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Social Bubbles

Skipdd

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Dec 30, 2015
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Silver Spring, MD
@jhm @jbcarioca @Gigapress @heltok

Probably missed a couple of folks - pls help me reach the other interested parties. I will post the link to this thread as a response to heltok's most recent response.

For those starting in anew to this thread. @jhm posted a very informative note on the main Investor's Roundtable thread and a group of us decided to create a separate thread to explore the concept more fully. Here is jhm's original post -

"We live in a time were bubble-think disinformation mediated by social media is literally an epidemic crisis. It's very important for society to understand how bubble-think works so as to safeguard from it. For instance, TSLAQ is an information bubble and exists at a social level, not individual level. I know at least one person, a co-worker, who was taken in by TSLAQ and lost a lot of money shorting Tesla. As an individual he has come to realize that shorting Tesla is a really dumb idea and he has moved on with his life. TSLAQ as a social bubble, however, rolls right along as if nothing has been learned. That is, people like my co-worker, who wake up to reality, are not really welcome to voice that within TSLAQ circles. Indeed, they are often driven out. So as someone moves past the cognitive limitations of TSLAQ what they have learned is ejected from the bubble. The bubble retains as much ignorance as it had before people like my co-worker woke up to reality. The issue is whether the the bubble can attract new uninformed members as quickly as members wise up and exit the bubble. If so, the bubble can persist a very long time. Additionally, those who remain the longest with the bubble are likely the least cognitively equipped person or otherwise motivated participants in disinformation, e.g., paid shills.

So is TMC a social bubble? Perhaps. Some of the dynamics are similar. Members with divergent views tend not to stick around for long. Certainly we have had notable members who have "woke up" to how Elon Musk cannot be trusted, poor Tesla service will destroy the company, etc. It is actually a healthy sign that we have these debates from time to time. At any rate, we cannot rule out the possibility that TMC could become a social bubble which is unhinged from reality. I do not believe this is presently the case however. The basic epistemological question we must always ask ourselves is, how would I know if I were wrong? Is there any external source of information that could persuade me that Tesla is on the wrong track? Indeed there are. We pour over SEC filings and other statements from Tesla. These are external sources of information. If Tesla were on the wrong path as evidenced by say quarterly filings, would we be able to modify our views of Tesla a going concern? I believe that for most of us the answer is yes. Personally, my investment thesis is based on Tesla being able to sustain 50% annual growth on average over many years. We see in Q3 that Tesla is able grow revenue 57% y/y, gross profit 77%, and deliveries 73%. So by multiple metrics we get robust confirmation that Tesla is indeed growing by about 50% annually. Had any of these metrics been below 40%, most of us would be very concerned and would have robust debate about whether this is just a short-term issue to be resolve in the coming year. If two-year or three-year growth were to slow below 40% CAGR, I think many of us would be able to admit that Tesla is no longer the growth engine it once was. We'd have to change our investment thesis away from one that was based on assumed 50% growth. (Tesla may still be a very good investment even with slower growth or not.) This is all quite intellectually healthy. I believe that TMC will be able to navigate such changes in the investment theses we hold.

On the other hand, TSLAQ seems unable to do this. Do they read the quarterly reports? Yes, many do. But is this for them an external source of credible information? Sadly, no. They do not view any statements from Tesla as credible. They operate with a hermeneutic of suspicion regarding Tesla's management. That is, they believe that management is trying to deceive them and the public at every turn. Hoaxes! Lies! Fraud! So when Tesla reports 73% growth in deliveries, they immediately hold that information is suspicion. The discount this in any number of ways. It might be an accounting trick. It might be cover for some worse fraud or deception. And on and on. This sort of cynical, undisciplined hyper-skepticism is really a form of disinformation. Essentially, it gives license to bubble-think members to utterly disregard Tesla as an external inform source. TSLAQ as group appears to lack any ability to take in external information without transforming it into their own disinformation. Even losing billions shorting Tesla is transformed into disinformation when they console themselves that the market price for Tesla is just a bubble, which ought to burst sometime soon. Again the less cognitively impaired ones will take their losses and walk away from the TSLAQ bubble, but those who remain will have learned nothing. Indeed those who remain will embraces increasingly bizarre delusions to suppress psychologically and sociologically all information contrary to their collective bubble-think.

