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Friday, November 7, 2014

INVESTING BASED ON SCIENCE-FICTION AUTHORS: what are the options?


I see that a certain Ayn Rand-based newsletter run by a certain smug odious bastard is still advising its subscribers to sell US equities and raise cash.

Their call is not based on any sort of economic data, freely available with superior commentary from a place like Bespoke or Bill McBride or NDD; instead, their call seems to be entirely based on a half-baked political position derived from the works of a bitter, narcissistic welfare-bum from Russia.

This got me to wondering.

Could I, myself, contribute to the diversity of the universe of politico-economic discourse, by inventing my own investment philosophy based on the works of a sci-fi author?

Who would be a good author to base my investment decisions on?


Isaac Asimov? Well, he'd probably suggest investing in robots and computers and spaceships, and the progress of man and the perfectibility of society and so on. Then again, he was a bit of an empiricist, and the whole point of this exercise is to figure out an investment strategy that requires no use of data, empiricism, reasoning or intelligent thought. So he's unfortunately out.

Robert A. Heinlein? Good guy, but I think not sufficiently differentiated from Ayn Rand to really create an impact. Plus, militaristic warrior societies have a surprisingly low productivity growth and security of capital.

Philip K. Dick? Well, now I'd have to base my investment decisions on the Gnostic theory that the entire world is an illusion created by Satan to lead people away from God's grace, and that we're actually still living in 3rd-century Rome. It's a little too radical.

GRR Martin? Um... basing investment decisions upon an ethical imperative of "rape and kill everyone you can, have regular sex with your sister, and in the end everyone dies gruesomely" would be... difficult. I mean, Lockheed Martin and GE are okay stocks and all, but....

Michael Moorcock? Bloody anarchist. Next.

JRR Tolkien? Okay, we're getting somewhere. I'm fairly certain Tolkien would advocate a market-overweight position in mead and rich cakes, which is a good idea I think. Plus the whole mound of gold in the center of a mountain thing, that'll lure in the goldbugs.


What do you think?


7 comments:

  1. "...I mean, Lockheed Martin and GE are okay stocks and all, but..."

    OK, that made me laugh out loud.

    Not SciFi, but Joseph Conrad wouldn't be a bad author to follow for stocks advice. Basically, stay the fuck away from South America and Africa.

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    1. George Orwell's "Burmese Days" would add that it's a bad idea to invest in Burma.

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  2. You know...I always had this slight suspicious that A Scanner Darkly was actually written as a parody on the junior mining industry and gold bugs in general. You know, where in the end you find yourself no better then a zombie without much, if any, understanding of what actually happened...meanwhile, those on the outside, those not concerned with it all can see very clearly where it all went wrong.

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    1. Dick was too crazy for something like that. See "VALIS".

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    2. I would argue that Valis was written late in his career after the paranoia, drugs and literary ostracism caught up with him. Before then he was generally considered prescient by the handful of people who read him.

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    3. Au contraire, VALIS was written when he finally woke up and saw what it was he was really writing about all his life.

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  3. VALIS was out there no doubt. My personal favorite crazy Dick novel (hehe) was "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch"...but still, good call on VALIS.

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