All of Richard Meadows's Comments + Replies

Plus one! I tried several free tools of this nature, but managed to find loopholes and self-sabotage every single time. Shelled out 20 bucks or something for freedom, and solved the problem instantly.

Thanks for sharing your experience—the third section in particular is really interesting. Relative to the central discussion: how much time and effort did you have to put in to find those edges, and do you think it was worth it? Would you encourage others to try and do something similar? Or is it more like a hobby?

It's probably taken about a year's full-time work (since 2006). Though I could have spent much less time by using a simpler albeit less effective version of what I do (as indeed I did initially) - just that I like improving it and investigating new things that might work. It is kind of a hobby, but involving a sufficiently serious amount of time and money and risk to be rather more than that. I think it probably has been worth it, as I reckon the value of my edge is rather bigger than my time cost in salary equivalent, though it is hard to be sure because of the large variability in returns (not least because of two big crashes since I started). But actually I wouldn't encourage others to try. There can't be many opportunities to beat the market, not many people can risk big enough bets to justify the time taken finding them, and there's a lot to be said for adopting a simple mechanical system that takes little time; maybe just buy & hold (though maybe a bit fancier than that). Not sure it's worth trying to pick stocks (I almost never do that) - just buy an index; though there is some fun to be had doing so, like picking horses, and kidding yourself you have special insight!

Your formulation is nifty, and intuitively makes sense to me. I am feeling too wiped right now to think about it carefully, but my off-the-cuff response is that it has something to do with the fact that 'informational edge' is a much broader category than information about the actual underlying assets.

For example, a complicated day-trading algorithm is on some level a reflection of the fact that the market is missing some information. But that information looks more like 'there is a complex relationship between assets under XYZ specific cond... (read more)

3Thomas Kwa3y
Indeed, Jalex Stark [] is a quant and says []: "I spend most of my days working on specific (proprietary) instances of the general problem "design and enact decision procedures that identify market inefficiencies as well as possible, measured in terms of maximizing the ratio (expected value in dollars of trading against the inefficiency) / (amount of human time required to find the inefficiency and execute the trades)."

Whoops, thanks, will fix that now.

Hi Scott,

If we take the 6th of March—the last trading day before the March 9 fall—then the market is down 12.2%, which is already in 'correction' territory, and an extremely rapid descent by historical standards.

If we take the 16th of March—the closest trading day we have to 'mid-March'—the market is already down 29.5% per cent, which is not too far off the bottom, and well and truly into 'bear' territory.

To be clear, I think time has proven you correct about the EMH (and this is easy for you to say
... (read more)

Huh, I got that from a recent Bloomberg article which says 15:1...not sure who's right or why the numbers are so different.

Active management in the equity market, both in the U.S. and abroad, is dominant. And not by a little: Active management in the U.S. trounces passive by a ratio of 8-to-1 in dollar investments. Expand that to include the entire world, and the ratio is closer to 15-to-1. If we include fixed income in our calculations, the ratio balloons to 60-to-1.
Second, and it relates to the first, one of the other things (different time) that was pointed out was "market" is a problematic terms. Each asset that is traded has a market and that is not the same as "the market". I think this tends to be something of a problem area for people when the issue of EMH is in question.

Yes! This is another really great point. I think Noah Smith described it by saying something like, 'there is no EMH—there are an infinite number of EMHs all happening at the same time'. Which is another reas... (read more)

Thanks, nice post. I like 'anti-inductive markets', not least because it doesn't come with all the confusing connotations of 'efficient'.

Sure—I was testing a dual momentum strategy over the market as a whole, with a 12-month lookback period. The 'dual' refers to both absolute momentum, and relative momentum between asset classes (bonds, US stocks, non-US stocks).

I haven't evaluated it properly yet, but the signals it generated told me to stay in stocks until the end of March, at which point I ought move into bonds, just in time to miss the recovery. Over the period I've tested it so far (16 months) it has returned -4%, while my benchmark is at +18%. I am still mildly interested to see how it pans out, but I ignored the signals and am now only tracking it on paper.

Yeah, active investors are providing a valuable service to everyone else, both by exploiting genuine asymmetries, and by collectively generating a signal in the Uncle George sense. People sometimes worry about the passive revolution for this reason, but the vast majority of funds under management are still active, and human nature being what it is, there will presumably always be plenty of people willing to have a crack.

