They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is, But It Do

Oscar Gamble

They don’t think it be like it is, but it do.

– Oscar Gamble (1949 – 2018)

I’ve always loved this beautiful line from Oscar Gamble – who, sadly, passed away earlier this year. I referenced it in the first of my Things that Matter series last year, a note called Whom Fortune Favors.  The gist of it is: when we are active in a specialized field for a very long time, or when we have a highly technical understanding of a narrow field, we often miss what should be obvious truths about that subject staring us in the face.

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Notes from the Road: Bayes and the Boreen


I believe in American exceptionalism. Unironically. Still.

Millions of men and women over many centuries uprooted themselves from established lives of plenty and poverty alike. They bought passage or sold a portion of their futures for passage under indentures. They crossed the perilous Atlantic – and later, the Pacific – to start new lives as strangers in a strange land. Others were stripped of their freedom and sent here against their will. When they or their descendants were finally freed, a generation of millions were forced to start new lives among those who had enslaved them, who had thought them less than human.

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It Was You, Charley

Charley: Look, kid, I— how much you weigh, son? When you weighed one hundred and sixty-eight pounds, you were beautiful. You coulda been another Billy Conn, and that skunk we got you for a manager, he brought you along too fast.

Terry: It wasn’t him, Charley, it was you. Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and you said, “Kid, this ain’t your night. We’re going for the price on Wilson.” You remember that? “This ain’t your night!” My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors on the ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palookaville. You was my brother, Charley. You shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn’t have to take them dives for the short-end money.

Charley: Oh, I had some bets down for you. You saw some money.

Terry: You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. Let’s face it. It was you, Charley.

— On the Waterfront (1954)

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The Acrobat and the Fly

Many of the memes that drive our political behaviors inherently push us toward Competitive Games and tribalism. Resisting these memes means losing both arguments and credibility – and we have to be willing to do both.

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The Many Moods of Macro

Part 3 of the multi-part Three-Body Alpha series, introduced in Rusty’s recent Investing with Icarus note. The Series seeks to explore how the increasing transformation of fundamental and economic data into abstractions may influence strategies for investing — and how it should influence investors accessing them.

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Investing with Icarus

The allure of a fundamental truth is powerful. Investors are hungry for that kind of clarity about markets, but it doesn’t exist. In the first in a series, Rusty discusses a framework for investing in a time of Icarus.

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What is it, really?

The #1 question investors ought to ask of a financial services company trying to sell them something is: “What is it, really?” If you don’t know what you’re investing in, you’re liable to end up eating a lot of crunchy frogs.

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