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Monday, November 30, 2020

Prometheus Rising reading/exercise group, Week Eight

Jim O'Shaughnessy (Twitter account portrait)

Jim O'Shaughnessy is a figure on the Wall Street investment scene. His Twitter bio says, "Founder, Chairman & Co-Chief Investment Officer, OSAM LLC.  Author, 'What Works on Wall Street,' Host 'Infinite Loops' podcast." He lists as his personal website his investment company's site, O'Shaughnessy Asset Management.  He has more than 111,000 followers on Twitter.

Not the sort of person I usually follow. I don't make much money, and my "investment strategy" consists of investing in index funds and other safe funds in IRAs and in my 401-K, largely using dollar cost averaging. 

But one other thing: O'Shaughnessy is a huge Robert Anton Wilson fan who often quotes RAW and writes about him. His Twitter following of more than 111,000 suggests he has a much bigger following than many other websites interested in RAW.

And he also has done three threads recently on "The Thinker and the Prover." Here are Parts One and Two. And here is Part Three. 

In the first thread, he discusses Dr. Leonard Orr's model of "The Thinker and the Prover" cited by RAW.

"This is a useful model that is technically 'wrong' because of its simplicity," O'Shaughnessy writes. " Yet, I also want to demonstrate that things that are objectively 'wrong' because they simplify things can nevertheless be extremely helpful. This underlines George Box's idea that 'all models are wrong, but some are useful'."

If you get interested in Jim O'Shaughnessy, here is a thread that collects many of his threads on various topics.

A couple of other Prometheus Rising resources: An episode devoted to the book on the "Live From Chapel Perilous" podcast. And here is a summary of the book on the Fluid Self website, which Jim O'Shaughnessy spotted and shared on Twitter. 

How are you doing on the exercises? I am still looking for my second quarter. 

UPDATE: I asked Jim O'Shaughnessy on Twitter if he ever met RAW. He answers, "I wish. No, I discovered him when my friend @Dan_Jeffries1 recommended him to me. Same with Jed McKenna. 

"I owe Dan, a lot."


tony smyth said...

That Fluid Self site has 'lifted' an awful lot of Prometheus. That to me is copyright infringement.No?

BFHN said...

Still looking for my first coin. Last week the streets here were covered in snow, so that added a level of difficulty. But maybe I am only trying to find myslf some rational excuse here hehe...

Never heard of Jim O'Shaughnessy before. A Wall Street guy who's into RAW, now that s something ahah. And he doesnt seem to be in it for some kind of Operation Mindfuck. To me and my European perspective, this seems like the sort of mental contorsions that only Americans can do, and which stays desperately obscure but fascinating in my eyes.
Things get a bit clearer when he openly admits to loving Free Market so much for the "new things and ideas" that it provides. Unfortunately this isnt without cons, and usually the freer the market the more disenpowered the people. This is being more evident that ever during covid times, as many huge corporations the world over are closing factories, thus leaving hundreds of thousands of people unemployed, so they can keep up with providing shareholders with their monstrous dividends.
Tatcher or Reagan are perfect exemples of the fact that a government that is openly pro-free market is authoritarian as a society, and in the world of today Bolsonaro or Macron are doing just the same. Let us reflect on the fact that the first one, that is Pinochet, was a military general.
But of course you can say that this is my Thinker feeling under attack by O'Shaughnessy so my Prover is getting in full-on defense mode hehe. Discussing politics is irrelevant to PR, and a total dead end as it involves so much from the emotional circuit.

Jim gets kinda ranty in part 3 but makes many good points, for instance the power of moving pictures and how easy it can be manipulated (propaganda, or "the manufacturing of consent" as Noam Chomsky puts it). I also really like this part :
"one reason why people are often nostalgic for this period is that--on the surface--there seemed to be a strong consensus in society they were living in. All the Thinkers were apparently thinking similar thoughts and the Provers were proving them."
I never thought about it this way and that s very interesting. Indeed one of the main reasons as to why our societies are so fractured these days might very well be the gigantic amount of different consensus realities out there. We litteraly live in more different worlds than ever before.

BFHN said...

(follow up)

Last week I was discussing films a bit, so I'd like to come back to that a bit. Last friday a 1998 German film called 23, up to that point totally unknown to me, was brought to my attention entirely by chance. Here's the IMDB page :
The first third has the main character being totally obsessed by the number 23, the book Illiminatus! and RAW in gerenal. Bob Wilson even has a cameo as himself. The film then veers more into a hacker flick, and away from the more discordian flip side. Still a very cool little film. I was so happy with this finding that I decided to act on something I had had in mind for many months : I indulged and went on ebay to get myself a copy of the KLF's Chill Out album (for those interested, there are some very decently priced recent bootleg copies lying around, if you are lucky....even seems half endorsed by the Justified Ancients). When I then saw that my order number started with 23, I smiled, taking this as a cosmic wink saying that I had done the right thing going with the flow and following my "instinct".

In the discussion thread from last week, someone mentioned Isreal Regardie's tapes and their being, if available, very pricey online.
Here is a YT playlist collecting a fair amount of those :

Finally, would like to say that since I discovered the PR discussion group, checking this blog is what I now do first while having my morning coffee, rather than checking the news. It honestly has a much more positive impact on my mental health, instead of starting my day by being angry and anxious. So many thanks to everyone writing here!

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

@Tony Smith, I am no expert on copyright, but I believe you are allowed to summarize the work, as opposed to quoting it at length. The shtick of the site seems to be "I read a book and summarize it."

Oz Fritz said...

Interesting that RAW's material has made its way into the echelons of stock market investors. Reminds me of a story I read about Israel Regardie from a credible source: when he wanted to retire, he crafted a sigil to attract wealth and prosperity then made an investment that paid off handsomely giving him enough to retire. I don't know if this was a one time "lucky" shot or if he made several attempts.

I forgot to mention last time about finding a quarter, actually two. Two Saturdays ago I arrived at the recording studio before everyone to start setting up. Someone had left a small pile of change in the isolation booth that included a pair of quarters. I left them there in case someone else doing this exercise might chance upon them. The studio doesn't do a lot of business these days, the find surprised me. The previous Monday I had searched quite a lot in public spaces while traveling back from Tennessee (pun intended) with no luck. I even dreamed about searching and finding a quarter that night. Without searching, the quarters turned up unexpectedly. I haven't found another since then. I've been trying to do the exercise about inner attitudes while going to a party when recording with people. I rarely go to parties, even before covid, and don't attend zoom events except the seminar I gave.