Now are there Tesla bears who are not part of TSLAQ? I would hope so. We genuinely need there to be well informed participants who scrutinize Tesla. For such a person to be worth listening to, they have be willing to take SEC filings and other external sources of information at face value. They really ought to have genuine respect for Elon Musk and be willing to believe what Tesla's management has to say. Indeed Musk and Tesla's management generally often have many critical things to say about the company. If you listen carefully you will hear what risks management is aware of and probably mitigating in someway. There is little reason for cognitively competent bull and bears to disagree on what the real risks are. The substantial disagreement is on how likely and severe these risks may be and how likely management will be able to mitigate or work around these risks. For example, management is clear that Tesla is facing supply chain problems. This is real risk that both bulls and bear need to understand and accept. The bear could argue that these supply chain risks are too high and could imperil Tesla's future. Fair enough, bulls can also look at those same risks and conclude that management will work through those risks with agility and that the balance sheet is strong enough to financially sustain these headwinds. In confronting real risks, any of us can be bullish or bearish to some extent. And it is particularly healthy for investors to be able to acknowledge our doubts and worries as well as the reasons why we accept the risk/reward profile of the investment. My own opinion is that TMC is a place were we can process both beliefs and doubts regarding Tesla in a health, constructive and adaptive manner.

Cheers! "
 

Unpilot

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Dec 2, 2017
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Thanks for this.
I am very interested in how we all seem to silo ourselves.

It is human nature to seek tribal approval and today one has endless blogs, websites, forums to seek like-minded folks.

In sorting out the signal from the noise, it is far too easy to overlook legitimate counters.

Glad to have a thread where I can learn from others how to check myself.
 

Skipdd

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
811
1,605
Silver Spring, MD
Thanks for this.
I am very interested in how we all seem to silo ourselves.

It is human nature to seek tribal approval and today one has endless blogs, websites, forums to seek like-minded folks.

In sorting out the signal from the noise, it is far too easy to overlook legitimate counters.

Glad to have a thread where I can learn from others how to check myself.
I agree. The other thing that I'd like to learn is how to how to better communicate with members of other bubbles who may have diametrically opposed views to mine. I'll admit in some cases, there is a strong desire on my part to sway their opinion and move them toward an outcome that I prefer. I think it is always easiest to understand something with use cases, so I will describe two. The most poignant example(s) of this in my family are around politics, and in one case it was also around vaccinations. I'll address the 2nd one since it is less volatile than the first. I'll be direct with this as it is easier. Our son was totally opposed to getting vaccinated. His fiancee' as well as his sister and both my wife and I were vaccinated. His sister is immunocompromised as is his grandmother (my mother-in-law). Did not sway him. Until, we stopped trying to persuade with logic and rationale and instead started driving consequence based discussions. Family was coming to visit, and he was told he had to be vaccinated - at least one dose. He works as a tradesman and we told him that he would literally be prevented from doing certain jobs w/o being vaccinated. His ability to go to entertainment venues, to travel, and so forth would be restricted. That worked. Now I'd like to be able to interpolate from this to determine what are the general principles that work vs those that do not. Can they be applied to other areas?

My concern is that we have too many examples of this type of behavior that has very serious consequences. I would like to better understand what is driving this, how can we shift the equation to make bubbles more permeable to communications, and so on.
 

lascavarian

little endian
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Jul 27, 2017
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I might observe that an important understanding would be the useful purpose of the bubble in the first place.

Humans in general terms respond (mostly positively) to groups. Whatever the present term is - silos, group-think, bubbles, cults, tribes, family, religions, cultures, systems, fandom, social network, parties, markets, etc.

Biology rewards self assembly into groups. Our very bodies express this biological/evolutionary reward. Lots more to explore on this but set this aside for now.

