in a great shout, “If all of you grab on to me like this, the onion will surely break and I will not get to heaven!”

So, resolving not to allow anyone to harm her chances for redemption, the woman began to kick and smash the people hanging from her legs and ankles and toes. One by one as she struck them they fell, with each loss of a handhold causing tens of thousands of people to plunge back into hell.

But with each kick — though the physical load grew lighter — the onion began to fray. And as the onion frayed, the woman, in her anger and haste, began to kick more ferociously still, thinking that it was the weight of hell’s denizens — and not her anger and selfishness — that tore at the onion.

She kicked until but one person remained clinging to her left big toe, with yet another endless chain of people dangling from him. Millions of people hung from that precious, single toe. Still, the onion held though it was severely frayed. But the woman couldn’t bear the risk of losing her only chance to join God in heaven, so she kicked at the last remaining person; and as the person lost his grip, the onion snapped, and the selfish old woman — from a great height, having made it almost all the way to heaven — fell back into hell.


December 9th, 2015

There is a special beauty to life being a means for the universe to discover itself.  But life is more than that.  It is a manifestation of consciousness.  It is a unique opportunity for the universe to perceive itself in the third dimension.

Life, then, is a form of perspective from which the universe is observable.

Within that perspective is a multiplicity of sub-perspectives.  I think of these as the differences in life experiences that every one of the seven billion of us has had.  A child in Asia, for instance, has a completely different sub-perspective than an elderly person in South America.  Our collective sub-perspectives amount to the myriad of experiences that together create the human condition.

It follows logically that the human condition is an inevitable byproduct of life as a universal perspective.

There is no more selfish a thought than to consider human life as the only universal perspective in existence.  Even in the unlikely scenario that our pale blue dot may contain the entire gamut of life as we know it in the observable universe, that is by no means an indication that we are collectively the universe’s only percipient witnesses.

Therefore, life is one of many possible universal perspectives, of which the human condition—an amalgamation of earthly sub-perspectives—is an inevitable byproduct.

Life as we know it may not be rare in the grand scheme of the universe, but it is rare enough to be scarcely scattered amidst the grand vastness of space-time.  The human condition, being a derivative of that life, is even rarer given that life as a concept is not limited to human life alone.  Thus, our sub-perspectives, being constituent parts of the human condition, are very rare in and of themselves.

Your life is rare.  Treasure every moment of it.

For those struggling to give meaning to life.

August 9th, 2015

What’s the purpose of life? My friend said, “Just find your own reason and go along with it.” I told him I already have several reasons. One is my blog post on Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot.  The second is this video (Charlie Chaplin’s speech in Great Dictator), which I saw a while ago but never thought to post it here.  Better 75 years late than never!

As one Youtuber said: WOW, what a speech! The man famous for not speaking, comes up with one of the greatest speeches ever.

How will I fulfill my purpose in life?  I don’t know exactly.  But I want to cry like Sir Nicholas Winton.  To that end, I hope this Blog will be a source of disillusionment from the medicated world of reality shows and fast food.

God… just is.

April 21st, 2015

My friend recently proposed the idea that life in the grand scheme of things might just be one big joke.  I thought my response was worth sharing:

In my opinion, all of “this” is not necessarily a “joke,” because you have to remember that whatever extra-dimensional force is responsible for “all this,” it doesn’t operate the same way we do. “It” doesn’t have a biological system that feels emotions like we do. I am more inclined to believe that the universe/multiverse/whatever-it-is is merely a limbo state of neutral apathy (not malevolent or benevolent apathy–JUST neutral limbo-apathy). A big mistake we make as humans is to try to give anthropomorphic qualities to this transcendence by saying things like “God is love. God is a dick. God is great. God is a joke.” God just is. It cannot be interpreted through biological emotion.  I think there’s something similar in Buddhism about this.

It is possible that all life, past, present and future, is a single fifth-dimensional object.

April 8th, 2015

The Possibility that All Life is a Single 5th-Dimensional Entity by Mike Blaber

The relationship between time and the perception higher-order dimensions

Example 1:  A one dimensional creature and its ability to perceive a two-dimensional object


Imagine that there is a one-dimensional creature (Walter).  He lives in a one-dimensional world (a line), and can conceive only of one-dimensional objects (i.e. something that has variable length, but no width or height).  The concepts of width and height have no meaning to Walter.




How might Walter perceive a two-dimensional object, such as a circle?  It is not fair to ask him to simply imagine a circle; being a one-dimensional creature, the idea of perceiving in two-dimensions would be an utterly foreign concept, and his one-dimensional brain may not even be capable of constructing such a reality.


However, if we passed a circle through his one dimensional world, here is how it might look to us:


Since Walter cannot see beyond his one-dimensional world, here is how the circle (a two-dimensional object) would appear as it passed through his world:


Thus, to Walter a “circle” is comprehended as something that suddenly appears as a dot, then splits into two dots that move in opposite directions equidistant to the starting point, and then move back, converging once again to a dot, and then it disappears completely.


