The Two Wolves, from Andrew Moe

February 17, 2009 |

 One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, generosity, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Michele Pezzutti responds:

 This reminds me of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: I would like to share my experience on how this thinking can make me a better trader.

If I should apply this to my (very, very poor and limited) personal trading experience, I can find Evil everywhere:

 -arrogance, when I trade based on pure instinct and with little/no evidence of trends or data supporting a decision.

- false pride and superiority, for being able 'to beat the market', when I make some profit.

- anger, when I lose too much not being able to put a stop loss.

- lies, when I do not want to admit to yourself that I have acted irrationally.

- regret, when I think 'why did I do that?' And I could go on and on…

Much more difficult is to find examples of the Good wolf. That is, long way to go to become a 'Good' trader.

Paolo Pezzutti writes:

I want to propose a slightly different perspective of the two wolves, the "bad" and the "good" one.

Trading wolves move in packs. They are territorial and wait for their preys to graze standing ready to attack when they are distracted. Wolves can also establish some type of coordination during the hunt. They conceal themselves as they approach the prey, targeting the easiest options available, the weakest animals of the herd. Sick or young animals, even pregnant females. They look for preys they have seen already. They do not take much risk, do not even engage in long chases, and rather wait for their prey to die because of the wounds. Sometimes wolves have to yield to their prey and their killing success rate may be low. But they know that their prey will be there in the same place at the same time the next day. It is only a matter of time, sooner or later the wolves will get it. These traders are deadly, but the current downturn might have killed many of them. They have taken too much risk, too much confidence in their strength. These wolves have become preys themselves in this phase of the market. Those who will survive, however, may become even stronger and be able to adapt their techniques to the new environment.

Single trading wolves can also be found, but less frequently. Lone traders can be old specimens expelled from the pack or young animals in search of new territory. Solitary wolves target smaller animals and many deaths are due to other wolves' attacks. Being alone in the wild can be very dangerous. These traders have to find niches, small inefficiencies left over and disregarded by the wolves packs. They have to be adaptive. They have to learn how to survive. I feel one of the lone wolves. Hopefully I will survive and learn how to be a "good" wolf.

Who knows if any of the wolves will survive this market? After all, species can also disappear.





Speak your mind

15 Comments so far

  1. douglas roberts dimick on February 17, 2009 9:43 am

    Perhaps the greatest contribution that markets offer to a society, free or commanded, is that self-accounting upon the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

    Well done, MP… dr

  2. Steve Leslie on February 17, 2009 10:29 am

    I saw a fascinating show on The history channel about Batman unmasked from his creation as a crimefighter in 1940 to the modern day storyline. Batman was created by Bob Kane.

    In the show, one of the discussions is how Batman constantly battles his inner demons. It is an in depth study in the psychology of The Batman and I strongly encourage one to view it. This creation of Batman was based largely on the work of Carl Jung

    Perhaps those far more brilliant than I would be able to weigh in on Jung and his views on the psychology of man.

    As a sidebar. I strongly recommend The Alienist by Caleb Carr. This is a great historical novel in my view and if others wish to do a review of it, I would appreciate it.

    There was an old Star Trek episode where the theme of good and evil was exploited. This was when Captain Kirk's personality was split in two and both Kirks were on the Starship Enterprise. This realization by Captain Kirk was that in order for man to live he constantly had to battle mentally between good and evil. A fascinating show.

    Many many meals above. Read and digest.

  3. David Hipkins on February 17, 2009 12:10 pm

    i would note that the much ridiculed Jesse Livermore studied the ideas of Jung,in as much as they related to his work.

  4. Joey Biden on February 17, 2009 2:03 pm

    I commend Steve Leslie for pointing out that his own post has “many many meals” for the reader. Sometimes we’re encouraged to pursue a false modesty and humility, but when you write words of greatness, insights that rival those of Copernicus and Galileo, then don’t hide it under a bushel. The reader must be made aware, lest he be distracted by something trivial. All this is doubly true if your subject matter is a profound one, such as buffet dishes, Star Trek episodes, or Jungian theories of Batman.

