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Four Lessons From "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator"

I'm reading "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" and there's some absolute gold in the book. The author's attitude to what he's doing is broadly applicable to anyone in any probability-based endeavor that will sometimes fail and requires self-control to not go on tilt during -


It didn't take me long to realise that there was something wrong with my play, but I couldn't spot the exact trouble. There were times when my system worked beautifully, and then, all of a sudden, nothing but one swat after another. I was only twenty-two, remember; not that I was so stuck on myself that I didn't want to know just where I was at fault, but that at that age nobody knows much of anything.

The people in the office were very nice to me. I couldn't plunge as much as I wanted to because of the margin requirements, but old A.R. Fullerton and the rest of the firm were so kind to me that after six months of active trading I not only lost all I had brought and all that I had made there but I even owed the firm a few hundreds.

There I was, a mere kid, who had never before been away from home, flat broke; but I knew there wasn't anything wrong with me; only with my play. I don't know whether I make myself plain, but I never lose my temper over the stock market. I never argue with the tape. Getting sore at the market doesn't get you anywhere.

Class 2: Balancing Act

On Briana Brownlow's Brain and Behavior Lab Blog

Imagine not being able to find your balance, coordinate your movements or shift your attention between auditory and visual stimuli. If you damaged your cerebellum, these would be some of the issues you would face. The cerebellum plays a direct role in movement. The cerebellum contains a vast amount of motor neurons conveying messages that create movement. If you cut the cerebellum in half from the anterior (the front) to the posterior (the back) you will see branches of white lines running through the cerebellum. These white branches resemble a tree. Thus, they are called the arbor vitae, which means "tree of life". The white appearance of the arbor vitae means that they contain myelinated axons. Axons are the information sender of the neurons - the building blocks of the nervous system. The axons send messages to other neurons, organs or muscles. The myelin sheath is a fatty membrane that wraps around the axons, insulating them. The myelin sheath speeds up the impulses to other nerves. Thus, the arbor vitae within the cerebellum tell us just how many messages are being conveyed through the cerebellum and how fast they are going. The cerebellum isn't just about movement; it also plays a role in cognition. Damage to the cerebellum results in impairments, like issues with attention and sensory timing. The mutual connections between the cerebellum and hypothalamus (structure involved hormone production) allows for the cerebellum to have a role in governing intellect, emotion and autonomic function, in addition to movement control. With that in mind, much more is affected by the damage of your cerebellum than just becoming clumsy. It’s no wonder that in Latin cerebellum means, "little brain".

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