Friday, 23 October 2009

Friday ramble

Sorry, looks like the regular Friday morning bunch of links isn’t going to appear here today. Too short of time.  In other words, it’s just Twitter only. 

So head on over to my Twitter page, where you can read all the links that normally appear here on a Friday, and you can print them out on the office printer and take ‘em home to read on the weekend.

Because I know that’s what you do, right?  :-)


  1. In your Twitter page it says:

    Should Insider Trading Be a Crime?

    My view on this, is that it should be a crime. WHY? Because the company info that article mentioned isn't really shared with all the investors who part own the company. This amounts to stealing. The info is only used by the executives and not being distributed to all (including Ma & Pa) who are owners. The law should protect the right of the other owners from being exploited by a few.

    Let's get this straight. Can you find me a case of where allegation of insider trading, where the company executives distribute the company private info to its wider shareholders including everyone (Ma & Pa) ? I bet that you would find none. However to claim that insider trading is private property ignores the rights of the small time shareholders and that's what you're missing.

  2. How does this Twitter carry-on work then?

    I assume this sub-140 character nugget of wisdom is part of a longer conversation.

    "Looks to me like a three-year old knows more about the world around them than someone who's just read Karl Popper."

    Is there any way of knowing (or even finding a statement with high verisimilitude about) what comment or link this is in response to?

  3. @Bernard: One thing about Twitter is that you can't edit it afterwards.

    What I should have said was "Looks to me like a three-year old knows more about the world right in front of them than someone who's just read Karl Popper."

    And I say that because at three, a child has made perceptions, formed concepts, and made some firm conclusions about what they've seen. They've concluded, pretty much, that existence exists, that entities act according to their nature, and that every time (for the most part) they rip the scab off their new coke can there will be something inside they can drink.

    But someone who's just read Karl Popper or David Hume any other of that ilk -- if they've made the mistake of taking them seriously -- couldn't even do that much. If they took them seriously, they wouldn't even know enough to expect beer when they open a bottle that's full of it.

    They might "conjecture" it -- they might have that idea as "a useful fiction" but that's about all.

  4. @ Bernard
    The naive realist simply accepts the fact that some buildings fall down, the curious seeker wonders why things happen the way they do, and whether figuring things out may be helpful in some way.

  5. @Monsieur: You're in error.

    The "naive realist" observes there are buildings, which (all things being equal) will still be there tomorrow.

    The Popperian isn't so sure . . .

  6. I understand what you mean about extreme scepticism.

    My question, befitting a Friday afternoon, was much less deep than that :-)

    There was no link in your tweet (this sounds like the bloody Jabberwocky) so I assumed your comment was a reply to someone else. My question was: in Twitter is there any way of reconstructing a conversation to work out WTF's going on or is the whole thing like a library that's been shoved through a shredder and chucked out the window?

  7. The "naive realist" observes there are buildings, which (all things being equal) will still be there tomorrow.
    The only way the "naive realist" can assume this is by induction.

  8. Indeed. But a three-year-old would simply call it "bleeding obvious."

  9. A black-swan event might occur and those houses won't be there tomorrow.

  10. Mr Fisi, read this:

    As the brilliant Mr Boudreax says, insider trading protects investors.

    Prohibitions on insider trading prevent the market from adjusting as quickly as possible to changes in the demand for, and supply of, corporate assets. The result is prices that lie.

    And when prices lie, market participants are misled into behaving in ways that harm not only themselves but also the economy writ large.


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