Which is harder for you folks?

Discussions about personal psychology for the individual trader.
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NeueZiel
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Which is harder for you folks?

Post by NeueZiel » Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:09 pm

To learn something new from scratch or to unlearn something and reprogram yourself to start over to learn again?

For me it would be the latter because of having biases. To learn something which I think I already know is tougher since there are many psychological cognitive roadblocks in the unconscious as well the conscious.

That is why personally it is more important to know subjects in psychology and having a flexible open-minded philosopy to overcome such mental reprogramming.

edward kim
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Post by edward kim » Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:13 pm

From an intuitive standpoint, biases are so much harder for me to overcome - I often succumb to the "Urban Legend" syndrome, and I used to have a bad habit of believing the National Enquirer and all old wives' tales.

Logically speaking, learning something new is a one-step process, whereas reprogramming is a two-step process (unlearn, and then learn something"new".)

From when we were all small, our parents biased us with everything they thought was right, because it worked for them. But that doesn't mean it is what was good for us.

Edward
Last edited by edward kim on Sat Sep 13, 2003 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Howard Brazzil
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Learning

Post by Howard Brazzil » Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:48 pm

I have vivid memories of my childhood violin teacher's instructions.

"Every time you play a passage wrong," he would say, "you have to play
it right 10 times to unlearn the mistake." His advise on learning a piece
of music was for the student to listen to a good recording of it over and
over, and learn by playing it very slowly at first, and gradually bringing
it up to speed. In retrospect he was right, and his advice was solid.

This is a specific instance, though, and should not be confused with the
perfectly acceptable and unavoidable process of going forth in life, making
mistakes, and learning from them!

- Howard

Sir G
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Post by Sir G » Sat Sep 13, 2003 10:33 pm

This would be a great poll question!

I believe it is also the unlearning. But I think you can actually use this belief to your benefit.

It shows you why it is so important to try to make the right decisions in the first place. From the folks you deal with outside the arena of trading to the ones inside the arena. To the quality of data you test on to the quality of your platform. From the quality of your testing to the quality of your trading to the quality of your book keeping. And never forget your inner balance and desires.

It is so easy to misdirect yourself, but it is much harder making your way back onto the proper trail.

It is so important to have the thing won, before you even begin. And this has most everything to do with not putting yourself into situations where it will be costly to undo what was done.
Which is harder for you folks? To learn something new from scratch or to unlearn something and reprogram yourself to start over to learn again?
So how does this post tie in? ...... before you begin the learning process, investigate and ponder to be sure that each topic is worth the investment in learning it. This question has crystallized the fact that there is a definite risk in learning. Learning isn't always rewarding.

The data quality issue is a timely one to use as an example. You just can't plunk down money and assume it is everything that you expect it should be, you need to not just ask questions... but to ponder what questions to ask. Then when you receive the data, test it.. but don't just test it, ponder what kind of tests will flush out any errors.

Don't leave any stones left unturned. While the buying and selling is a very easy thing to do.. Never forgot how competitive it really is. Don't be lulled into underestimating the competition. Remember only 5-10% will be net profitable.

Gordon

seanmclaughlin
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Post by seanmclaughlin » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:54 pm

I can certainly say, with personal experience, that Trading firms definitely believe it's harder to train somebody with experience (to unlearn their past mistakes) than to train somebody fresh off the street with no trading experience.

Since moving to Chicago to seek opportunities in trading, my experience has been the number one factor in firms deciding to look the other way even though I pass all their tests.

Do I sound bitter?

Sean

NeueZiel
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Post by NeueZiel » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:53 pm

Sean...

Hmm.. May I suggest The 48 Laws of Power and The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene to your arsenal? Maybe it is not that you know too much but that you have shown all your cards too early in the game? Like you I have struggled with looking for employment in this industry which was when I graduated straight out of college a couple of years ago. Many times throughout life since the days of the ivory towers of academia, that you have to manipulate the situation to your advantage and win with the cards you are dealt with. So to sum it all up, everything is on a need to know basis and what you don't know can't hurt you. You just have to keep fighting and moving and to quote Ayn Rand, "Never let the hero in you perish and what is real can be yours."