There are various ways to pervert the little guy’s definition of a circle – we could start to insert the circle into his world and then withdraw it, we could start to insert it with an initial velocity, and then change the velocity, we could insert it at an angle, etc.  We could even be so perverse as to consistently do these different things to different one-dimensional creatures, so that each one had a different definition of what a circle was (sort of like the three blind men examining different parts of an elephant an arriving at different conclusions as to what an elephant was).


In any case, let’s not be mean, and instead, always pass the circle through at a constant velocity and normal to Walter’s world.  In this case, he (or one of his more clever friends) could develop a mathematical expression for the circle that would accurately describe the circles behavior over time, and in this way, Walter and his friends could “comprehend” what this two-dimensional object.  Thus, as far as Walter and his friends are concerned, a circle is a one-dimension object that changes over time (in this case, the property of appearing, splitting into two, moving apart at a predictable speed, stopping, moving back together at a predictable speed, and then coalescing into a single point, and the disappearing from their world entirely.


Example 2: A two-dimensional creature and its ability to perceive a three-dimensional object


Assume that Walter is a two-dimensional creature: he has length and width but no height.  Again, he has no comprehension of “height”, and it is possible that his two-dimensional brain is simply incapable of conceiving of this additional dimension.



Walter is now capable of perceiving and comprehending a circle. It can exist entirely within his world at any given instant:

How would two-dimensional Walter perceive a three-dimensional object like a hollow sphere?


Once again, we could pass it completely through his world so that he can perceive it in it’s entirety:


And to Walter it would look like this:


Thus, a three-dimensional object (sphere) can be comprehended by two-dimensional Walter as a two-dimensional object that changes over time:  to Walter, a “sphere” suddenly makes its appearance in his world as a dot which over time becomes an ever-expanding circle; this expansion slows down, stops and reverses, becomes a dot, then disappears from his world.


Example 3: Now we come to three-dimensional Walter, something we are familiar with.  He lives in a three-dimensional world and he has length, width and height:



Walter can comprehend a three-dimensional object like a sphere, it can exist entirely within his world:


How would a fourth-dimensional object appear to Walter?  We cannot draw a fourth-dimensional object; however, we can predict how such an object might look to Walter:


In this case, some fourth-dimensional object that appears to be related in some way to what we know as a sphere, suddenly appears as a dot in our world, then expands, slows down, stops, and then contracts to a dot, and then suddenly disappears.  Although it appears to change over time, it is actually a single entity (fourth-dimensional) and so the change over time in three-dimensions is the only way that we (being three-dimensional beings) can comprehend it.


Therefore, it is entirely possible that is an object in our three-dimensional world is observed to change over time (particularly if the change is observed to be a predictable change), that it is actually a single fourth-dimensional object (and understandable to us only by observing over time).  Here is one possible example of such a fourth-dimensional object:



It is possible that this person is simultaneously all these stages of life, but can only be understood by us (and him; in our three dimensional world) through the passage of time.  His appearance and disappearance in “life” marking the entrance and exit of this fourth dimensional entity through our three-dimensional world.


Example 4: A fifth dimension…


How would a fifth dimensional object appear in a fourth dimensional world?  This is too weird.  But, we could ask how a fifth dimensional object appears in a three dimensional world.  It is analogous to how a three dimensional object appears in a one dimensional world.  How would a hollow sphere (three-dimensions) appear to one-dimensional Walter?  The answer is, it depends on how the sphere is positioned as it goes through Walter’s one-dimensional world.  If just the edge or cusp of the sphere clips Walter’s world, then the sphere appears as a dot, barely separates into two points, immediately coalesces back to a dot, and disappears.  If the sphere is moved over slightly, and then passed through Walter’s one-dimensional world again, the dots appear to separate further before reversing direction, coalescing and disappearing.  So, it seems that the sphere (three-dimensions) is perceived in a one-dimensional world as change-with-time (the circle) that itself changes with time (i.e. each passage yields different behavior of the circle).  Thus, we conclude that a fifth dimensional object passing through a three-dimensional world would manifest itself as a three-dimensional object whose change with time itself changes with time.  Is there an example of this seemingly complex behavior of an object in three-dimensions?  In the case of the three-dimensional object above (i.e. a person, that clearly changes with time, and is therefore potentially a fourth dimensional object), there is:



The entity above (homo sapiens) did not exist 1 million years ago.  If humans were immutable (as a species) but changed with time (“aged”) they could conceivably have no higher complexity than four dimensions; however, in addition to individuals aging with time, the species has also changed with time.  Thus, this change with change in time is a characteristic of a fifth-dimensional object passing through (or being perceived within) a three-dimensional world.  In this case, what is the fifth-dimensional object?  It appears to be an entity that simultaneously includes the species above.  But the past extends beyond the 5 million years ago shown in the picture, thus, other precursor species are potentially included in the single fifth-dimensional object.  This would appear to include, therefore, all life.  Thus, it is possible that all life, past, present and future, is a single fifth-dimensional object.