Epsilon Theory In Brief


Daily short-form pieces for those without the time (or attention span) for classic Epsilon Theory notes. Look out for regular features like the subscriber mailbag and guest contributions from within the Epsilon Theory network.

The Endemic Mindset

By Rusty Guinn | November 16, 2020 | 38 Comments

COVID-19 is endemic, and its mutations will likely be part of our lives going forward.

But there is another disease this virus has caused, and it is a disease of the mind. It is the endemic mindset. And we can eradicate it.


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A Tale of Two Cults

By Rusty Guinn | November 2, 2020 | 47 Comments

There’s a moment when the real world peeks through the narratives that surround us, and we convince ourselves that this will be the truth that frees our fellow citizens/investors/neighbors from their delusions.

But truth is only one of the necessary conditions for this kind of change. The other?


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Oh No, Here It Comes Again, That Funny Feeling

By Ben Hunt | October 27, 2020 | 58 Comments

Three weeks ago, I didn’t see a narrative path for Trump to win a turnout-based election hinging on four or five swing states.

Today I do.

It’s the same funny feeling I got in 2016, but with a twist.

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Knowledge Takes the Sword Away

By Rusty Guinn | October 16, 2020 | 36 Comments

The corruption of media by missionaries means that we now live in a world of two sets of facts. It is a world which gives us two choices: to champion our truth, or to work toward eliminating the world-of-two facts structure.

To hell with OR. Let’s choose both.

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Meta Information

By Ben Hunt | October 15, 2020 | 8 Comments

Sometimes a grift isn’t in what you say, but in the difference in what you say to different audiences.

It’s not the information. It’s the meta information.

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Hook, Line and Sinker

By Rusty Guinn | October 1, 2020 | 9 Comments

It is a literal golden age for CEOs whose talent is the creation and propagation of narratives.

Why? Because it works. And it works because we have accepted a financial and business media that has been redesigned into a cheering section.

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TLDR: The Projection Racket (Part 2)

By Rusty Guinn | September 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is a short-form summary of our long-form note The Projection Racket (Part 2), located here. While it attempts to present the most accurate picture of the arguments made, we always think that the long-form note provides the most helpful context. In any representative democracy (RD), your vote is never your full expression of political …

Read moreTLDR: The Projection Racket (Part 2)

Brave New World

By Peter Cecchini | September 23, 2020 | 2 Comments

It may be a brave new world of Davey Day Trader, but it’s not enough to convince yours truly to drink Huxley’s soma. Or the Fed’s SOMA (System Open Market Account).

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Invisible Threads: Matrix Edition

By Ben Hunt | September 9, 2020 | 9 Comments

I’m not saying that we all have to become volatility traders to survive in the market jungle today, any more than we all have to become game theorists to avoid being the sucker at the Fed’s communication policy table.

But if you’re a traditional investor whose sandbox includes big markets like the S&P 500, then you’re only disadvantaging yourself by ignoring this stuff.

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A Society of Tinkerers

By Luis Perez-Breva | September 4, 2020 | 12 Comments

We don’t need more minimally viable products.

We need more maximally viable organizations attacking big problems with a tinkerer’s mindset and a capitalist’s goals.

Guest post by Luis Perez-Breva, faculty director at MIT Innovation Teams.

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By Rusty Guinn | August 26, 2020 | 19 Comments

In a world awash with cheesing, being lawful good doesn’t mean being lawful stupid.

But for God’s sake, don’t lose your soul in the process.

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The Fujiwhara Effect

By Rusty Guinn | August 22, 2020 | 11 Comments

Citizens must be capable of holding multiple ideas in their heads at once.

We can believe that the aims and intents of political powers are not equal while also focusing explicitly on the misuse of the tools of narrative to manipulative the populace by BOTH.

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Why Publish Academic Research?

By Ben Hunt & Rusty Guinn | August 17, 2020 | 3 Comments

There are many institutional gatekeepers. There are many powerful guilds and socially embedded practices that seek to limit our voices and ideas. Are academic journals the worst of these? Not by a long shot. But they ARE one of these.

This is how we change the world. This is how we unleash our voices and ideas. Not by attacking these institutional gatekeepers from the top-down with yet another institutional gatekeeper, but by making the institutional gatekeeper irrelevant through our bottom-up, decentralized actions.

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Can’t Fight This Feeling

By Rusty Guinn | August 12, 2020 | 11 Comments

No, I don’t think there’s a bubble. No, I don’t think a crash is coming. But when Mark Cuban says this reminds him of 1999 and 2000, he’s right.

And the reason worries me more than either of those things.

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The Mountain and the Molehill

By Rusty Guinn | August 4, 2020 | 22 Comments

There ARE real threats to both the rule of law and our cherished capitalist system today.

But you won’t find either on the streets of Portland or Seattle.

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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Market

By Peter Cecchini | August 3, 2020 | 5 Comments

If you’ve never seen the 1963 comedy “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, do yourself a favor and check it out. Phil Silvers and Spencer Tracy and Ethel Merman and Jonathan Winters? Yes, please.

ET contributor Pete Cecchini remembers. Better yet, it’s the perfect foil for figuring out a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Market.

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That’s the Thing I’m Sensitive About!

By Rusty Guinn | July 29, 2020 | 2 Comments

Like all abstractions, extremes can be misleading. They can also be revealing. Using extreme times to learn what our leaders and institutions are sensitive about is a critical, unmissable lesson.

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Sideways: Observations on Pain and Privilege

By Ben Hunt | June 29, 2020 | 25 Comments

A sideways moment is when your life becomes a probabilistic exercise, where you are at the mercy of one of two merciless social institutions: hospitals or the police.

My life went sideways a week ago, and here’s what I learned about pain and privilege.

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The Anxiety Algorithm: An interview with Adam Julian Goldstein

By Neville Crawley | June 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Epsilon Theory contributor Neville Crawley is back with an interview of Adam Julian Goldstein, discussing Adam’s fascinating new work on anxiety. If, like me, you have the entrepreneurial bug (and it is a bug, not a feature), this is a must read!

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The Portnoy Top

By Peter Cecchini | June 15, 2020 | 3 Comments

Written during last week’s sell-off, ET Contributor Peter Cecchini coins a phrase – The Portnoy Top.

What do you get when you combine Barstool Sports and Printer Goes Brrr?

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