Sunday, January 4, 2009

What Have You Changed Your Mind About in 2009?

What Have You Changed Your Mind About?

What have you changed your mind about? This year’s Edge question is the preceding one, and John Brockman gets answers (many of them interesting and/or unpredictable) from a long list of people, including scientists, economics, psychiatrists, writers, etc.

(From Paul Kedrosky Infectious Greed Blog)

* Whether there are institutions that are too big to fail (No)
* Whether phones need keyboards (No)
* Why TV exists (I don’t know anymore)
* Whether bond yields can go negative (Yes, obviously)
* The important of ignorance (Vastly underrated)
* Whether economics matters (Maybe)
* Mountain-biking (Not just for wahoos who don’t ski)
* The role of contrarianism (Important, but entirely misunderstood too)
* Whether blogs matter (More than I thought they did)
* Whether Twitter is any use (Yes)
* Whether AM radio is a wasteland (Yes, but still matters)
* Large data sets (Way more dangerous than I thought they were)
* Reading books on screen (Totally doable)
* Venture capital (Much closer to unnecessary)
* Hedge funds (I’ve gone from it being mostly about chance to it being almost entirely about chance)
* Sincerity (Under-rated)
* Market valuation (Historical numbers matter only minimally)
* Technical analysis (It works until it doesn’t, but it can work)
* Agnosticism (It’s a cop-out. I’m an atheist.)
* Warren Buffett (Smart, but also the ultimate market limit order that will one day be disastrously taken out)
* Babies (I now smile inanely at other people’s)
* China recession (Better than 50% chance it happens, up from near zero)
* Vanity Fair (Worth reading for more than the pictures)
* Eschatological leanings (Rational response to universal entropy)
* Current account deficits (Hugely important, but can last far longer under unique circumstances)
* Wholesale funding model (Works until it doesn’t)
* Debt (Even more necessary more dangerous than I thought it was)
* 50-year Treasury (Has to happen)
* Lessons from Japan bubble/decline (It is a cop-out to say they didn’t try hard enough)
* Marx (Funnier than I thought he was)
* Bonds and bond market (Baffled why I was under-allocated for so long)
* Professional sports (Gone from being a waste of time to a _complete_ waste of time with looming bankruptcies)
* This time it’s different (Sometimes it really is different)
* Whether oil can get to $200/$20 again in 12 months (Yes and yes)

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