Group function then comes into play. There are lots of studies over centuries of how control and agency of groups manifests (executive function). Again there is a lot to explore from Machiavelli, psychohistory to “The Office” but set this aside for now.

The self assembly of networks into networks (this is yet another manifestation/expression of Biologicalism) or the internet is the recent phenomenon we suffer. It amplifies and creates imbalances destabilizing the norm.

This amplification and resulting destabilizing we see reflected in the increasing anxiety from the individual level all the way through much larger human structures.

This loosening of possibilities opens or releases a kind of chaos that can weaken assumptive thinking further building anxiety In the individual. Organization forces that predate have amplified opportunity as a result in the diminishing of confidence in norms.

So we face unpleasant times and seek relief in comforting imaginations. Reflecting on an imagined pleasant past soothes the anxiety of our loss of confidence in establishment mores.

Our retreat into our comfort bubbles weakens our fitness. We are more easily convinced with weak arguments or simplistic baseless assertions.

More positively, change toward an optimistic future is more possible if we can devine a path forward based on careful analysis/reflection of past experience/results.

TMC seems to reinforce good habits. Can we build on this? Understanding is essential and this thread/subject reflects that useful effort to understand the purpose and risks of bubbles. YMMV🙂
 

jhm

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2014
9,894
37,271
Atlanta, GA
Thanks, @Skipdd, for setting up this thread. I discovered this after posting a reply below. So I've copied it over so is won't get lost.


A few years ago I was a less of a Tesla bull than I am now. I found the very polarized camps regarding the expected value of TSLA fascinating and indicated an opportunity to make money if I could figure out what side was right. So I read a lot of bull and bear posts and tried to reformulate the arguments and see what counter arguments I got. But I really struggled to find any bear that I had what I thought to be good arguments. Almost all the bears were fishing for arguments, had very little real life experience of driving Teslas or talking with owners and arguments would be all over the place. Often they would loud and argumentative and doing Gish gallops as a way of winning the debate rather than to try to find out how the world was or what would happen.

So the more I tried to get bears to clarify their reasonings, the more bullish I became. If you listen to for example a debate between Rob Mauer and GoJo, you will hear that Gordon talks a lot, moves between topics very quickly and generally sounds very desperate, while Rob is relaxed and confident, talks about each point in turn. We live in a political climate where the GoJo types win elections, which is sad, but they generally are wrong about factually describing reality or prediction the future.

Look at GoJo now, he is predicting 1.5M deliveries for 2021 while claiming that Tesla is not growing. Clearly he will need to confuse his listeners a lot to win that argument. But a bull that is claiming that Tesla is growing and just cites the numbers from previous years and makes a prediction based on just extrapolating current production numbers and adding a little capacity can make that argument without confusing any listeners and without being too upset about any disagreement. No need to use ad hominems, Gish gallops or interrupting to make your case.

So when you are trying to decide if TMC or TSLAQ is a cult, which is a valid sanity check to do now and then, imo don’t only look at the arguments, also look on the form they are being delivered. Are the posters calm and relaxed, are the arguments clear and to the point etc. You would never see a physics professor being upset that his student have alternative viewpoints and start yelling at them, but you will see freshman students being upset with their biology professor for having non-popular viewpoints. The person throwing poop is generally wrong.
Click to expand...
You had the advantage of being outside of the two bubble. I think you chose the better bubble for yourself.

Usually the most plain, most boring reading of the facts is most reliable, and should new facts come to light, a straightforward reading of those facts will correct prior misunderstandings. When someone is going through confusing mental gymnastics and pushing all sorts of emotional buttons along the way, watch out! If GoJo genuinely believes that Tesla will deliver 1.5M cars next year without totally trashing their various profit margins, then he really ought to be bullish on Tesla. Straightforward math would indicate that Tesla's value would be growing substantially. The observation that he has difficulty accepting that 2 + 1 does plainly equal 3 is a big red flag. He appears to be motivated to distort reasoning.

