In the late 90’s in my finance and accounting classes I was the odd person out that kept arguing with my peers and professors that the valuation of stocks was off and that new accounting rules and banking deregulation were going to lead to problems. I was right, but then 10 years on in 2008, I was shocked about what was happening.  I did not foresee the size and impact of the crash even thought saw that the real estate market was one big bubble and that mortgage interest loans were a bad idea. But because I didn’t want to miss out on the real estate bubble like I missed out on the tech bubble. I let myself drink the kool-aid  and jump on the band wagon.

After 2008, I was mad, angry and disappointed in myself for just accepting what analysts, the experts  and the press was saying without questioning it. I have always had a long history of questioning everything. From questioning the tech bubble to the evidence for the case for war in Iraq, I questioned the prevailing mainstream view.  But in 2008 I was caught off guard. Maybe it was because I was invested in the stock market and was a home owner. My personal interests blinded me to the fact that the data and the information were all pointing to a crash. The markets, the press, the politicians were all pushing the same story.Personal interest and very little to no descent let me sink in the BS and conform. It’s not always fun to be the odd person out. It is not always fun defending your views against the masses especially if you are going against the entire establishment. But group think is dangerous. Unfortunately we are seeing more and more group think. Schools are pumping out a bunch of clones that regurgitate the same theories and ideas. The press all spews the same propaganda either on the right or on the left. Look at the their view points on Russia. The pollsters and analysts have gotten Brexit, the Colombian Referendum, and the US election wrong.  What is the data? no it was group think and bias that made them blind to the statistics that showed that all of them were within the margin of error.

So ever since 2008, I have made it a point to question and dissect the rhetoric and the evidence. Because of that I have had a pretty good record and have predicted:

  • Trump’s victory
  • Brexit
  • Russia’s intervention in Syria
  • Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen
  • Russia’s take over Crimea and the separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine
  • The move of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to finance groups in Syria
  • The total failure of the state of Libya after Gaddafi’s death
  • Toppling of President Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarrak in Egypt and then the ouster of Muslim brotherhood
  • Obama’s victory in 2008 and 2012

I have been much better at seeing political events coming since starting to re-question the data and never blindly accepting anything proposed especially if everyone is on board. I have been more aware of my own biases and have worked to suppress them in order to objectivity observe and breakdown the information being sold by politicians, the press, the experts and pundits.  All the signs and information is out there. All you have to do is check and question the evidence.  All the polls in battleground states before the 2016 election were within the margin of error. The enthusiasm for Trump was evident in his rallies, the Wikileaks emails were eroding Clinton’s perception, the FBI letter made a dent, Republican turn out was up, minority registration down. the polls showed that over 70% of Americans wanted change but everyone jumped on the band wagon.

 

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