I think the reason not to worry too much about the passive revolution is that as long as there are money-making opportunities from active trading -- people will be incentivized to do it. The end state "everyone is passive -- there is no price signal" is not one we can reach from where we are, and it is not a stable equilibrium. If we ever did cross over into "too few hedge funds", there would such a strong incentive for more, that I don't think it would last long. But perhaps I misunderstand this critique.
Is this true? A quick search suggests not: []

I think I agree with this point and I'm glad you raised it—you might non-trivially beat the market every once in a while, but not all the time. To be clear, I don't think of the EMH as an on/off switch, and if the post gives that impression, that's my bad. In fact, the most successful investors I know of wait, wait, wait, and then very occasionally load up when they see a major asymmetry.

But I do still have a couple of reservations. The first is that this would still show up in the evidential standards I've suggested? If you matc... (read more)

April was the stock market's best month in 30 years, which is not really what you expect during a global pandemic.

Historically the biggest short-term gains have been disproportionately amidst or immediately following bear markets, when volatility is highest.

Crypto and domain names might be in a different class, for sure—I don't know how those markets work, although I'd be interested to hear more. But options contracts that involve e.g. the fortunes of the S&P 500 are not.

(I want to encourage rationalists to look for future opportunities to trade on, too. I just think those opportunities are vanishingly unlikely to come from highly liquid securities markets, and a lot of the recent talk is going to lead to misplaced effort.)

I don't think in any of the three cases in which Wai Dai made
... (read more)
I think that when it comes to events that have such high societal impact as COVID-19 and that don't really fall in anyone's expertise that happen in the future it's likely that rationalists can lucratively trade on them and pre-run the market. These kinds of event might be once per decade, but when they come along it's worth trading on them. As far as domain name picking goes, Wei Dai brought at a time where US domains did cost money but there Chinese domain names weren't worth much and sold it years later. The edge isn't in trading either of that in the current market. In hindsight mispricing of Chinese domain and Crypto exist for years while being public. I think there was maybe 1-2 weeks of mispriced pandemic information in the case of COVID-19 when I take my personal information at the time into account. In neither of those cases it would have changed much to be public about one's investment about how long the anomalies persisted.

Confusion: Can an anomaly be an open secret, and not defensible, and still somehow persist?

For example, I'm especially interested in the momentum anomaly. The momentum folks make a very compelling case that the behavioural econ reasons that brought it into existence are so dang powerful that it somehow persists, even though there are many papers/articles/books about it that anyone can read.

I personally found this just compelling enough to run a momentum experiment, based on a strategy that has done extremely well in reducing volatility and drawdowns i... (read more)

Sports bookies deal with "investors" that have net biases - lots of people will, for example, bet on the home team because they're fans. I also have it on pretty good authority that people drastically underestimate the variance in soccer matches between closely matched teams; when the World Cup comes around, a simple strategy of "bet on the underdog in every match" makes money.
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "defensible". It's true that some anomalies evaporate almost immediately once they are noticed, but others persist long after that--even for decades. One notable example of a long-lived inefficiency was the capping of the Euro/Franc rate [] at 1.20 from 2011 to 2015. This was announced publicly by the Swiss National Bank so it was available information. A price cap is a glaring market inefficiency, exploitable with a simple grid strategy. If the EMH were true, the rate should have settled at 1.20 almost instantly, but in fact, it took about three years for this to happen. And Forex is about as liquid as markets get.

Could you expand on which momentum anomaly you tested? One type is cross-sectional momentum (buy the top 1/10th of stocks that went up and short the bottom 1/10th), which is subject to major periods of drastic underperformance. This is all well documented in the literature. The other type is using momentum on the market as a whole, perhaps switching between asset classes based on momentum. I would not think that you could assess a strategy based on 6 months of performance.

My view as an investor since the 1980s is that the EMH is true to a 0th approximatio... (read more)

Confusion: Can multiple traders profit by bringing the exact same information to market?

I want to say yes? At least if they don't individually have enough heft to fully price it in? That would explain how multiple traders are able to exploit the same anomaly, whereas hedge funds have to cap their fund size because getting too big hurts them.

There's a certain amount of money that can be made of an inefficiency in the market depending on the liquidity of the underlying market. There are a limited number of people who want to take the opposite site of the trade you are making. Usually, you get dimishing returns as you bid people lower till the price is at it's efficient level.

