Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Statistically Insignificant Wall Street Journal

In my previous post I have been a little unfair. I took a potshot at Wall Street Journal without actually quoting Fooled By Randomness. So here goes ...

On rare occasions when I boarded the 6:42 train to New York I observed with amazement the hordes of depressed business commuters (who seemed to prefer to be elsewhere) studiously buried in The Wall Street Journal, apprised of the minutiae of companies that, at the time of writing now, are probably out of business. Indeed it is difficult to ascertain whether they seemed depressed because they were reading the newspaper, or if depressed people tend to read the newspaper, or if people who are living outside their generic habitat both read the newspaper and look sleepy and depressed. But while early on in my career such focus on noise would have offended me intellectually, as I would have deemed such information as too statistically insignificant for the derivation of any meaningful conclusion, I currently look at it with delight. I am happy to see such mass-scale idiotic decision making, prone to overreaction in their postperusal investments orders - in other words I currently see in the fact that people read such material an insurance for my continuing business of option trading against the fools of randomness.

Do you still want to read The Wall Street Journal?

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