Good luck to you and keep fighting. I hope you see that one more "failure" is actually one more step closer to what you want.
Last edited by NeueZiel on Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Nathan
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Post by Nathan » Mon Sep 15, 2003 11:41 pm

is it easier, "To learn something new from scratch or to unlearn something and reprogram yourself to start over to learn again?"

The question seems to imply that the second path is more difficult. I generally would agree. however, there are difficulties.

One such is that when you set out, it can be difficult to assess if you are on the "right" track, or learning something that at a later date will require "reprogramming". Often, this seems to be visible only with hindsight. I agree with Sir G, preperation is key. All my successes have their foundation in preperation, and many of my failures were do to a lack of planning. however, at times an exessive focus on the right track or learning the right things may prevent experimentation.

a key to discovery may be the philosophy you take to learning. Do you have an absolutist view, or are you adaptive? Do you view life as a continual experiment, or do you long for when everything will become static? (ie, you have found the "winning" formula, ect) I have found that the more I view life as a continuing experiment, a path where i am likely to make frequent errors, the more open I have been to "reprogramming" and changing my viewpoint. These things are not always easy. I personally feel like I have fallen on my face quite a few times, had to "reprogram" myself, ect. but what was the reality? I recieved feedback that let me know I needed to redirect myself. I am learning that the less i "judge", the more open i am to both learning and relearning things.

One thing I noted about george soros, is that he is a person with great convictions, yet his philosophy is all about discovering his own errors, such that it is not threatining to his ego. In fact, he seems to take pride in his ability to admit errors and redirect himself. How Valuable is this bit of mental "programming??"

Sean, with regards to your comments about trading firms... People will believe about you what they want to believe. At this moment, they may view you as being in the class of people they call "difficult to train". If they have misjudged you, to some degree it is their problem as much as yours. However, only you can determine what is in fact the truth. One of the great things about trading is that ultimately, you can create your own success. It may be hard landing any specific job.. but as they say there is more than one way to skin a cat. if the front door is closed, keep your eyes peeled for both a side door, and even a back door! :D
Nathan

Sir G
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Post by Sir G » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:46 am

Nathan wrote:Do you view life as a continual experiment, or do you long for when everything will become static? (ie, you have found the "winning" formula, ect) I have found that the more I view life as a continuing experiment, a path where i am likely to make frequent errors, the more open I have been to "reprogramming" and changing my viewpoint.
I think that is the ticket.

If you begin to learn something and burn it into your mind as the end all be all, it will, by the nature of its placement be something that will be clinged to and need to be unlearned. On the other hand if you learn things with an open mind, it simply becomes a work in progress.

Trading is also a work in progress.

It is the accumulation of your trades that matter, not the NEXT trade or the last trade you just took.

Gordon

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Post by Kiwi » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:02 am

When I saw NeueZiel's recommendation I laughed. But when I was in Borders today I looked up the 48 Laws of Power. Move over Niccolo Machiavelli!

"The Prince" has serious competition for today’s corporate warrior or courtesan. I now own a copy of "The 48 Laws of Power" and look forward to a great read and being better prepared should I ever reenter a multinational corporation. 8)

Look it up Sean. Thanks NZ.

John

Sir G
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Post by Sir G » Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:12 pm

Hi Sean-

A few months ago I recall a couple of posts with/by Damian that kinda applies to your situation. After reading one of Damian’s posts I went to the book store and on table next to me was a book called.. Don't send a resume.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ingblox-20

It is a pretty quick read. In my eyes it is analogous to trading where you research the shop you want to work for and find ways to make yourself valuable to them.

Also, consider working for free for two weeks. And if after two weeks "the Man" doesn't think you can add value to his operation, then you agree to part company. It's worth a shot and it would communicate to the employer that you are confident and you are willing to accept a personal risk.

I recall reading in Market Wizards, that Ed Seykota took something akin to a mail room position just to get his foot in the door.

Just thoughts, that I hope might help.

Gordon

PS. Sorry Damian as I think I now realize I forgot to tell you about the book! :?

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