Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0094, August 31, 2015


The Ups and Downs

Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     Actually, the image today is vaguely reminiscent of a stock market chart which is what we propose to discuss - indirectly. "Stock market charts are boring," says Prickles. Some people would disagree with you. Anyway, we're more interested in the ups and downs of fortune generally rather than stock market specifically.

     To begin with, there is no "wheel of fortune". While some things that go up indeed do come down, this is not guaranteed. The same goes for things that go down. People who keep track of the swings and shifts of fortune, their own or others', assume that history will repeat itself, more or less, and that similar conditions will produce similar results. Sometimes that's what seems to be happening. And sometimes not. That's why stock prospectuses keep warning "past performance is no guarantee of future performance". Sometimes things are more predictable than at other times but a continuing long term evolution keeps introducing new factors to confound predictions based on historical data.

     The other thing about fortune is that it is always personal. One man's fortune may be another woman's disaster. There's a universe of fortunes out there and they run in all directions sometimes intertwining into complex knots. A lot depends on individual beliefs and expectations. Being adaptable and opportunistic can turn a bumpy ride into smooth sailing. But this, too, is not guaranteed. "Too bad," says Prickles. Life's an adventure, Prickles. Without the bumps it would bore us to death. "Oh," she says.

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