Epsilon Theory is Dr. Ben Hunt’s ongoing examination of the narrative machine driving human behavior, political policy and, ultimately, capital markets—an unconventional worldview best understood through the lenses of history, game theory and philosophy.
Dr. Ben Hunt hosts the Epsilon Theory podcast with co-hosts and special guests from financial services, the financial media *gasp* and beyond. The Epsilon Theory podcast is the quickest way to get all of the unconventional perspective, historical context and narrative analysis you’ve come to expect from Epsilon Theory pumped directly into your head.
To understand the impact of catalytic narrative forces, we have to monitor the vital signs of the capital markets they affect. To analyze the big picture through the lenses of game theory and history, we must also examine the details through lenses like volatility, momentum, income, correlation and inflation. These are the indicators of systemic vitality and stress—the fine details we use to fine-tune our worldview. We hope they help you sharpen your understanding of the investable universe.
We’re growing our family of Epsilon Theory contributors to include a broad range of voices on an evolving range of subject matter. If you listen to the podcast, you’ll recognize some of the names as colleagues, partners and friends of Ben from Salient, any number of past lives, and the growing circle of outspoken truth-seekers in financial services and beyond.
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Youth, Immutable Content, and the Secondhand Scoop
This week’s Rabbit Hole column is more thematic with recent links that I found interesting around the topic of ‘news,’ on which Ben wrote the defining commentary of recent years with Fiat Money, Fiat News.
Youth and news
I’ve always appreciated the quality and integrity of the work of the Knight Foundation. This report is a fascinating summary of a focus group with 52 teenagers and young adults from across the United States on how young people conceptualize and consume news in digital spaces.
A scalable blockchain protocol for publicly accessible and immutable content
This is the category of blockchain things which I think is interesting and transformative:https://steem.io/steem-bluepaper.pdf .
(NOTE: I have no connection to Steem, I just like the category)
“Compared to other blockchains, Steem stands out as the first publicly accessible database for immutably stored content in the form of plain text, along with an in-built incentivization mechanism. This makes Steem a public publishing platform from which any Internet application may pull and share data while rewarding those who contribute the most valuable content.”
The Bradd Jaffy and Kyle Griffin approach
Here I re-share a link to a Buzzfeed story about Bradd Jaffy And Kyle Griffin who re-share links on Twitter to other people’s news stories. If only Bradd Jaffy And Kyle Griffin could then re-share this link and then Buzzfeed could write about that … But, beyond the comical circularity potential, it is a very interesting story by Buzzfeed on the power of non-traditional distribution channels / influencers and ’the secondhand scoop.’
The Norwegian approach
Nieman Lab reports that a Norwegian news site (the online arm of the NRK public broadcaster) requires readers to answer questions to prove they understand story before posting comments: “We thought we should do our part to try and make sure that people are on the same page before they comment.. If everyone can agree that this is what the article says, then they have a much better basis for commenting on it.”
What words ought to exist?
And finally, here is a fun paper which the author describes as “An earnest attempt to answer the following question scientifically: What words ought to exist?” using “computational cryptolexicography, n-Markov models, coinduction…”