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Mailbag: Life in Trumpland

Posted on March 6, 2017

The best part about this job, other than being recognized in random bars by 50-year old financial advisors who are always good to buy me a drink (hey, you take your celebrity where you can), is the correspondence with readers. I began writing Epsilon Theory 3+ years ago from a pretty dark place, and it’s […]

Essence of Decision

Posted on September 16, 2016

The essence of ultimate decision remains impenetrable to the observer — often, indeed, to the decider himself. ― John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) “The Manhattan Projects” by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra (©Image Comics) I have found that the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want […]

Crisis Actors and a Reichstag Fire

Posted on July 26, 2016

Man in Bar: Tomorrow, I’m gonna be a hero. Gideon: I’m sorry?  Man in Bar: You may just be a patsy, but you’re an important one. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met a bigger crisis actor than you before. … This is for our country! [Man in Bar shoots Gideon in neck, killing […]

When Narratives Go Bad

Posted on July 7, 2016

How many things served us yesterday as articles of faith, which today are fables for us? – Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays (1580) That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that […]

Pressure and Time

Posted on June 7, 2016

Red: [narrating] In 1966, Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with […]

Who’s Being Naïve, Kay?

Posted on May 24, 2016

All great literature is one of two stories: a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town. – Leo Tolstoy (1826 – 1910) Satan:    Dream other dreams, and better! – Mark Twain, “The Mysterious Stranger” (c. 1900) Twain spent 11 years writing his final novel, “The Mysterious Stranger”, but never finished it. […]

Hobson’s Choice

Posted on March 16, 2016

If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation. – Don Draper, Mad Men: “Love Among the Ruins” (2009) Dalek: The Dalek stratagem nears completion. The fleet is almost ready. You will not intervene. The Doctor: Oh really? Why’s that, then? Dalek: We have your associate. You will obey or she will be exterminated. […]

The China Narrative That Really Matters

Posted on January 7, 2016

I’m a China bull, let’s get that out of the way first. But like anything connected with the global industrial and commodity complex today, from Emerging Markets to MLPs to oil prices, it doesn’t matter what the Truth with a capital T might be regarding the real world economic or business fundamentals. The story is […]