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Psychology of Misjudgment #3. Disliking/Hating Tendency (related to current news


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3. Disliking/Hating Tendency

In a pattern obverse to Liking/Loving Tendency, the newly arrived human is also “born to dislike and hate” as triggered by normal and abnormal triggering forces in its life…


Disliking/Hating Tendency also acts as a conditioning device that makes the disliker/hater tend to:


ignore virtues in the object of dislike,

dislike people, products, and actions merely associated with the object of his dislike, and

distort other facts to facilitate hatred.

Distortion of that kind is often so extreme that miscognition is shockingly large.


It’s the opposite of the liking/loving tendency but with similar outcomes. For example, rather than ignoring bad news, only the good news is overlooked. The tendency to like/dislike drive people to pick sides, create (political) divides, never change their mind, and make it impossible for anyone to agree on anything so that it’s antithetical to progress.


I have definitely been guilty of this and I didn't think straight about the good aspects of what I strongly diskliked.


All one has to do is look at the times and see all the hatred and strong dislike out there.  It is really terrible as there are

almost always constructive solutions if one can see past the emotional anchor of hatred. 


Would the antidote be Love for your fellow man?  Love the sinner, hate the sin? I don't know.


Probably the 1st step would be recognizing what you hate/strongly dislike and admitting that is a piece of the overall picture. 









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  • 2 weeks later...

This particular psychological bias is actually one of the easiest for a value investor to overcome on a personal or internal basis, because in addition to possessing great skill and wisdom in nearly every modality of life, we are also natural stoics completely unaffected by the emotional torrents that bedevil others.  And yet one of the biggest issues we face as value investors is not so much our own internal emotional state, which we have of course under effortless and preternatural control, but the curious emotional reaction the practitioners of our art can inspire in others, that infallibly seems to be the very negative emotions, disliking and hating, that we are discussing here.  And it is this curious reaction or response that our practitioners engender from others on a social and societal level that is perhaps most worth discussing, to explore what causes such reactions, and to consider what we can do to limit such reactions from others.


On the first point, as to what exactly adherents to our discipline say or write when communicating with others that seems to engender the disliking/hating tendency so strongly and consistently, I have carefully examined the reasoning and judgment displayed in my own interactions with others, and I have been completely unable to find any defects in my own logic or arguments.  In fact, when I have in the course of a discussion about say politics or race relations referred to the points made by others as “deranged” or “crap,” that has inarguably been the case, even after a second reading and review of the opposing arguments considered in the most charitable manner possible.  It can be difficult for practitioners of value investing, that most noble of all disciplines, to understand the great deficits in understanding and conception that most others labor under who have not been enlightened by our principles, and even more difficult to comprehend that some people possesses minds so weak and inflexible that they are unable to see the truth presented there right in from of them, or at least not far behind a stream of our invective and personal insults.


As to the second point, what we as practitioners of value investors can do to limit the unfortunate reaction of others to the undisputable truths we alone possess and communicate, this is of course a difficult question.  After careful consideration of the indisputably high-quality and second and third-level thinking that practitioners of our discipline produce, and the unimaginable level of ignorance and ill will that most others participating in the public forum seem to possess, it is difficult to imagine an easy solution to this problem.  It is perhaps likely that our only recourse and solution to this fundamental conflict is to redouble our own efforts at communicating our own points in longer formats more insistently than ever, and by being even less willing to compromise or read the work of others in any sort of charitable way, and to level insults at others with even less hesitation than we ever have before.  And until there is some sort of method or mechanism to prevent the less illuminated from participating at all in such discussions or perhaps any discussions, this is the only remedy that seems available to us.


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Good topic for today.


Obviously I am speaking in generalization but I do believe there is some truth though not absolute to what I state below. There is no offense meant, just my opinion.


Today we are in a time of polarizing politics and with that it can get quite contentious.


Liberals tend to be a bit more feelings (agreeable) oriented and a bit more on the perceiving side whereas the conservatives tend to be a bit more thinking/logical and conscientious.


This creates a very interesting dynamic where each side tends to naturally see their way and have difficulties seeing how the other person cannot see what they see.


Just the topic of systemic racism itself and does it exist is a very emotional polarizing issue. It involves morality, racism, fairness, and those who believe that the denial of the humanity of a group, if quite agreeable in nature, may find themselves feeling very strongly about the injustice.


Add to just the general environment today, where the gap between the rich and poor is widening, people are worried about their future survival (global digital competition, immigrants and cheap labor overseas taking jobs, automation taking jobs), people feel like capitalism has failed them, they feel the government (President, House, Senate, Judiciary) have all failed them, they feel intense anxiety over their safety and Covid, they've been locked up in their house or their parents house for weeks, and to top it off all their life they have been telling those systematically oppressed it was their own fault. You can see why one might feel obligated if not determined to speak up and fight right now.


To add to that, think about FOX news or CNN. People easily mistaking facts for opinion. Lots of opinion from salesmen (commentators) trying to sell a narrative and that just fuels it more.


And lastly, you have social media. Built on an algorithm that sends you very compelling stuff that they can tell you already like and then you have consistency, social proof, reason respecting and a whole bunch of other biases kick in and further fuel your anger and fear and embolden you to the cause. This goes both ways obviously which is why you see the racists, the guns and the confederate flags out. So there is fake news where you know the exact purpose is to enrage and misinform and many people can't tell the difference. And then you also have content producers, who learn early that to get the most engagement, they need to turn up the dial a bit. This may be done intentionally, but often unintentionally if you are not really paying attention to what you are doing and most don't because we naturally crave the engagement most.


No wonder it is so hard for people to stay rational. And yet that is what we need today. And then we have no leaders that are worth following any more. No leaders who set the proper example. So we have to try to best navigate it on our own. And that can be a very very messy thing especially when you can see the things the other side is saying are clearly not true. So is today.




Obviously we need better leaders. Ones worth following that are informed, rational and have good intentions. To expect people to be able to do all the work and be smart enough to work through such a complicated subject such as the one we are dealing with today is not likely for the masses.


And you are right Longhaul, we need to consciously put in the effort needed to see the other's good side first, which obviously can be more difficult in some cases than others, and which may often require putting in the work to find and talk to someone rational and credible on the other side to see what you are missing.


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