This line from "The Intelligent Investor" by Ben Graham jumped out at me.
Page 260, bold added by me -
For years the financial services have been making stock-market forecasts without anyone taking this activity very seriously. Like everyone else in the field they are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Wherever possible they hedge their opinions so as to avoid the risk of being proved completely wrong. (There is a well developed art of Delphic phrasing that adjusts itself successfully to whatever the future brings.) In our view - perhaps a prejudiced one - this segment of their work has no real significance except for the light it throws on human nature in the securities markets. Nearly everyone interested in common stocks wants to be told by someone else what he thinks the market is going to do. The demand being there, it must be supplied.
Both of the those bolded sentences are fascinating.
The first one highlights the absurdity of people wanting to abdicate their decisionmaking -
"Nearly everyone interested in common stocks wants to be told by someone else what he thinks the market is going to do."
And yet, that's how it is.
"The demand being there, it must be supplied."
This explains a lot of absurd products and things out in the world - if people want something, even if it's silly, someone will come along and supply it to them.
Really a wonderful book with lots of insights. Yes, it's on finance, but it also promotes clear-thinking in general. Recommended.