Epsilon Theory In Brief

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.

It’s All True

By Ben Hunt | February 2, 2024 | 23 Comments

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

It’s All True (Eight Thoughts on Justin Mohn)

By Ben Hunt | February 2, 2024 | 23 Comments

Eight thoughts that I can’t reconcile about about Justin Mohn, the 32-year-old in Levittown, Pennsylvania who murdered his father, cut off his head, and made a YouTube video showing off his trophy and saying he did it because his father, who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, was part of the “Biden regime” and was a “traitor to his country”.

Breaking News #14: Harvard Material

By Harper Hunt | February 1, 2024 | 9 Comments

Harvard has some of the most stringent admission standards of any university. Most people will never have the opportunity to receive a degree from this elite institution. But that doesn’t mean you can’t obtain your “graduate certificate” in fields like Museum Studies, Social Justice and Digital Storytelling all for the bargain price of $12,880 from the Harvard Extension School. Of course, Harvard won’t accept these credits in its main programs and you can’t get any federal loans for it, but you can tell your friends that you attended one of the world’s elite institutions. In this episode, we discuss how things got to the point in our higher education system where programs like this exist and what can be done to fix it. We also cover the declining narrative of electric vehicles, the challenge of measuring inflation, Vivek Ramaswamy’s master plan, 90s alternative music and a lot more.

Breaking News #13: The Curious Case of Claudine Gay

By Harper Hunt | January 18, 2024 | 0 Comments

Claudine Gay recently resigned as President of Harvard due to allegations of plagiarism. But the story behind that is far more important than the headline itself and gets at much bigger issues within the academic world, In the episode, we dig into those details. We also discuss what the recently launched ETFs mean for the future of Bitcoin, why attacks of hedge fund managers based on the carried interest deduction are misplaced, whether a soft landing is possible and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Non-Linguistic Inflation Framing in the Wall Street Journal

By Ben Hunt | January 11, 2024 | 17 Comments

We do a lot of work here to understand how the media frames issues linguistically, but we haven’t done much to see how that carries over in graphical narrative representations. Would the same patterns we see in the WSJ’s words be represented in the WSJ’s pictures?

Oh yes.

“Yay, College!”

By Ben Hunt | January 4, 2024 | 13 Comments

Every once in a very great while, the direct beneficiaries of a yay-something narrative construction overplay their hand so egregiously, embarrass themselves so publicly, reveal their mediocrity so clearly, that the common knowledge propping up the yay-something narrative collapses.

This is the breaking of “Yay, College!”.

Breaking News #12: The Aggrieved Trump 2024 Narrative

By Harper Hunt | January 4, 2024 | 0 Comments

The news about the election has been heating up recently. But it unfortunately has not revolved around the process of people voting to determine the outcome. The combination of Donald Trump’s legal issues and efforts to remove him from the ballot in blue states have dominated the recent election coverage. In this episode, we tackle both of these issues and how they are playing out in narrative world. We also discuss the reporting around the recent ceremony in Iran to mark the anniversary of the death of Qasem Soleimani, why S&P 500 yearly forecasts still exist and what we can learn from Rick Rubin. We also all offer our New Year’s resolutions for 2024.

Breaking News #11: Women and Risk: A Wall Street Narrative

By Harper Hunt | December 21, 2023 | 2 Comments

It is no secret that women are underrepresented in the finance industry. That is especially true with respect to the “risk-taking” roles that people tend to associate with a career on Wall Street. While there are many reasons fort that, one of the primary ones lies in the stories we have been told in the media about women in finance. In this episode, we dig into those stories, how they influence us and how they also may offer us a potential solution to the problem. We also discuss the recent college president testimony in front of congress, Joe Biden’s tweets about inflation, the amazing story of the creator of Barbie and a lot more.

I Got You Fam

By Ben Hunt | December 19, 2023 | 12 Comments

Last week, Jay Powell told you that the Fed intends to cut interest rates next year, not because they must, but because they can.

But inflation is a bird that always comes home to roost. And when it does, we will look back at Powell’s Christmas 2023 “I got you fam” pivot as a BFD in the Great Unmooring.

The End is My Beginning

By Sir Steven Wilkinson | December 18, 2023 | 1 Comment

Sir Steven Wilkinson returns home to Lancashire to say goodbye (?) to his father. There’s no true conversation to be had, only fragments to be gleaned, which will have to be enough. Tick-tock, everyone. Tick-tock.

