Just as books like The Godfather teach us that an individual in his different roles can be very good or bad, like the Don's being so good with the grandchildren, but willing to kill you for a dime without a trial, the rednecks can be very good in one role and very bad in another. I know of a man whose views on things are as bigoted as those of the rednecks — yet he is a very good fisherman, always willing to share his catch with you, and would give you his views on the market without any charge or a hamburger for free if you were hungry and drove to his store. I found the same kind of people as the rednecks on the juries I have had the displeasure of facing. They all have relatives who are policeman or firemen, and you can't ever expect them to decide against the authority of the police. At a more fundamental level, the average person, the average G-d fearing, quarter acre owning, two child parent, high school educated, 40 years old, earning $40,000, has more common sense and compassion than the average prince of Wall Street because he has participated in a series of voluntary mutually beneficial transactions that have taught him that life is benevolent.

Craig Cuyler replies:

Your point reminds me of something I read once that said "the qualities that make you a good businessman are the same that make you a bad human being and vice versa."

Through various friends of mine and work I have come into contact (as am sure most of you have) with quite a few people worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars and the one common trait that they seem to share is their lack of real friends. I've often been to these people's homes for birthdays, New Years, Christmas parties, etc. and they don't seem to have a close circle of friends other than the ones that they have become acquainted with in the last year or two. Most of the so-called average people that I know have large circles of close friends that they have known for years. I don't know if your experiences are the same but is something that my friends and I have often commented on.

Dr. Kim Zussman responds:

To borrow from another scientist, true friendship is an asymptote. The best illustration of this was my friend Mr. Clean (the tarantula), who died without ever issuing a nasty bite with his quarter inch fangs.

Another relation is |F(T)| = 1/$. The absolute value of true friends is inversely proportionate to your net worth (hasten to note this conclusion from too little n, but in that depicted net can be easily conned, you can test the affected sycophancy).

J. T. Holley responds:

My PaPa passed away in 1995 at the age of 98. He lived in a house that he built himself. The only running water was the kitchen sink. The outhouse was conveniently downhill 50 yards from the house and downstream from the creek that ran beside it. He had a Barn that had twelve bear hides on its outside with turkey claws hanging from the tin roof and had every tool known to man inside for survival. There was a cellar underneath the house that had a blacksnake named "Jake" that guarded canned goods and potatoes from rats, mice and men. He didn't have a high school education and never possessed a driver's license in his life. This aside he was probably the closest thing to a true scientist and empiricist that I've met in my life thus far with his handwritten notes, journals, calendars and such. He taught me to trap, hunt, fish and have a love and passion for NASCAR, football, John Deere, Remington, Buck knives and that life wasn't fair and you have to be tough, callous, persistent, and independent in all endeavors to succeed. Knowing my rural upbringing I feel qualified in making a few points about rednecks:

1. There's a lot more of them than you and it's easier for them to become like you than for you to become like them.

2. They really don't care for your opinion or how you do things.

At the same time my PaPa passed away I was ironically knee deep in textbooks teaching me of Plato's "allegory of the cave", Kierkegaard's "stages of life's way", Sartre's "existence precedes essence", Thoreau's "men live lives of quiet desperation", Plato's "mixed metals", and Heidegger's concept of throwness (pure choice except parents and death). Having that deep rooted upbringing and the benefit of a liberal arts education I can tell you the following:

"You are outside the cave, not everyone is. Just because you've chosen to advance your life along the way doesn't mean everyone else has and remain still inside the cave. They like being aesthetes and have not seen the need for logic, ethics, religion, and empiricism at the levels you choose. In their bliss they don't understand that they are suffering just like you are, and realized that they can choose like you choose and decide on a daily basis. For some reason we are all different but yet the same. The fact remains that we are here and that eventually we aren't going to be here anymore at some point. This bothers you more than them and you create value and meaning to cope and deal with your existence just as they strongly hold on to their essence, but this doesn't necessarily make you better than those in the cave when it comes to survival."

One thing that I've learned is the fact that nobody cares about your new found skills of countin' except a handful of people on this List. My wife doesn't care about "normal distributions", my Dad doesn't ever want me to utter the word "heteroskedasticity" in another conversation while playing checkers, while sitting watching football with friends don't ever mention that West Coast offense's edge is being "arb'd away" due to the "law of everchangin' and the adaptation of Defensive Coordinators, "randomness" is something that most people use as a creed, but the most, most, most ever importance is make sure that you and your Mom are on the same page when the words "Fat Tail" come rolling off your lips.

For those wishing to further their understandings on the topic of rednecks, simpletons, the "common man" located predominately in the South or at least having roots traced there, I would strongly suggest reading every single book in the Foxfire trilogy. These books are both educational and give tons of insights into the world of Speculation.

The other important thing is that rednecks or Southerners have a great "dumb act"; Vic conveniently pointed this out to me when I first gave him an "Awe shucks" comment. This is something I can't shake and to even "appear intelligent" is that which makes me feel naked and nauseated. Deception comes in all shapes and sizes.





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