  5. Herschel Kurstofsky on February 17, 2009 2:18 pm

    Steve, excellent post. One of the things I struggle with on this site is figuring out what is truly valuable vs. what is merely an interesting sidebar. I wonder if we could get the site changed so that posts could somehow be “tagged” as a “meal for a lifetime”, like your post, so that I don’t have to wade through all of the others.

  6. Joey Biden, 1 Observatory Circle, DC on February 17, 2009 3:06 pm

    Good call Hersch! I'd augment your plan to apply more specific, categorical ratings. One could use a check-box approach, e.g. "This post's insights are most analogous to those of:
    A. Shakespeare
    B. Copernicus
    C. Van Gogh
    D. Vince Lombardi"

  7. douglas roberts dimick on February 17, 2009 3:17 pm

    Ditto a la Steve.

    Wonder if there could be tags that notify us when prior articles/comments were updated with new comments. This sysem may facilitate both continuing and connnecting conversations for intra and inter topic development.

  8. Steve Leslie on February 17, 2009 4:28 pm

    Herschel, one indicator if a post could be helpful is if it is written by a real person. In a previous post, I listed nine who have have made significant contributions in the past. I left out many great people who contribute here. A good starting point is to look to the left and see if their name is listed there.

    Then on the other hand, there are fools who use such names as Joey Biden, W. Shakespeare or characters from This is Spinal Tap in a shameless attempt to put the spotlight on them and mock people in an attempt to be sarcastic and divisive.

    I assume this sarcasm exhibited by Joey Biden is such an attempt. This person is obviously an immature clown and a coward who hides in the background rather than exhibiting manhood to display a real name. Such a post does not command attention on any level and such does not need to be read. But they live in an illusion and fabricated world of psychotropics and think that they can deride sincere effort. All I will say is that on my part is I don't rattle and if you think that will do it, you are mistaken. You will just be wasting your time. And the time of others who come here to learn something. I wish that there were a moderator who would eliminate viral blogs with fictitious names and block them but then again that would waste valuable time. Eventually what they do is get bored and go somewhere else. Or they become fascinated with something like comics books esp. Mad Magazine and
    Cracked! and fade away. They are so ingnorant and stupid that they prefer to foment vile hatred rather that try to formulate valuable cognitive thought. One sees this regularly in 4th grade classrooms.

    But then again that is what the world is made mostly of and if it were not there would not be those to carry garbage,work in fast food restaurants and in sewers or stand by the side of the street with schweegees to keep the infrastructure of the economy going. These are the ones who President Obama is trying to help with his infrastructure build out.

    One final note Gene Roddenberry was a fantastic writer and creative mind. His Star Trek subject matter is true genius. And Caleb Carr is a tremendously gifted author. Carl Jung is one of the great minds of the 20th century. And Batman was a crimefighter par excellance who had no superpowers but did have a genius mind along with fantastic physical skills.


  9. Chaim Witz on February 17, 2009 8:11 pm

    Joey, you forgot:

    E. Steve Leslie

  10. jeff watson on February 17, 2009 8:43 pm


    Having been a reader of Mad Magazine since childhood, I take umbrage at your comment:)

    I only hope Mad does their own version of the Stimulus Bill.

    Seriously, I love your informative posts, and appreciate your candor.


  11. Milhouse Van Houten on February 17, 2009 8:45 pm

    I also find the actions of the pseudonymous posters to be dastardly and annoying.

    I second Mr. Kurstofsky’s motion to implement a system by which the most eloquent posts would be marked with some kind of appellation to indicate superior erudition. For example, Mr. Leslie’s post on the American Bald Eagle was a quite scholarly and informative piece of work. Keep it up!


