I am struck this Thanksgiving morning that there are three precious things we each possess which we

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  1. To Rusty, First I surmise that you’re a spiteful Cowboys fan and now you question the superiority of turkey stuffing to cornbread?

    Yet I for one am grateful to discovering Epsilon Theory as I have come to truly appreciate the insight on markets AND life I get from both you and Ben (maybe especially Ben).
    Keep up anywhere near the great work you both do and I’ll continue to be a grateful member

    Happy Thanksgiving

  2. A reset of our individual- and cultural-gratitude meters - increasing our truly sincere feelings of gratitude - would be a game changer.

    My parents were big practitioners and instillers (in me) of gratitude. Sure, it’s a bit self serving coming from parents - “you don’t know how lucky you have it kid -” but having stared into the abyss of homelessness in the Great Depression as children - one’s family lost their modest home, another waited many nights to see if there’d even be food for dinner, for example - their belief in gratitude was deep and sincere.

    With three of their four parents having come through Ellis Island (and, one, in one of those amazing American meldings, able to trace her roots back to the Mayflower), they had experienced prejudice in addition to poverty, but they loved and were grateful to America, their parents and grandparents and their extended family and friends. Somehow they came out of their early hardships not bitter (on most days), but deeply grateful for the - by today’s middle-class standards - modest lifestyle and opportunities they had later in life.

    I am not at all unaware of the suffering in America or the world today, but by almost any historical measure, Americans are doing pretty darn well, overall. Hence, perhaps it is my upbringing, but I am shocked by the lack of gratitude seen so often and across such a wide-stretch of the American public.

    How that is reset I don’t know - probably by the grass-roots tending to our own garden in the Voltaire sense that Ben and Rusty advocate is the start - but a cultural shift toward a more holistic feeling of gratitude would help, well, everything.

    Rusty has his stuffing test for human acceptance, here’s mine. If you like a piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, I get it - I usually have one or two pieces today or, as leftovers, tomorrow as it’s part of the experience. But if you crave it, if you eat it not during the Thanksgiving holiday, if you deeply love it - hmm.

  3. I’m grateful that you guys decided to start this project, that I can afford to support it, and for the unambiguous superiority of cornbread dressing.

    It was awesome, I wish I could post a picture of it!

    Happy Thanksgiving to the Pack!


  4. Avatar for Kevin Kevin says:

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

    Epsilon Theory has had a significant impact on how I think about things. I read everything posted and I try to spread in my personal life the ideas and concepts I’m introduced to here. Thanks Rusty and Ben.
    I’m happy and grateful to be a part of this journey.

  5. Humility is a sufficient quality for expressing gratitude, though it is not necessary. But sincerely expressing gratitude regularly can nudge one into humility - all it takes is to remember to observe and to express thanks when warranted. So I suggest a New Year’s Resolution (not too early, is it?):

    For at least 365 days this year, I will sincerely thank someone, in person, face-to-face, for something I appreciate in them - their service or comment or blouse or shirt or (especially) smile. If I have not done this on a particular day, I will mark it as an F on my publicly visible calendar (OK, kitchen calendar is acceptable).

    In the writings of you and Ben, I sense true humility, born of thoughtful experience. For that I am today grateful.

    Larry, the Redcat

  6. Substitute “pecan” for “pumpkin” and get a whole different reaction!

  7. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    Thanks, Redcat. And I’m no pedant on the order of operations, either. I think that practiced behavior can manifest in changed motivations, too. Gratitude is a natural child of humility, but practiced gratitude can also guide us into humility exactly as you say, very wisely, I think.

  8. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    Love it! Thanks, Louis!

  9. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    Hah! I promise I don’t choose my stances because of their unpopularity! Thanks for being here, Peter!

  10. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:


    As a poster below noted, I think gratitude comes natural when we are accustomed to little, and seems to us an unnecessary and artificial thing when we have much. I think so much of the cyclical, Durantian nature of history is a direct result of the limited evolutionary impulse to develop productive responses to plenty and comfort. We don’t know how to cope with good times, and so become decadent.

    Discipline in gratitude and humility may be our strongest answer. (This happens to be one of the reasons why I think that faith remains among our best answers to these challenges, although I will not argue with those contending that there are very reasonable alternatives.)

Continue the discussion at the Epsilon Theory Forum


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