He has to accept that Tesla will likely make about 1.5M cars in 2022, so he can't afford to go on record saying that there's no way on God's green earth that Tesla could sale more than million cars next year! He know that if he made a prediction like that, it would be easily falsified next year, and he would lose face. So what he is trying to do is gaslight the future. Sure Tesla could grow some 60% next year, but it's still a terrible investment for the following list of confusing and irrelevant points! The fact that he has to concede 1.5M deliveries next year suggests to me that he does understand plainly that Tesla is growing and little will get in the way of that over the next 5 quarters. But whatever is pulling his strings will not allow him communicate this clearly to the public that Tesla is in a strong position for sustain growth consistent with Tesla's 50% guidance on growth. His resistance to a plain reading of the facts suggests motivated reasoning.

I'd would like to make an epistemological point about predictions. Often reality is complex and not everything is immediately measurable. That is some issues and quantities are latent. We can easily disagree on latent matters because it is so hard to get the data we'd need to disconfirm a claim about the latent state of the world. This is where predictivism becomes very important. Some quantities are plainly observable. For example, the number of vehicles which Tesla delivers in a quarter is observable with good reliability. So one way to test if you have a good model of reality is to make specific predictions about future observations. If your model is reasonably complete (not missing important causes or conditions) and reasonably unbiased, then its predictions should have merit. But the merit of your model is easily falsified when observations demonstrated how poor your predictions have been. So making predictions is one way to keep our reasoning honest. If we are misconstruing facts, misled by irrelevant issues or motivated to hold some bias, our bad predictions about plain observable things can show us the error of our way. Often when someone refuses to make prediction it is a tell that they do not have a clear or honest grasp of the situation from which to venture a prediction. Even if there is genuine uncertainty this can be honestly communicated by putting very wide error bars around one's prediction. But if someone is claiming to have very high confidence in their knowledge and yet refuses to make basic predictions about things that could call to question their reasoning, this is a red flag. It's okay to have uncertainty if one is honest about it. Making straightforward predictions based on what we believe we rightly understand forces us to be honest about both what we know and what we don't know.

GoJo is not making an honest prediction about 1.5M deliveries. He has more certainty about this than he is willing to admit because it is genuinely bullish. But he is also hiding behind the expectations of honest bulls. He knows that if Tesla fails to hit 1.5M or better, he can then use this to attack the bull thesis. So he is trying to have it both ways. If Tesla meets or beats 1.5M, then he was not wrong in his 1.5M prediction. But if Tesla fails 1.5M, then he takes credit for his bearish outlook, for which he had not had the conviction to make a suitably bearish prediction about future deliveries. So he has a rhetorical setup such that he can avoid falsification next year. This is a faithless prediction. Rob, on the other hand, can make a clearly good faith prediction. Hypothetical Rob could say something like this:

I've studied Tesla carefully and conclude that they should be able to make about 1.5M cars next year and demand appears to be sufficient to sell as many cars. So I predict that Tesla will deliver about 1.5M cars in 2022. If deliveries fall below say 1.2M, I will be very concerned that something has gone wrong with my investment thesis, and of course I'd be delighted if Tesla could have deliveries north of 1.8M, but honestly I do not see a production path to such numbers in this timeframe.

This kind of prediction is honest and reasonable. It is clear about what is expected and how much uncertainty there is. Placing bounds on the prediction from 1.2M to 1.8M puts shows the limits of what the person thinks is consistent with their current understanding. It also makes clear that this understanding must be corrected if actual result are out of theses bounds. For example, if Tesla were to produce over 1.8M, our hypothetical Rob would be keen to understand how Tesla was able to ramp up production much faster than previous analysis had suggested was possible. This could reveal that hypothetical Rob had an incomplete model of production capabilities. Likewise, if deliveries came short of 1.2M, hypothetical Rob would be very curious about what the heck went wrong with both Tesla and his understanding of production capacity and consumer demand. These are marks of an honest prediction: when the actuals are observed to be substantially wide of expectations, the person who made the prediction actually want to correct their prior inadequate understanding. It's not so much about saving face as it is about wanting to have a better grasp of reality. Indeed we learn fastest when we discover that our best predictions fall flat on their face.