  12. Steve Leslie on February 17, 2009 10:52 pm

    Mr. Moe, That story from the Cherokee contains remarkable wisdom. Thank you for sharing…  Mr. Van Houton, Thank you for the compliment on the Bald Eagle… To the coward who goes by the character name of Biden, I live in Melbourne Florida, come by sometime, I officially challenge you to a boxing match or any physical match of your choosing. Or a game of no limit poker any stakes you choose. Expose yourself publicly and I will shame you publicly…  To Witz, the same goes for you. Now who is the man and who is the Aqua Velva? If physical display is not your cup of tea how about an intellectual challenge. Write an original post of your own and use your real name. Expose yourself as the wonk as you are. Otherwise this will officially end any reply I shall make and dismiss you as the limp wristed non person that you are.

  13. Daniel Sanders on February 18, 2009 2:23 am

    I loved that story, and I am going to pass it on. I frequently work with people who have been hammered by like often due to their own moral choices. The story about the wolves is a nice way of moving a discussion of moral choices along.

  14. Chaim Witz on February 18, 2009 10:38 am

    Steve said: "… To Witz, the same goes for you. Now who is the man and who is the Aqua Velva? If physical display is not your cup of tea how about an intellectual challenge. Write an original post of your own and use your real name. Expose yourself as the wonk as you are. Otherwise this will officially end any reply I shall make and dismiss you as the limp wristed non person that you are. "

    I have no idea what you are talking about. Aqua Velva? My real name? What is a wonk? like a policy wonk?

    I don't know that much about investments, I mostly do academic research on heraldic orders. Here is something I recently wrote on the Order of The Thistle:

    The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The current version of the Order was founded by King James VII of Scotland (also known as James II of England) in 1687, but he claimed to be reviving an earlier Order. The Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen Knights and Ladies, as well as certain "extra" knights (members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs). The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; he or she is not advised by the Government, as occurs with most other Orders. The sixteen members are required to be Scottish-born, though not the "extra" knights and ladies.

    The Order's primary emblem is the thistle, the national flower of Scotland. The motto is Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin for "No one provokes me with impunity");[1] 

    [… sorry, had to cut here… ed.]

    Current members and officers

    * Sovereign: The Queen
    * Knights and Ladies Companion:
    o The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine KT CD DL (1981)
    o The Earl of Airlie KT GCVO PC (1985)
    o The Viscount of Arbuthnott KT CBE DSC (1996)
    o The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres KT GCVO PC (1996)
    o Lady Marion Fraser LT (1996)
    o The Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden KT DL (1996)
    o The Lord Mackay of Clashfern KT PC (1997)
    o The Lord Wilson of Tillyorn KT GCMG (2000)
    o The Lord Sutherland of Houndwood KT (2002)
    o Sir Eric Anderson KT (2002)
    o The Lord Steel of Aikwood KT KBE PC (2004)
    o The Lord Robertson of Port Ellen KT GCMG PC (2004)
    o The Lord Cullen of Whitekirk KT PC (2007)
    o Sir Garth Morrison KT CBE DL (2007)
    o There are two vacancies
    * Supernumerary Knights and Ladies:
    o The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE AC QSO PC (1952)
    o The Duke of Rothesay KG KT GCB OM AK QSO PC ADC (1977)
    o The Princess Royal LG LT GCVO QSO (2000)
    * Officers:
    o Dean: Gilleasbuig Iain Macmillan CVO
    o Chancellor: The Earl of Airlie KT GCVO PC
    o Usher: Rear Admiral Christopher Hope Layman CB DSO LVO (Gentleman Usher of the Green Rod)
    o King of Arms and Secretary: David Sellar (Lord Lyon King of Arms)

