I’ve posted Entry #220 to my weekly Valuation-Informed Indexing column at the Value Walk site. It’s called Our Emotional Attachment to Long-Believed Investing “Truths” Causes Us to Tune Out a Mountain of Evidence.
Juicy Excerpt: Klein writes: “One thing that comes clear when you spend much time reading inside the Gamergate community is the feeling of being misunderstood — and, for that matter, smeared — is very, very real. If you’re reading about Gamergate on the left, virtually all you’re reading about is the intense, horrifying harassment against women that’s happening under Gamergate’s banner. If you’re reading about Gamergate from inside Gamergate, virtually all you’re reading about is how the media is smearing Gamergate by equating it with harassers who don’t represent the movement’s real tactics or goals (some Gamergaters even believe the trolls are part of a false flag operation meant to discredit Gamergate). Gamergaters are furious that the media focuses on all the bullying happening under Gamergate rather than all the money Gamergaters are raising for anti-bullying efforts….Gamergate happens to be about video games but it could be about anything. Video games are the excuse for this fight, not the cause of it.”
He’s saying that people often do not try to settle differences through the use of reason. They choose up sides and then duke it out. All sorts of points are debated. But the points that are being discussed do not matter much to those doing battle. All that matters to them is what side they are on and what side is winning. Once we choose sides, we are not trying to learn, we are trying to win.
Academic Researcher Wade Pfau once made this point when he was advocating Valuation-Informed Indexing at the Bogleheads Forum. Wade was getting a hostile reaction from some of the Buy-and-Hold dogmatics at that board. At one point, he said (I am paraphrasing): “You see those who advocate market timing as snake-oil salesmen. I do not want you to see me that way.”