We took — and still take — pride in writing about ideas that could not be found on Google. Getting indexed was a great feeling. But then search engine optimization happened, and the fun sport became big-buck soccer. It was not about what content you created, it was more about how well-tagged and searched and researched you were. But time is a strange entity; it keeps moving. This is why cycles occur, growth and decay take place and level-playing fields get recreated.
The philosophy of war is linked to psychology, timing, and calculation of chance. This can help both in life and markets. We look at Sun Tzu’s timeless work from the perspective of life and markets.
A recent Harvard Business Review article co-authored by psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman gives a checklist approach to decision making at an institutional level to avoid biases. According to the article, the potential for distortions is so high that knowing biases were not enough to eliminate these. The authors illustrate the reflective and intuitive thinking process. In intuitive thinking, we don’t focus on doing things, we just do them. Intuitive is good at making contextual stories. This is when cognitive failures happen, as there is no way of knowing when they are happening. According to the authors, talking doesn’t eliminate biases. A more methodical approach is needed. A study observed that eliminating biases achieved 7 percentage points higher returns.
The idea of patterns and order is used conveniently by behavioral finance to challenge conventional economics. But the question of why that order exists has not been researched.
If 3D Time and 3D Space were interchangeable, we have a unified theory of science which is easier to comprehend than the complex string theory. The recent work on the possibility of multiverse rather than universe brings us closer to understanding the cosmos and the closer we get to understanding cosmos, the closer we get to understanding Time. The Big Bang mystery of expansion and contraction has been challenged by a new theory which uses dark matter to explain why the big bang may not contract but expand forever.
Ultimately the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading issue questions whether information, like price, is inefficient.
I was working on a presentation this week and the time allocated to me was 18 minutes. It’s always tough to simplify the message. I allocated some additional hours to fine-tune my message. It was not a coincidence that I wanted to write on intertemporal choices (current decisions impacting options available in future), was speaking on time and was struggling with 18 minutes. This was a personal choice. But there are choices that we make in the context of time. And how our decisions change with the context is something that we as a society don’t comprehend well. People tend to ignore (or at least underweight) information about the future consequences of decisions.