The most important decision anyone makes in any situation is “Where do I put the dividing line between what’s in my head and what’s out there? Where does make-believe leave off and reality begin?” That’s the first job your intellect needs to do before you can act in the real world. If you can’t distinguish reality from make-believe—if you’re at a stoplight and you’re not sure whether the bus that’s coming toward your car is real or only in your head—you’re in big trouble. There aren’t many circumstances where this intellectual distinction isn’t critical.
It was not his intent, but what a great explanation for why trading price is so smart. He continues:
Let’s take what magicians call a force, where the magician gives you a false sense of free action by giving you an extremely controlled choice…When I go to the supermarket, I have a choice of dozens of kinds of cereals—all made by the same manufacturer of essentially the same ingredients. I have the gut impression of variety and freedom, but in the end, the only real choice I have is not to buy.
Mutual funds not really a choice? Left/right politicians not really a choice? Correct, not really a choice.