The goal, as Musk puts it, is to be less wrong over time. So a plain reading of the facts along with honest predictions sets one up to recognize quickly what's gone wrong in our prior understanding and how to correct it going forward. I'd much rather hang out in a bubble with others who are actively learning as we go than to hang with those who cling to nonsense.
 
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jhm

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2014
9,894
37,271
Atlanta, GA
I might observe that an important understanding would be the useful purpose of the bubble in the first place.

Humans in general terms respond (mostly positively) to groups. Whatever the present term is - silos, group-think, bubbles, cults, tribes, family, religions, cultures, systems, fandom, social network, parties, markets, etc.

Biology rewards self assembly into groups. Our very bodies express this biological/evolutionary reward. Lots more to explore on this but set this aside for now.

Group function then comes into play. There are lots of studies over centuries of how control and agency of groups manifests (executive function). Again there is a lot to explore from Machiavelli, psychohistory to “The Office” but set this aside for now.

The self assembly of networks into networks (this is yet another manifestation/expression of Biologicalism) or the internet is the recent phenomenon we suffer. It amplifies and creates imbalances destabilizing the norm.

This amplification and resulting destabilizing we see reflected in the increasing anxiety from the individual level all the way through much larger human structures.

This loosening of possibilities opens or releases a kind of chaos that can weaken assumptive thinking further building anxiety In the individual. Organization forces that predate have amplified opportunity as a result in the diminishing of confidence in norms.

So we face unpleasant times and seek relief in comforting imaginations. Reflecting on an imagined pleasant past soothes the anxiety of our loss of confidence in establishment mores.

Our retreat into our comfort bubbles weakens our fitness. We are more easily convinced with weak arguments or simplistic baseless assertions.

More positively, change toward an optimistic future is more possible if we can devine a path forward based on careful analysis/reflection of past experience/results.

TMC seems to reinforce good habits. Can we build on this? Understanding is essential and this thread/subject reflects that useful effort to understand the purpose and risks of bubbles. YMMV🙂
I like this perspective. Humans largely advance through social adaptation. So we can on one hand affirm the goodness of forming social grouping, while on the other hand, critique specific social grouping on grounds of how adaptive that group is. That is any social arrangement can become pathological, and in the extreme the pathology can undermine whatever advantage social connections might otherwise provide.

So I think we can start from a place that we are all in various social bubbles--this is what we do as social creatures--but some bubbles are more dysfunctional than others. The notion of social networks may be helpful in presenting the idea that we can navigate from one social bubble to another.

Indeed, one of the serious problems of actual cults (a pathological social grouping) is that members are pressured to severe ties with other people and social groups. For example, a cult member may cut off all communication with family members who are not part of the cult. What this does is disconnects the individual from the larger social networks that moderate the influence of the cult on the cult member. To the more detached you become from a large, diverse social network, the more dependent you become on the cult to define all aspects of your reality. This often leads to tolerating substantial abuse, as the abused cult member sees no non-abusive alternative to the reality of the cult.

One phenomenon we see with online trolling is that it tends destroy broader online relationships. Trolling is a form of abuse. It bullies online participants to either shut up or leave. I've had specific encounters with trolls. I might reply to someone on Twitter about climate change, then in rushes some identity who has not been part of the discussion and has a dubious profile to start threatening me. We know that there are organizations that coordinate trolling operations. It took me a while to comprehend why there are these provocateurs who are not trying to engaging in a genuine discussion but are simply trying to anger everyone in the conversation. At first the tactic did not make sense to me, but now I see that the strategy was to disrupt genuine public discourse. Those who are opposing climate action, simply want to shut down any casual, neighborly discussion of the basic fact of climate change. Yes, there are place on the internet where you can have very productive discussion of climate change, but the social crossover points have been destroyed. For example, I cannot have a friendly discussion about climate change with a conservative high school classmate on FB in large measure because systematic trolling operation have so poisoned this topic. Thus, the wider social networks have been fractured. I actually can't bear to follow my classmates post any more because he has been radicalized to respond aggressively on any number of social issues.