    1. ^ 1687 Statutes, quoted in Statutes (1987), p6
    2. ^ Nicolas, p4
    3. ^ This version of the foundation, although without the date, is given in the warrant 'reviving' the Order in 1687. (1687 warrant, quoted in Statutes, 1978, p1)
    4. ^ Nicholas, p4, footnote 1, notes that Achaius died more than a century before Aethelstan
    5. ^ Nicolas, Appendix, p.vi, quotes Nisbet's A system of heraldry, which relates this version.
    6. ^ Mackey and Heywood, p890
    7. ^ Nicolas, p3
    8. ^ a b c d "The Monarchy Today: Queen and Public: Honours: The Order of the Thistle". The Royal Household. http://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/Honours/OrderoftheThistle.aspx. Retrieved on 18 February 2007.
    9. ^ Nicolas, footnote7, p15, quotes Nisbet in support of these claims.
    10. ^ http://www.eupjournals.com/doi/abs/10.3366/shr.2004.83.1.3 Stevenson, Katie "The Unicorn, St Andrew and the Thistle: Was there an Order of Chivalry in Late Medieval Scotland?", Scottish Historical Review. Volume 83, Page 3-22, April 2004
    11. ^ Nicolas quotes Ashmole's Treatise on Military Orders (1672) which mentions a ceremony involving Knights of St Andrew (i.e. Knights of the Thistle), but Nicolas goes on to say that it was not pretended that there were any "Knights of the Thistle" or "of St Andrew" after the accession of James VI in 1567
    12. ^ a b c London Gazette: no. 2251, pp. 1–2, 13 June 1687. Retrieved on 2007-12-21.
    13. ^ 1687 Warrant, quoted in Statutes (1978), p1
    14. ^ Nicolas, pp25–26
    15. ^ 1703 warrant, quoted in Statutes (1978) pp11–12
    16. ^ 1687 Warrant, quoted in Statutes (1978), p2 states revive the said Order, of which his Majesty is the undoubted and rightful Sovereign
    17. ^ 1687 Warrant and 1687 Statutes, quoted in Statutes (1987) pp.1–3
    18. ^ Warrant of 8 May 1827, quoted in Statutes (1978)
    19. ^ Members of the Order had to be Knights Bachelor before appointment (1703 Statutes, article 14, quoted in Statutes (1978), p17); only men could be created as such.
    20. ^ Additional statute, 12 June 1937, quoted in Statutes (1978), p60
    21. ^ Many such statutes are quoted in Statutes (1978), all of which follow a fixed formula.
    22. ^ Additional statute 17 January 1842, quoted in Statutes (1978), p33. The first Royal Knight (other than a monarch) was a younger son of George III, HRH The Prince William Henry (later William IV), however he was admitted as one of the twelve ordinary knights (Nicolas, p51).
    23. ^ Additional statute of 18 October 1962, quoted in Statutes (1978), p63
    24. ^ "The Monarchy Today: Queen and Public: Honours: The Order of the Garter". The Royal Household. http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page4878.asp. Retrieved on 18 February 2007.
    25. ^ Nicolas, p33, says that the Duke of Hamilton was given special permission by Queen Anne, hitherto unprecedented, to belong to both the Orders of the Thistle and Garter.
    26. ^ Nicolas, p32
    27. ^ The Times, 30 November 1872, p9
    28. ^ Nicolas, p35. Unlike the other British orders, the statutes of the Order of the Thistle do not specify a procedure for the removal of a Knight.
    29. ^ Warrant of 7 January 1763, quoted in Statutes (1978), pp28–29
    30. ^ London Gazette: no. 44902, p. 7525, 22 July 1969. Retrieved on 2007-12-21.
    31. ^ Statute of 8 October 1913, quoted in Statutes (1978), p49
    32. ^ 1703 Statutes, article 13, quoted in Statutes (1978), p17, refer to the office only as the Usher, and does not specify the colour of his baton of office, however by the time of a statute of 17 July 1717 he is referred to as Green Rod.
    33. ^ 1703 Statutes, article 11, quoted in Statutes (1978), p17 does not assign any duties to Lord Lyon, but merely prescribes his vestments and insignia.
