Unless you were trapped under something heavy, you probably heard the news that a team of scientists detected gravitational waves emanating from two black holes colliding a billion light-years away. This is a really big deal, one of the biggest discoveries in theoretical physics.
A gravitational wave is actually a ripple in the fabric of space-time. If you picture the universe as a two-dimensional plane, a gravitational wave would push the plane into three-dimensional space. Since we live in a four-dimensional world (including time as the fourth dimension), a ripple in space-time actually pushes the known universe into what is known as the “bulk,” or the fifth dimension.
Huge implications here for travel through space (or time).
I used to be a big astronomy nerd when I was a kid, locked up in my room, reading space books. I actually was once interested in planetary science. Now I study finance. How depraved.
Nassim Taleb is right—finance actually is depraved. If you study finance, you study money, of course. But why is money interesting? Because it doesn’t sit around in static piles, that you shuffle and count. It can grow asymptotically, or else simply disappear.
This is true not just of stocks and bonds, but also of currencies, which are supposed to be worth something, and even commodities, which are really supposed to be worth something.
Then you have gold, which is totally useless from a practical standpoint and whose value fluctuates dramatically.
Funny thing about money exploding or disappearing is, it’s so hard to understand that we hire physicists to figure it out. And then they come up with these really mundane solutions, like an options pricing model that doesn’t work, or a way to forecast future volatility (that also doesn’t work). None of this ever comes close to figuring out why money explodes or disappears.
Of course, the goal is to get exposure to money exploding or negative exposure to it disappearing, but people seem to do a pretty bad job of that, too.
The reason we aren’t any closer to the answer is because we keep using the wrong methods. You can get the math geeks to come up with equations to describe human behavior, but then human behavior changes or does something new, and you are back to square one.