Confusion: Is there some (incredibly weak) sense in which every person who makes a trade is bringing unique information to market?

Uncle George's opinion of the new iPhone is reflected in sales figures and aggregate reviews. But technically, he is in possession of a unique piece of private information: 'what does this one guy called Uncle George think about AAPL stock?'

This information is vanishingly close to being worthless, and a million miles way from a tradable edge, but it's not quite worthless—it still collectively helps to generate a signal. What does this mean, if anything?

The question is whether or not Uncle George is worse or better informed then the professional investors. In situation like this I think: In early February I could have reasonably said: I think that should be your mental model when doing most trades that aren't index based.
Seems like the answer to this question is straightforwardly yes. People's desires to hold various assets will be super correlated with each other. But there's non-zero information in each person's preferences.
You should certainly try to test any edge you think you have, and look for missing information. If you develop a good edge it's easy to make some profit, but it's always easier to lose money if you're careless. But don't give up before you even try.

Yep, I agree with all of this. I guess I way I would phrase it is that we don't start with a flat prior: we have mountains of evidence that most investors underperform, and that finding an edge is difficult. Doesn't mean it's not possible, and absolutely you should try, so long... (read more)

Obviously some people have made money trading stocks. Does the EMH simply mean that less than 50% of people who trade stocks make money? That doesn't seem to support the grandiose conclusions that are usually made on the basis of the EMH.

Yeah exactly - for example, something like 90% of active fund managers (professional investors with all the bells and whistles) fail to beat their benchmark, and those that do are highly unlikely to repeat the feat the next year. It makes no difference to me that EMH doesn't cash out in some kind of precise formula—it just seems like a super useful and interesting thing to know. Sorry if we've been talking at cross-purposes!

Yep, true - hence high-frequency traders. I remember reading how one firm installed a direct cable between Chicago and New Jersey at some incredible expense to shave a few milliseconds off transmission time.

What would be an example of energy not being conserved in a closed system? Does the law of thermodynamics even mean anything?

I'm not sure what you're trying to say, so it would probably be better to just state your point plainly.

Like anything else, the EMH is useful insofar as it generates testable predictions about the world. One of the most useful predictions, as johnswentworth puts it: 'you shouldn't expect to make money trading stocks'.

What would be an example of energy not being conserved in a closed system?

If a spinning overbalanced wheel without additional energy input spun faster and faster instead of slowing down and stopping.

Does the law of thermodynamics even mean anything?

The laws of thermodynamics don't seem to have the same problem of vagueness. It's easy to tell whether a given situation would violate them or not.

I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, so it would probably be better to just state your point plainly.

I'm trying to figure out what you mean when you tal... (read more)

The onus is on the person making an extraordinary claim to provide the evidence, not the other way around.

If you think you've found an exploit in the market you should absolutely start from the position that you're wrong, because... you almost certainly are. This is how anyone ought to behave purely out of naked self-interest—it has nothing to do with confirmation bias.

Is my claim really so extraordinary? EMH isn't settled: it's contentious. Many economists seem to believe it, but many traders and money managers reject it. I mean, I feel like there are a number of exploitable anomalies that are open secrets at this point. GARCH forecasts. Pairs trading. Momentum. Mean reversion. Fourier spectral filters. Historical vs implied option volatility. These are not beyond the reach of anyone who can do calculus and write code. There are still more whales than sharks in the market. Bayes says you have to look at both sides of the likelihood ratio to update. I don't particularly care which one you pick first. You should certainly try to test any edge you think you have, and look for missing information. If you develop a good edge it's easy to make some profit, but it's always easier to lose money if you're careless. But don't give up before you even try.
Sometimes the market is wrong but the barrier to competition is so high that if you try to take advantage of it you run of money.

It means exactly what it says: asset prices reflect all available information. Not sure exactly what you're asking, but that alone is a revelatory and counterintuitive idea.

Note that, strictly speaking, this couldn't be possible, since people are not logically omniscient []. There is some finite rate at which people can compute the consequences of facts (including disparate facts at first not known to be related to each other), so there will be some finite rate at which the market incorporates new information. This suggests that you don't actually need private information to beat the market. If you can do better analysis or do it faster, that can give you alpha as well. But then there's a market for doing that analysis. And some of that alpha ends up accruing to HFT firms, or to the salaries of traders, etc.