    34. ^ a b c d 1703 Statutes, article 2, quoted in Statutes (1978), pp15–16
    35. ^ Statute of 17 February 1714/15, quoted in Statutes (1978), p20
    36. ^ 1703 Statutes, article 5, quoted in Statutes (1978), pp15–16
    37. ^ a b "Order of Wear". Ceremonial Secretariat, Cabinet Office. 2006-11-13. http://www.honours.gov.uk/honours/wear.aspx. Retrieved on 20 February 2007.
    38. ^ 1703 Statutes, article 3, quoted in Statutes (1978), p15. In the 1687 statutes the riband was purple-blue; the colour was changed by Queen Anne when she refounded the Order.
    39. ^ 1703 Statutes, article 3, quoted in Statutes (1978), p15 refers to this item of insignia as the medal.
    40. ^ 1703 Statutes, article 7, quoted in Statutes (1978), pp16
    41. ^ "Royal Insight: Mailbox". The Royal Household. 2007-02. http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page2013.asp. Retrieved on 20 February 2007.
    42. ^ Debrett's Peerage, p82
    43. ^ 1703 Statutes, article 11 (Secretary), article 12 (Lord Lyon), article 13 (Usher); Special statute of 10 July 1886 (Dean), Statute of 8 October 1913 (Chancellor), all quoted in Statutes (1978), pp15–16, 42 and 49–50
    44. ^ 1703 Statutes, article 13, quoted in Statutes (1978), pp15–16, says only that he carries his "baton of office"
    45. ^ Burnett and Hodgson, pp6–7. The 1703 statutes however continue to designate this as the chapel of the Order
    46. ^ Paul, pp32–33
    47. ^ Innes, p35
    48. ^ Cox, N. (1999). "The Coronets of Members of the Royal Family and of the Peerage (The Double Tressure)". Journal of The Heraldry Society of Scotland (22): 8–13. http://www.geocities.com/noelcox/coronets.htm.
    49. ^ Burnett and Hodgson, p208
    50. ^ Innes, p42
    51. ^ Burnett and Hodgson, pp7–8, and illustrations on pp54 ff. Only stall plates for Knights and Ladies appointed after 1911 give the name and date of appointment.
    52. ^ Burnett and Hodgson
    53. ^ "The Scale of General Precedence in Scotland". Burke's Peerage. http://www.burkes-peerage.net/Sites/Scotland/SitePages/page31a.asp. Retrieved on 2007-02-24.
    54. ^ The Crown Office (2003-07). "Forms of Address for use orally and in correpondence". Ministry of Justice. http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/foa-hons-and-decs.htm. Retrieved on 21 December 2007.
    55. ^ Innes, p47. The circlet does not appear to be commonly used. Neither the collar nor the circlet are used on the stall plates; Burnett and Hodgson on the occasions when the insignia of the Order are mentioned in a grant or matriculation of arms in Burnett and Hodgson (eg pp134, 138, 174, 180, 198) it is only the collar which is used.
    56. ^ "The Monarchy Today: Queen and Public: Symbols: Coats of Arms". The Royal Household. http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page5014.asp. Retrieved on 26 February 2007.
    57. ^ Woodcock and Robinson, p93

  15. Steve Leslie on February 19, 2009 9:33 am

    Mr Witz, Good for you, you got your toe in the water and offered something of interest for the general good of the site.

    A wonk is one who specializes in arcane details in a specialized field.

    An Aqua Velva is American slang, mostly New York slang. It is used in a derogatory way. My vitriol was directed at those who tear apart others' work and do not use real names. Or those who offer no original thought or any writing of consequence yet try to deride sincere effort of those whose write for the good of the public at large. Those critics are useless natterers who are not unlike drunks who sit on park benches and babble incoherently. They freeze in the summer and sweat in the winter.


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