The Hour Between Dog and Wolf


8.0 Mind Opening Read

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The biggest enemy is oneself? It has always been a mystery, or rather an oxymoron to me. In order to fight with myself, technically I need to have two “me”. Where should I draw the line to separate the two? Who is the other “I” that is competing to control me? How is that I fall prey to my greed and prejudices? How did my conscious mind get tricked by sub-consciousness?

Mr. Coates went great length to explain a very complex neurological process in plain language. Through the gut wrenching high profile investment traders, Mr. Coates adeptly demonstrated the bolts and nuts that operate within us. The findings in the book were shocking to me and profoundly insightful. The book explained how the biological structure of the mind and body facilitates not a one way but a two way communication. The body at times induces our sub-consciousness to make decision and our consciousness only kicks in much later to “rationalize it”. The book did a rich analysis on various feedback loops in our body. It even suggested a secondary nerve system that seems to be able to “make decisions”. It has also identified a dozen of evolution traits that were designed millenniums ago to cope with life threatening event and how those traits were no longer suited to cope with modern intensive mental stress.

With the rise and fall of profit, Mr. Coates beautifully charted the neurological turbulence traders experienced. The overdose of hormones greatly skewed the decision making process. Traders draw on disciplined training to recognize almost invisible patterns on the screen and make a millisecond buy or sell decision, even before the image can be projected in the brain.  It was interesting to learn that how the normal anti-drug advertisement did more to induce than to dissuade addicts and how we draw happiness from both the seeking and actual execution efforts.

A fascinating quick read; a journey over mind and body, philosophy and neurology. Both the maniac financial trading floor and complex human body were dissected with surgical accuracy. If the limitations are really inherent in human’s very design, then how do we cope with those imperfections?

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