Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Profiting From the Apocalypse

A friend in Pennsylvania has observed that white bread supplies are running low, apparently because of the Mayan 2012 thing.  I confess I'd forgotten about this completely, even though I posted before to anticipate their after-the-fact excuses; thanks for the reminder, nutbars.  No word on why wheat isn't as good for surviving the end.

Wow, a picture with an eclipse and an old building!  How can you not believe?!

This is a good example for one of the problems sub-rationality (rationally benefiting from taking advantage of irrational beliefs of others but reinforcing them in doing so):  if you somehow had the opportunity to buy up a bunch of white bread, and sell it back to these schmendricks at triple the price, is it not rational to do so?  If not, why not?  You're redistributing wealth from the pockets of the irrational to the rational, and it's better utilized there!  I have to admit, back in March of 2011, I was thinking of selling "organic, all-natural", maybe "homeopathic alternative" iodine to the nutbars on the Pacific side of the U.S. after the Fukushima disaster.  I actually did try to sell a magic stick recently (no bids!  frown) and during both the Harold Camping thing and the run-up to the current apocalypse, I contacted people by email asking them if they would accept these terms:  I loan them $1,000, with repayment due at 500% the day AFTER Camping's end-time.  If they really believe what they're saying, that's free money to evangelize!  No one wrote back, ever.  Surprise!

If I *had* made money off any of these things, isn't this an example of irrational people getting their just desserts for being nutbars?  The problem here is that I would be reinforcing people's irrational beliefs.  I don't think it's as much of a problem that I'm somehow immorally taking advantage of someone.  After all, who am I to say what's true?  Can't we just let people believe what they want to?  (And can you hear me smirking?)

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