Nobody knows anything

The older I get and the more I learn about things, the more I realize that nobody knows nuthin’ about anything.

Those self-proclaimed experts are lying. Predictions are pointless. Anyone that tells you that they know for certain how something is going to turn out is probably going to be wrong.

All simplicity is a lie.

I think sometimes humans – usually writers or sports announcers or people on the internet – feel like they have to definitively state something in order to prove that they are smart and know a lot about a particular subject. They feel like they have to take a side in order to exert their dominance. Except sometimes the more prudent approach is just to wave your arms up in the air and say: I don’t know what’s going to happen! I don’t have an opinion on this issue! Loud noises!

Back in March, lots of different people – like, at least five – told me that it’s going to be a rough season for the Yankees. They are, for sure, not going to do well this year, let alone make the playoffs. And I said: ok bub, you might be right, you might be wrong, I’m going to go eat a sandwich now. And then I wrote a blog post about how, I don’t know, isn’t it possible the Yankees do well? Weird things happen, right? Do we have to  take away the wonder of watching the season unfold?

And here we are in the first week of October. There’s an autumnal chill in the air. And wouldn’t you know it, the Yankees are in the playoffs.*

*Well, I’m not so sure the Wild Card game is really the playoffs. It’s really just a one-game, crapshoot of play-in game to make the ALDS. The sport of baseball does not really lend itself to these one-game playoffs because so much of a team’s success is built around enduring a 162-game marathon of a season. But there’s no doubt it’s exciting.

This doesn’t just apply to baseball. It’s true for everything, ever. Take the economy, for example. The other day, the Wall Street Journal had this gem of a quote:

“We could see the economy accelerate; we could see this global weakness pass,” said Brian Rehling, co-head of global fixed-income strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. “But you could also see things go the other way, where the global economy continues to weaken.”


But, hey, at least they can admit that they don’t know what’s going to happen — they being the most intelligent and sophisticated analysts in the entire frikkin’ country.

Oh man, it really grinds my gears when those self-proclaimed experts on CNBC make predictions about the stock market. Sure, I’d like to hear some thoughts on where the market might be headed. But when they say: THE MARKET IS GOING TO DROP 50%, I HAVE WORKED IN THIS INDUSTRY FOR 30 YEARS AND I KNOW EVERYTHING, SELL YOUR HOUSE AND FLEE THE COUNTRY … well, I get angry because that is probably not going to happen. It’s disingenuous and counter-productive and, worst of all, people are going to believe that crap. I’m not saying the market won’t drop 50 percent – who the hell knows – but why make such a ridiculous statement as though it were fact?

Fellas, here’s what you do when you want to make a prediction about something. You present fact-based information. You use history as a guide.  You act with reason. You keep an open mind. You admit when you don’t know, because it’s hard to predict a lot of things. It’s not a sign of weakness.

Nobody knows anything, and anyone that tells you they do might just have an agenda. In the end, we’re all just clueless evolved apes floatin’ out here on this big blue planet.


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