Time for a BS detector – The Property Chronicle
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Time for a BS detector

The Fund Manager

In engineering, noise is a disturbance around a signal and engineers have become good at extracting signals from the noise.  In investing, noise comes in many forms and actions are determined by noise, signals or a combination of both.  Some would argue that the vast majority of actions are the result of a response to noise and noise traders make it their job.  But sometimes noise is difficult to disentangle from a third layer which doesn’t trouble the engineer, namely bullshit (or, more politely, BS) and BS can be a powerful driver of actions too.  We all know it is out there but why is there so much of it around?  Harry Frankfurt argues that:

“Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person’s obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic exceed his knowledge of that topic.”  There is also “…a widespread conviction that it is the responsibility of a citizen in a democracy to have opinions about everything.” 

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