What would be an example of asset prices not reflecting all available information?

But ... this is nuts, right? It makes sense that a pandemic would make a videoconferencing company more valuable. It doesn't make sense for a completely unrelated company that may not have actually existed since 2015 to become more valuable because it happens to have a similar name as a videoconferencing company.

Seconding the call to check out Matt Levine's column, which has taught me that this kind of weirdness makes perfect sense, and is entirely consistent with EMH. If we have evidence that people often make these kind of blunders, and will co... (read more)

If this kind of behavior is entirely consistent with EMH, does EMH even mean anything?

Good examples. I'm gonna address this somewhat in the next post - premature optimisation seems like the bigger problem, but there are also relatively stable domains in which it makes sense to switch from exploring to exploiting as early in the piece as possible.

As you point out, the strategy hinges on the stability of the ground, which in turn hinges on the ability to determine said stability. I think there are some OK heuristics for this, although they mostly just look like asking 'what domain of life does this decision fall under?'

Yeah the comparison would work better with a fruit that hasn't been selectively bred - maybe jackfruit, or blueberries? Quick googling suggests it's really hard to find a fruit in which the sweetness signal hasn't already been distorted.

Thanks for taking the time to say so! It takes a fair amount of effort to bash the writing into shape, so it's really nice to know it doesn't go unnoticed.

I am curious about this. It's my impression that assets tend to become more correlated in a downturn. I'm not sure how much this, or the presence of fat tails, affects things, but their back test on at least three different countries' data mitigates my concern somewhat.

(I don't know how it applies to this model, but...) price movements are not normally distributed, and any model that assumes they are carries a major risk of blowing up. For example: during the financial crisis Goldman Sachs chief financial officer David Viniar infamously... (read more)

I've been meaning to come back to this post to say thanks.

Before reading your post, it had literally never occurred to me to try decaf. I guess I thought it would be gross or pointless (to the extent I thought of it at all).

In the last two months, I've reduced my caffeine consumption by ~50%, while simultaneously increasing my total coffee consumption by about the same. This is basically the dream situation. I also noticed that most of the time, I don't really care whether it's a carefully prepared brew of the good stuff - I just want to sip on a cup of familiar-tasting hot liquid.

So, thanks for the suggestion!

Holy crap, I just noticed that most of the latest Fitbit models (including mine) have a built-in pulse oximeter!

This would presumably make it even easier to quickly map outbreaks at the population level, in the way discussed in the Lancet article (leaving aside privacy issues).

At the individual level, unfortunately Fitbit won't give me disaggregated data or a percentage reading. It only shows a graph of 'high' and 'low' variations in blood oxygen overnight, which I have no idea how to interpret. I believe this is due to FDA restric... (read more)

It might very well be that they can measure the variations with higher accuracy then they can measure the percentage because there are constant factors like skin color that affect the percentage but that can be factored out when comparing daily values. I guess that for doing self diagnosis you want to know how your values derivate from normal.

I love MMM but he dun goofed on this one. From his post:

Some people are just prone to this type of thinking, and I even have a few in my own life. They have warned me to gather “at least a few months worth” of nonperishable food in my pantry...

This is some of the juiciest low-hanging fruit anyone could pluck! Assuming you're going to use the food anyway, it is a zero-cost option that potentially makes a huge difference! And doing this as far in advance as possibly - rather than at the last minute, when people receive the officially-sanctioned 'licence' to panic - also helps to flatten the demand curve, and keep shelves fully stocked.

3Adam Zerner3y
That's a great point, I totally agree. Like Isnasense mentioned [] in their comment, my faith in MMM is quite a bit lower after reading the post. However, it is still possible that correct about the points regarding how bad the coronavirus is compared to status quo thing like heart disease. I don't think we should take his word for it, but thinking about it from first principles, it seems at least very plausible to me. But maybe I'm wrong, that's partly why I wrote this post. I'm curious to hear what others think.

Cool, thanks. Still seems v. inconclusive... if anyone has more info, please chime in on that thread!

I am suspicious of the general advice against non-frontline health workers using masks (i.e. that anything short of a properly-fitted N95 mask is not only useless, but possibly does more harm than good). This air filter company claims that not only are masks a lot better than nothing; even home-made masks bodged out of cotton t-shirts or pillowcases catch 50-60% of virus-sized particles. Or as Naval suggested on Twitter, "billions of Asians aren't wrong."

