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Victor Niederhoffer



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Preliminary Thoughts on Evolution and S-x

Tuesday! What a day, with moves through the old lows, moves through the old highs, a recapitulation of the month of May, finally ending exactly where the month of June ended, enough to get all system players pointed the wrong way, and unloose all weak holders from their positions. It's a day that recaps the entire ontogeny of the market booms and busts over the past year with Nasdaq, for example, below its low of a year ago, and moving up a few percent from that low in the last few hours. Counting on key reversal and wide days of this nature, and moves after series of reversals, and runs now of up 3:30 to closes as the giants shift their strategy to early morning feasting on bulls, is in order.

Yes, all days in the market are different. And some days have more ability to keep the market going and keep the flow of energy in the system in balance than others. But unless these days can reproduce, repeat, and continue onto the next generation they are lost for ever. It would be so nice if, like the aspen tree, they could just reproduce by cloning, with exactly similar moves each day. But then the public would get wise, and the fixed and slow moving would not be able to lose all their money to those with a more permanent perspective.

Tuesday elicits thoughts on why we spend so much time and energy on courtship and mate selection and in the structures that enable reproduction to take place. It happens because we can get the best of variability in the population and engender children that can handle new situations better. The courtship the market displays attracts new entrants into the market to give romance and money, but like courtship in the peacock, it also makes them more visible and more liable to attack by predators.

The predators like to attack when there is too much downness, although they are old now and often find it hard to get out of their stately mansions. Canes were taken out by old lions and others with a buy and hold mentality Tuesday, and I saw them walking slowly back to their stately mansions late in the morning. Many attractive younger players arenít overly enthused by the old codgers who take out their canes on such days, but the fact that these old people have so much wealth at their disposal often enables them to find a fit.

A day like Tuesday fuses so many different kinds of activity, the s-x of downness, the s-x of upness, the s-x of reversalist versus trendist, that one develops a deep appreciation of the hybrid vigor that the market displays. The fact that we have such a day, that markets like this can be created, is a testimony to the importance of s-xual selection in maintaining the tangled bank that allows us to provide the proper flexibility, and liquidity, for the multifarious parties to the fray.

And yes, we can all take comfort that death is relatively swift, while not entirely painless in such situations.

Dr. Janice Dorn replies:

Thou shalt not be aware. It is a mantra for many, and herds are composed of many. People know that they are losing or panicking but it means little at the time, since they are -- in that moment of panic -- almost entirely old-brain driven. In order to get to awareness, one must leave the old brain and ascend to higher cortical centers. One must accept complete responsibility. The role of these higher centers in decision making is, in a large number of cases and in the heat of battle, over-ridden, as fear is stronger than greed and wanting out now reflects that the pain is no longer tolerable. Awareness of some variety, may (or may not) come later -- in the sense of remorse, self-deprecation or dysphoria. In this respect, it is not so much awareness in the true sense of the word, rather it is emotion which may or may not lead to contemplation and acceptance of personal responsibility for one's actions.

Dr. Lee Shulman adds:

Awareness is extremely important to good functioning in any area of endeavor. However, two factors which interfere with awareness are avoidance and denial. When life is not going well, either financially or emotionally, there is a strong tendency toward not wanting to know and fear of taking action.

J. T. Holley responds:

These words and thoughts remind me of words from Bataille's Eroticism and the players you mentioned above:

Animal s-xuality does make for disequilibrium and this disequilibrium is a threat to life, but the animal does not know that .... Eroticism is the s-xual activity of man to the extent that it differs from the s-xual activity of animals. Human s-xual activity is not necessarily erotic but erotic it is whenever it is not rudimentary and purely animal.

These are some extracts from Eroticism that have the same theme and even more importantly Bataille's look at the "comfort that death is relatively swift, while not entirely painless in such situations" that you mentioned.

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