I had lunch
yesterday with one of the sharpest financial minds Ive met
in a long time at a rather picturesque setting overlooking Evergreen
Lake, west of Denver.
patrons were all well-to-do residents of this wealthy community
in fact, the whole area is like a bubble, largely shielded from
any negative effect of the economic fallout thus far. Most of these
folks have gone about their lives over the last few years completely
oblivious to the global financial crisis.
My friend agreed;
he told me, Most of the people sitting in this restaurant
havent felt a thing. Their guard is down, and they have no
idea whats coming. It makes me nervous.
a large segment of people in this country who have not been directly
affected by the meltdown. They still have their jobs, they havent
been foreclosed, they havent been directly threatened by the
government, they havent been robbed (by the private sector).
with the poor economy is second-degree what they read in the
papers or see on TV. But overall they live in a bubble. I can only
describe this as the calm before the storm and people are
completely blind to the clouds forming around them.
to the obvious is part of the human condition. And this morning,
a friend from London sent me an email describing a rather interesting
experiment on the subject. Its called the Invisible Gorilla.
the experiment are asked to watch a video in which groups of players
are passing basketballs back and forth. Half of the players in the
video are wearing black uniforms, half white.
are asked to ignore the players wearing black jerseys and
count the number of times the players wearing white pass the ball
to each other. Halfway through the short video, someone wearing
a gorilla suit walks on to the screen, thumps his chest, and walks
where it gets interesting about half of the subjects participating
in the experiment dont notice the gorilla. Theyre so
focused on counting the white teams passes and ignoring everything
else that their minds naturally filter out something completely
more, when theyre told about the gorilla after the experiment,
most people refuse to believe it. It shows without doubt that (a)
people can be blind to the obvious and (b) people can also
be blind to their blindness.