Bet they do not believe in preparing for the future

The New York Times uses the word “bet” extremely frequently. In almost every situation where they are describing someone making a choice about the future, they describe that choice as “betting” on a particular outcome.

It seems that in the world view, someone cannot possibly make a careful, sober choice of course of action.  They can only “bet” on one outcome or another.

Riskviews noticed this when reading the nth story about a financial firm.  Of course, in the NYT language ALL hedge activity is betting.  Even if a firm is already long a risk, if they short that same exact risk to offset their long position, then they are described as “betting” against the risk that they were previously long.

Of course, if you had simply retained your long position and it either gained or lost money, then your “bet” would have been either a winner or a loser.

, via Wikimedia Commons”]In terms of Plural Rationalities, that means that the NYT has a purely PRAGMATIST point of view towards risk.  A PRAGMATIST believes that no one knows the future so any decision about the future is exactly the same as a bet on the spin of a roulette wheel, a gamble.  If you do not believe me, go to their website and do a search on the word “bet”.  You will be amazed at how many times it comes up and you will see that they are always using it to describe these choice about the future.

Now Plural Rationalities suggests that there are three other points of view about the future and risk in the future:

  • Maximizers – believe that things are self correcting so if you keep your head there is little risk in the long run.
  • Conservators – believe that there is a great deal of risk so you should keep away from taking very much risk
  • Managers – who believe that there is a moderate amount of risk and if you are careful, you can take risks and get ahead

That a major voice in our country has gone over to the Pragmatist point of view is a sign of the times.  Things have been very uncertain for several years now.  It is very difficult to tell which way the economy is going.  So being a Pragmatist may just be their temporary reaction to the environment.

When things get more predictable, perhaps they will shift their point of view to that of the Manager.  And over time, as the Managers show more and more success, they may take up the viewpoint of the Maximizer as the next bubble forms somewhere.  Which makes way for the Conservator viewpoint as the bubble bursts.

And so it goes.

Explore posts in the same categories: Cultural Theory of Risk


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One Comment on “Bet they do not believe in preparing for the future”

  1. riskviews Says:

    Today’s Dealbook Blog does admit that there can be offsetting positions. But the headline writer is still fixated on BETS.

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