Recovery Begins With Truth

I am an alcoholic.

I got sober almost 20 years ago.  Before that, I abused alcohol, drugs, sex and money in order to ignore the damage I had done to my life, deluding myself .  I crawled through life in a cycle of being drunk or not yet drunk, making more mistakes that would need more drinking to erase.  I am nobody special.  Absolutely nobody.  Everyone on this planet has problems and I have mine.  I chose to deal with them by 'feeling better', one glass at a time.  All day.  Each and every day...week...month and year - until I turned to someone for help.

(Cross-posted at The National Gadfly)

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Why Don't We Know A Bubble When We See One?

N'en déplaise à ces fous nommés sages de Grèce,
En ce monde il n'est point de parfaite sagesse;
Tous les hommes sont fous, et malgré tous leurs soîns
Ne diffèrent entre eux que du plus ou du moins.
- BOILEAU

Whatever these crazy appointed sages of Greece,
In this world there is no perfect wisdom;
All men are mad, and despite all their care
Differ among themselves as more or less.


So reads the somewhat cynical inscription to Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written in 1841 by Charles Mackay.  It was a book about bubbles.  The first two chapters are about financial bubbles.

Cross-posted at The National Gadfly

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My name is USA and I'm an addict.

The question is everywhere: "How did all of this happen?" The economy.  The endless war.  The National Debt.  All of it.  Some people ask the question differently: "What were we thinking?" "Who's responsible?"

How can we not know?  Seriously, are we all blind?  How could something as big as this be at all a surprise?

I think that we have two problems.  First, we don't like bad news.  Especially the really big, awful bad news that depresses us when we are confronted with big problems.  War, poverty, disease, famine, economics etc.  The general population has no idea how to manage global or national problems.  Most of us are not skilled in these issues.  So, when confronted by these issues, we "stick our heads in the sand" and try to forget.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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Obamamania and the bursting bubble

In my previous diary, I examined two questions:

(1)    Did Rev. Wright's YouTube sermons damage Sen. Obama, and did his "A more perfect union" speech stop/reverse that damage ?
(2)    What is the explanation for the Hillary hatred ?

I tried to show that the damage from Rev. Wright's YouTube sermon is ongoing, and that Hillary hatred (or at least portions of it) is somewhat illogical.
http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/25/1749 44/913

In this diary, I will examine two other question: :
(1)    What is the explanation behind Sen. Obama's meteoric rise in the polls ?
(2)    What is the explanation for the ongoing damage to Sen. Obama inspite of the well received speech he delivered. ?

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The Politics of a Bubble---Part 2

In an earlier diary, I theorized as to how a "bubble" could form in the support of any given politician.  Basically, if Person A, B and C all have mixed emotions about the candidate (60% positive, 40% negative), then just by chance (about 37% of the time for the 60/40 case), the support can be run up to "bubble" type levels (i.e., levels which are too high to be justified, and which must come down).

This is how it could happen: Person A decides that he/she will support the candidate.  Person B then looks at Person A's support, and at his/her own mixed emotions.  Person B then decides to go with the 60% positive feelings he/she has, because Person A's support "must mean something".  The same process can repeat itself with Person C.  Pretty soon, you have a very large majority that supports the candidate, even though they all have mixed feelings about him/her.  For the 60/40 case, the chance of forming a bubble is 37% (at least according to a paper published in 1993).

How does all this apply to the current nomination contest ? It is my belief that BHO has formed a small "bubble" that is likely to recede in the next few weeks/months.  In the meantime, he is doing his best to replenish his support from other sources.  Whether he will succeed is unclear ~ so far, he has proven to be a brilliant campaigner, so I would give him a better than even shot at it, but he could fail!

Allow me to explain!

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Diaries

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