I don't know whether this is correct, but am leaning towards wearing a mask in publ... (read more)

See previous discussion here: []

Slightly meta: I'd love to see more LW posts along these lines! It wasn't until reading Sarah's post that I even realised that aesthetics matter; I've been thinking about it ever since, and I'd nominate it for the review if I could.

A common criticism of rationality/LW is that it is an aesthetic-based identity movement. I think this is true, but not necessarily a bad thing. Paul Graham's advice makes sense for politics, but he overstated the case: in my experience, 'trying on' new identities is a much better strategy ... (read more)

Thanks for taking the time to delve into this!

You note that expected utility with a risk-averse utility function is sufficient to make appropriate choices [in those particular scenarios].

This is a slight tangent, but I'm curious to what extent you think people actually follow something that approximates this utility function in real life? It seems like some gamblers instinctively use a strategy of this nature (e.g. playing with house money) or explicitly run the numbers (e.g. the Kelly criterion). And I doubt that anyone is dumb enough to keep betting thei

... (read more)
Not sure. I can't tell what additional information, if any, Peters is contributing that you can't already get from learning about the math of wagers and risk-averse utility functions.

Question/feature request: does cross-posting automatically add a canonical URL element pointing to the original content? If not, would it be possible to do so? (Google doesn't necessarily penalise duplicate content, but it does effect search rankings etc.)

We already implemented this! When we set up crossposting we can set a flag on whether to have the canonical URL point towards its original source (this doesn't always make sense, for example for things like the AI Alignment Newsletter), but if you want to automatically crosspost while preserving the canonical URL we can set that up for you.

Not the OP, but as someone who uses both: in my mind, they're categorically different. Anki is for memorisation of discrete chunks of knowledge, for rote responses (i.e. deliberately Cached Thoughts), and for periodic reminders of things.

Zettelkasten helps with information retention too, but that's mostly a happy side-effect of the desired goal, which (for me) is synthesis. Every time I input a new chunk of knowledge, I have to decide where I should 'hang' it in my existing graph, what it rhymes with, whether it creates dissonance, and ... (read more)

Right, I agree with this. I never managed to keep using Anki-like software for anything, but, the purpose is quite different.

Excellent write-up!

Anecdatum: I got into Zettelkasten before I knew what it was called after reading a post by Ryan Holiday circa 2013 (he recommends physical cards and slip boxes, too). It's profoundly improved my writing, my ability to retain information, and synthesis of new ideas, even though I was doing it 'wrong' or sub-optimally most of that time.

In terms of systems: I always thought using paper index cards was bonkers, given we have these newfangled things called 'computers', but your post makes a much more compelling case ... (read more)

For simple nouns and verbs, you could use pictures as the prompt? I find this really helpful for building memorable associations, and helps me 'taboo' English on the flashcards.

Another suggestion is to add some kind of personal connection or mnemonic device. I haven't used this myself, but it's recommended in a book called Fluent Forever, which is all about learning languages through spaced repetition.

I do like that suggestion about trying to remove the English word and just try to associate the foreign word with the concept/thing.

I think I get you now, thanks. Not sure if this is exactly right, but one is proactive (preparing for known stressors) and one is reactive (response to unexpected stressors).

1Matt Goldenberg4y
I'm not sure if this is the way I would think of it but I can kind of see it. I more think of them as different responses to the same sorts of stressors.

Strong upvoted. This is a great overview, thanks for putting it together! I'm going to be coming back to this again for sure.

Note that Effectuation and Antifragility explicitly trade off against each other. Antifragility trades away certainty for flexibility while Effectuation does the opposite.

Can you say more about this? You mention that effectuation involves "shift[ing] the rules such that the risks were no longer downsides", but that looks a lot like hormesis/antifragility to me. The lemonade principle in particular feels like straight-up antifragility (unexpected events/stressors are actually opportunities for growth).