The more fragmented our social network becomes, the more susceptible many of us become to cult-like abuses. Indeed I view anti-vax denialism as a very specific example of harms of cult-like abuse. That is as people go down the anti-vax rabbit hole they come to a place where they are deprived of live saving health care. This is utterly dysfunctional and constitutes physical and psychological abuse. Cult membership deprives one of the many of the benefits of being in a larger society, one which in this case has the technological means to produce vaccines and resource to provide that to everyone. Now we see that some anti-vax cult members would prefer to be unemployed, which would cut them off even further from our larger society.

The sort of social fracturing that online trolling and other disinformation tactics have unleashed is truly devastating. It really is hard to know how to pick up the pieces.
 

Skipdd

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
811
1,605
Silver Spring, MD
I might observe that an important understanding would be the useful purpose of the bubble in the first place.

Humans in general terms respond (mostly positively) to groups. Whatever the present term is - silos, group-think, bubbles, cults, tribes, family, religions, cultures, systems, fandom, social network, parties, markets, etc.

Biology rewards self assembly into groups. Our very bodies express this biological/evolutionary reward. Lots more to explore on this but set this aside for now.

Group function then comes into play. There are lots of studies over centuries of how control and agency of groups manifests (executive function). Again there is a lot to explore from Machiavelli, psychohistory to “The Office” but set this aside for now.

The self assembly of networks into networks (this is yet another manifestation/expression of Biologicalism) or the internet is the recent phenomenon we suffer. It amplifies and creates imbalances destabilizing the norm.

This amplification and resulting destabilizing we see reflected in the increasing anxiety from the individual level all the way through much larger human structures.

This loosening of possibilities opens or releases a kind of chaos that can weaken assumptive thinking further building anxiety In the individual. Organization forces that predate have amplified opportunity as a result in the diminishing of confidence in norms.

So we face unpleasant times and seek relief in comforting imaginations. Reflecting on an imagined pleasant past soothes the anxiety of our loss of confidence in establishment mores.

Our retreat into our comfort bubbles weakens our fitness. We are more easily convinced with weak arguments or simplistic baseless assertions.

More positively, change toward an optimistic future is more possible if we can devine a path forward based on careful analysis/reflection of past experience/results.

TMC seems to reinforce good habits. Can we build on this? Understanding is essential and this thread/subject reflects that useful effort to understand the purpose and risks of bubbles. YMMV🙂
Thanks for the post. I followed the 1st part of it - how groups come into being, and then started struggling with what I think you were saying is the disintermediation of groups via the internet. Think I understand that part, but you suggested that this disintermediation or "loosening of possibilities" releases a chaos that weakens assumptive thinking further, and result in the diminishing of norms. And then that people/groups retreat into comforting imagination. This is where I sort of understand, but could use some more points to better groc it.

Thanks.
 

Skipdd

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
811
1,605
Silver Spring, MD
I like this perspective. Humans largely advance through social adaptation. So we can on one hand affirm the goodness of forming social grouping, while on the other hand, critique specific social grouping on grounds of how adaptive that group is. That is any social arrangement can become pathological, and in the extreme the pathology can undermine whatever advantage social connections might otherwise provide.

So I think we can start from a place that we are all in various social bubbles--this is what we do as social creatures--but some bubbles are more dysfunctional than others. The notion of social networks may be helpful in presenting the idea that we can navigate from one social bubble to another.

Indeed, one of the serious problems of actual cults (a pathological social grouping) is that members are pressured to severe ties with other people and social groups. For example, a cult member may cut off all communication with family members who are not part of the cult. What this does is disconnects the individual from the larger social networks that moderate the influence of the cult on the cult member. To the more detached you become from a large, diverse social network, the more dependent you become on the cult to define all aspects of your reality. This often leads to tolerating substantial abuse, as the abused cult member sees no non-abusive alternative to the reality of the cult.