Cursed Knowledge #26: Singin’ in the Rain

By Harper Hunt | December 14, 2023 | 2 Comments

Movie musicals are a Hollywood staple. A spectacle of dance, emotion, and music. Proving which Hollywood stars are actors only and which are true triple threats. But it turns out a lot of our favorite classics have been keeping some pretty big secrets. Including who’s really singing.

Breaking News #10: The Story of Generative AI | Bringing the Power of Discovery Back to the People

By Harper Hunt | December 6, 2023 | 5 Comments

Generative AI has the power to become one of the most significant innovations any of us will see in our lifetimes. In fact, it may already be there. In this episode, we discuss the impact of this new technology on all of us and the world we live in,. We talk about what the technology is, how it works, the risks associated with it and its potential to shift the power of search and discovery from the hands of big tech companies to everyday people. We also discuss Ben’s first reader context on Twitter, whether the Rock could win a presidential election, the role of major universities in our society and a lost, but now found Beatles song.

Cursed Knowledge #25: Truffle Hunting

By Harper Hunt | December 1, 2023 | 3 Comments

Truffles are well known to be one of the rarest, and most expensive, delicacies available. What’s not known is the cutthroat world of truffle hunting. Where it’s not uncommon to see fraud, theft, sabotage, and even murder.

Argentina Leaps

By Ben Hunt | November 22, 2023 | 23 Comments

The election of Javier Milei as Argentina’s president is a classic Great Unmooring event. Don’t get me wrong – I am totally rooting for the guy and I am not saying this is a Bad Thing TM. In fact, I think Milei is absolutely right to take a flamethrower to the Argentine central bank and entrenched public sector. But it is a profound unmooring all the same, not just for Argentina but for the world.

Breaking News #9: Hold My Beer

By Harper Hunt | November 22, 2023 | 1 Comment

With primary season getting into full swing, there is a lot going on in the political world. Candidates are taking things up a notch with their aggressive tweets and comments to try to stay relevant as a Trump vs. Biden election seems more likely every day. And Trump and Biden themselves seem happy to sit back and stay out of the fray while enjoying their leads in the polls. In this episode, we break down the current state of election 2024. We discuss whether the primaries matter anymore and how things are playing out in narrative world. We also cover why inflation may not have been as low as it seemed in the most recent CPI report, whether Jack’s pivot on Jared Kushner is warranted and the benefits of keeping a personal archive.

Cursed Knowledge #24: Hollywood Accounting

By Harper Hunt | November 17, 2023 | 1 Comment

We know that Hollywood is a multibillion dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. So then why do so many studios report that their movies failed? Especially when most of these movies are incredibly popular and by all accounts should be financially successful. Well turns out Hollywood has some tricks up their sleeves and, as The Producers taught us, under the right circumstances you can make more money with a flop than a hit.

Breaking News #8: When Narrative Doesn’t Matter | The Israeli Strategy of Total War

By Harper Hunt | November 9, 2023 | 19 Comments

People traditionally look at war as something that is fought on a battlefield. And that is certainly true. But it is also fought in the world of narrative. The stories that are told by both the combatants in a war and other parties outside the war with a vested interest in its outcome can play a major role in how it plays out. In this episode, we look at the current Israel Hamas war through a narrative lens and how that is impacting the conflict.

Cursed Knowledge #23: Mega Disasters

By Harper Hunt | November 2, 2023 | 1 Comment

Earthquakes, storms, volcanos, oh my. It seems the earth is always trying to kill us one way or another. These are dangerous powerful spectacles that can literally reshape the world. It’s understandable that we’re so fascinated by them. But why aren’t we afraid of them?

The Rick Rubin Of Advice: How To Have A Creative Second Act

By Matt Zeigler | October 30, 2023 | 21 Comments

The weirdest question I was ever asked, maybe in my entire life, was, “Can you make this sound more yellow?” The weirdest answer I’ve ever given to the weirdest question was, “Yes.” I replay that conversation in my head all of the time. There’s a perfectly good and teachable reason I was able to answer it. But to teach you that magic trick, we have to talk about Rick Rubin.

Why You Need A Personal Archive And How To Start One

By Matt Zeigler | October 27, 2023 | 13 Comments

A personal archive is a means for staying connected with the world and ourselves at the same time. It’s a simple yet life-changing way of seeing the world and your place in it.