3Matt Goldenberg4y
That claim is something that often seems to be true, but it's one of the things I'm unsure of as a general rule. I do know that in practice when I try to mitigate risk in my own projects, and I think of anti-fragile and effectuative strategies, they tend to be at odds with each other (this is true of both the "0 to 1 Companies" and "AGI Risk" examples below") The difference between hormesis and the lemonade principle is one of mindset. In general, the anti-fragile mindset is "you don't get to choose the game but you can make yourself stronger according to the rules." Hormesis from that mindset is "Given the rules of this game, how can I create a policy that tends to make me stronger to the different types of risks?" The effectuative mindset is "rig the game, then play it." From that perspective, the lemonade principle looks more like "Given that I failed to rig this game, how can I use the information I just acquired to rig a new game." You're a farmer of a commodity and there's an unexpected drought. The hormetic mindset is "store a bit more water in the future." (and do this every time there's a draught). The lemonade mindset is "Start a draught insurance company that pays out in water."

Thanks for the feedback - much appreciated! I agree that the end isn't well supported (at least, in the post). I write for a general audience who want clear, actionable takeaways. If I cross-post something in the future, I'll think about editing it more heavily to fit the LW norms (i.e. explain rather than persuade).

As far as I can tell:

1. Be born to the right parents, in the right circumstances (not helpful, but important to acknowledge).

2. Apply yourself strategically in areas that compound (e.g. knowledge and skills, saving and investing, resistance training, networking).

3. Apply your effort wherever the yield is highest. All of these domains follow an S-shaped curve, with early exponential growth running into an upper ceiling of diminishing returns. At any given point in time, it might make sense to focus primarily on accumulating money, at another, skills and kn... (read more)

After analysing the cases when I was in up and down momentum, I concluded that there are other additional points: 1.A new activity has initially up momentum, as it creates new connections, people are interested in your new project and you are inspired. An old activity creates down momentum, even if the quality of the product has improved, as people become bored with it. (There are counterexamples, e.g. Sequences). 2. You may learn to "feel" which action has up momentum or down momentum and navigate accordingly.

Absolutely. Another way of thinking about it is a punctuated equilibrium: in some domains it feels like nothing is happening for the longest time, then you suddenly experience 'overnight' success. I have noticed that I find projects with delayed or noisy feedback loops super stressful, even if I know there's a solid expected payoff waiting in the wings.

I am a fan of Marie Kondo and Peterson for the exact reason you describe, and enough people have mentioned IFS now that I'll have to check it out. What's the 'spoon' thing in reference to? This seems to be one of those LW-isms that I've missed somehow.


There are no negative consequences, because nothing happens in isolation. Obviously there'd be negative consequences if the average person did this, or if Berkhan ate an entire cheesecake every day. I'm not really sure what point you're making here.

There are no guidelines on this that I'm aware of, but it seems unlikely that the RDI scales linearly with lean body mass. Some proportion of micronutrient intake goes towards the likes of bones and organs and the brain, which is unchanged by having more muscle mass.

I'm less confident of this than I am of the opposite framing: people with a low caloric intake have to be more careful about eating nutrient-dense food.

2ChristianKl5y suggests for Vitamin D3:

Can't find good sources, it mostly seems to be anecdotal based on the ranges that strength athletes choose to stay in. My guess is that if you went too low, you'd know about it (stage-ready bodybuilders are in a world of pain). Also, kudos for maintaining a single digit body fat percentage - impressive!

My body-weight is far from that of a stage-ready bodybuilder, so my biology is not the same.


Reading the original study, it seems like one problem is that even though leptin returned to normal, it was out of sync with resting metabolic rate, which meant appetite was no longer linked to energy requirements. There is some suggestion that a slower rate of weight loss might have more success in changing the set point, but that's also contentious.

Neat, thanks! No worries about centering text. Footnotes would be much more valuable; especially the ability to automatically insert jump links (or display on mouse hover) rather than having to scroll up and down/open the document in two tabs.

From the post:

Something like 95 per cent of people who lose weight put it all back on. Almost every attempt is doomed to fail.

Fat people who are trying to lose weight are heroes, engaged in a struggle worthy of Sisyphus. Every conceivable force is levelled against them.

Not sure what gave you the impression I'm underestimating the odds, or the difficulty of the endeavour? That was literally the whole point of the post. If it wasn't communicated clearly enough, my apologies- I'd be interested in any feedback on which bits were confusing.

I missed that line and I apologize. A strong upvote for your troubles.

One of the points I was trying to make here is the underappreciated importance of path dependence and homeostasis (so a person who has always been thin will have a much easier time than someone who had to get thin).

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