One phenomenon we see with online trolling is that it tends destroy broader online relationships. Trolling is a form of abuse. It bullies online participants to either shut up or leave. I've had specific encounters with trolls. I might reply to someone on Twitter about climate change, then in rushes some identity who has not been part of the discussion and has a dubious profile to start threatening me. We know that there are organizations that coordinate trolling operations. It took me a while to comprehend why there are these provocateurs who are not trying to engaging in a genuine discussion but are simply trying to anger everyone in the conversation. At first the tactic did not make sense to me, but now I see that the strategy was to disrupt genuine public discourse. Those who are opposing climate action, simply want to shut down any casual, neighborly discussion of the basic fact of climate change. Yes, there are place on the internet where you can have very productive discussion of climate change, but the social crossover points have been destroyed. For example, I cannot have a friendly discussion about climate change with a conservative high school classmate on FB in large measure because systematic trolling operation have so poisoned this topic. Thus, the wider social networks have been fractured. I actually can't bear to follow my classmates post any more because he has been radicalized to respond aggressively on any number of social issues.

The more fragmented our social network becomes, the more susceptible many of us become to cult-like abuses. Indeed I view anti-vax denialism as a very specific example of harms of cult-like abuse. That is as people go down the anti-vax rabbit hole they come to a place where they are deprived of live saving health care. This is utterly dysfunctional and constitutes physical and psychological abuse. Cult membership deprives one of the many of the benefits of being in a larger society, one which in this case has the technological means to produce vaccines and resource to provide that to everyone. Now we see that some anti-vax cult members would prefer to be unemployed, which would cut them off even further from our larger society.

The sort of social fracturing that online trolling and other disinformation tactics have unleashed is truly devastating. It really is hard to know how to pick up the pieces.
This makes sense to me and helps me frame what I've been experiencing in broader terms. As you note at the end, it is hard to know how to stop this and put things back together.
 
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hacer

Active Member
Apr 13, 2016
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There is no doubt that TMC represents a group with a core common interest, namely Tesla but that does not necessarily make it a bubble. From my perspective, a bubble must be isolated and insular. This depends on the makeup of TMC members - how diverse are they, how much time do they spend here vs. elsewhere? In particular, in the investor roundtable there are many contributors who post a lot, so they may well not be spending that much time elsewhere. I know that in my case I can't even keep up with reading all the posts let alone responding or posting much of my own contributions. I think that there are many member more like me who spend considerable time outside the group which of course combats isolation.

I think that the moderators are maybe too quick to shut down discussion that they think are going off topic or need to move elsewhere and there are only a handful of moderators so the group can be affected by any insular tendencies that they have.

There is little doubt to me that the cross-section of perspectives is pretty wide, but all falling within the range that, for the most part, Tesla is doing things reasonably well and is well intentioned. We have members who think Elon is full of faults and needs to reigned in, and others who think he can do no wrong. We have members that think Tesla should be advertising now and others who think it never should. Those who think FSD is a pipe dream, and those who think there will be robotaxis next year. Some think Tesla's sells cars in the "electric vehicle market", while others think it is just the "vehicle market". So I don't think the group is especially lacking in diversity of opinion.

There definitely have been many examples of people leaving the forum for various reasons. Some are newcomers who either can't take criticism or who don't believe in the basic ideas that defines the group. Others have been long-term valuable contributors that have been chased out by mods, or got tired of being unable to convince a majority to think the way they think. @KarenRei being an example of the former and Neroden being an example of the latter. Factchecking left in support of Karen being treated unfairly by the mods (as far as I know) and I think this is the single greatest loss (since I've been around) for the group; fortunately they are still active on twitter. I don't know that loss of members represents evidence that we are too much a bubble but I think that it does show there are some imperfections in how it operates.

Things are always worse during times of stress. Several years ago, @DaveT wrote a series of blog posts for how he thought Tesla should change because of a series of serious mistakes that Elon was making. I wrote that his posts were not helpful (because I was certain that Elon was aware of what things he'd done wrong and he better than almost all others is able to learn from his mistakes and that also some of what Dave thought were mistakes I did not think were mistakes). His response was to say that the forum members had devolved into group think and accuse him of being a bear. The mods also shut down his megapost thread around the same time, and he greatly reduced his contributions to the forum - I can't say whether it was because of concerns of group-think, the actions of the moderators or that Dave was just heading towards putting more energy into his many other activities like youtube.

My perspective was that the open disagreements proved that the forum was not exhibiting group-think. It showed there was divergence of opinion and we could discuss it. At the time it was hard for me to gauge whether there were more forum members leaning towards Dave's camp (something needs to be done to change/control Elon) or towards the let Elon be Elon camp. I can't help but note that Dave's main desired change for how Tesla should operate was to greatly increase Tesla's professional PR department and output, and that the exact opposite happened - there is now no PR position at Tesla at all. Yet it is thriving more than ever now. Still it was unfortunate that Dave's participation declined because he is a valuable voice but at least we haven't lost him altogether.

Finally I confess that I use the block feature to ignore certain posters that never seem to add value for me. So to some extent I've made it (for myself) more bubble like than it would otherwise be, but I have a better chance to try to keep up.
 

jhm

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2014
9,894
37,271
Atlanta, GA

Interesting video explores how GoJo may genuinely believe his bearish view of Tesla, but seems to filter out information that would better inform him how disruptions actually work. It's an interesting possibility that some people are just able to process disruption. Tony Seba, for example, would be a polar opposite; he see huge disruptive potential everywhere he look. Gordon Johnson, see hype and decline everywhere he looks. There may be real cognitive differences between bulls and bears.
 
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Skipdd

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
811
1,605
Silver Spring, MD

Interesting video explores how GoJo may genuinely believe his bearish view of Tesla, but seems to filter out information that would better inform him how disruptions actually work. It's an interesting possibility that some people are just able to process disruption. Tony Seba, for example, would be a polar opposite; he see huge disruptive potential everywhere he look. Gordon Johnson, see hype and decline everywhere he looks. There may be real cognitive differences between bulls and bears.
Yes an interesting video, and what you conjectured makes sense to me, right up to the cognitive differences part. Still mulling that over. That suggests they will never process info differently. Fast forward 12 years, assume Tesla does what most of us on TMC believe. Tesla is now the Amazon or Apple of the markets it has disrupted. What will GoJo’s view be then?
 

jhm

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2014
9,894
37,271
Atlanta, GA
Yes an interesting video, and what you conjectured makes sense to me, right up to the cognitive differences part. Still mulling that over. That suggests they will never process info differently. Fast forward 12 years, assume Tesla does what most of us on TMC believe. Tesla is now the Amazon or Apple of the markets it has disrupted. What will GoJo’s view be then?
Hard to tell when he'll cross over and say that there is no case for shorting Tesla. A bear need not even concede that the market rightly values Tesla; all they need to do is recognize that it's a fool's errand to try to short it. Some shorts just run out of money.

This is a major cognitive blind spot. GoJo is bright, but how does is working epistemology recognize when he has been wrong about something? He is capable of identifying blind spots in others (bearish analysis), but can he turn that lens upon himself? Can he recognize in himself that he may have major blind spots when it comes to Tesla or other disruptive innovators? One can be very bright, but lack in self understanding.
 

winfield100

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 16, 2013
3,310
14,112
vivant non-traveler
Hard to tell when he'll cross over and say that there is no case for shorting Tesla. A bear need not even concede that the market rightly values Tesla; all they need to do is recognize that it's a fool's errand to try to short it. Some shorts just run out of money.

This is a major cognitive blind spot. GoJo is bright, but how does is working epistemology recognize when he has been wrong about something? He is capable of identifying blind spots in others (bearish analysis), but can he turn that lens upon himself? Can he recognize in himself that he may have major blind spots when it comes to Tesla or other disruptive innovators? One can be very bright, but lack in self understanding.
if you go on SA, you may have noticed over the last few years, many of the ones who said they were short or are short, advised against going short, and the emails i get from SA seem to be trending towards more positive articles, but in honesty, i rarely go to SA anymore except to confirm the comments in the articles are trending positive and derisive of shorts, though far too late for many.
 

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