Visiting the Jail Cell Where Socrates Died
Mr. Armstrong, Just spent the night in the ER with one of my kids. Waited hours for the results of the CT head scan. Thankfully, my daughter is fine. Had lots of time to think though. I have been following your blog for years, although I am not an investor. Your perspective is what interests me. I know your computer, Socrates, generates the data…but you bring it to life. Amazing. I know most of your readers are interested in how the information helps them to make financial profits. But Socrates is monitoring so much more about the human existence.
You trust the data in a way that few people do, because you understand it the way no one else can. That is what interests me. What we see in charts is two dimensional, but is Socrates developing a sort of Kondratiev wave cycle in all aspects of life…not just financial? Seems like I read something from you about this. If those cycles could be charted in 3d, would the markers look more like a DNA molecule forming strands coiled around each other to form a double helix? Is there an axis or a core of balance? I wonder how far the data has been extrapolated and what Socrates’ predicts for the future of humanity…the universe… You have freely shared much of the info Socrates has developed.
I hope that some day in the near future, people will see more than the money making value of Socrates. Like a well informed doctor with the proper application of medicine, Socrates’ info can help cure the ills of humanity. Or it can be used like the profit driven medical system we have now… Or the profit driven judicial system you experienced… Watched The Forecaster a few days ago. Would never want to walk in your shoes, but what a life you have!
REPLY: I know what it is like sitting there, waiting in an ER concerned for your child. It does provide a moment for reflection. I lost my first son and had to fight to save another. So, I have been there as well. Strangely enough, you are not alone in your observation. The vast majority of people tuning in to what Socrates has been revealing are not traders. They are average people who are in search of answers. True, I even had to stand up to the dark forces in government who wanted to silence me and keep everything for themselves. There are always two sides to a coin.
I have often been asked why I named my computer Socrates. A friend of Socrates once asked the Oracle of Delphi who the smartest man was. The Oracle replied, “Socrates.” The friend informed Socrates of the reply and he was in disbelief. Socrates set out to prove the Oracle wrong and in the process discovered that perhaps it was correct. The essence of a genius is not someone who is all-knowing, which is a common misconception that even Socrates had before realizing he did not know everything and thus the Oracle had to be wrong.
What he discovered was that knowledge was not knowing everything; it was having the wisdom to reason and observe. In this respect, Socrates exposed that the pretend experts in each field were not wise and they hated Socrates for exposing their weakness. For this, he was put on trial and sentenced to death. Therefore, Socrates was the first martyr to the field of analyzing how the world functions to achieve wisdom as distinguished from knowledge. Socrates’ words from when he was sentenced to death always gave me my core inspiration.
Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is a good, for one of two things: – either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another.
Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by the sight of dreams, death will be an unspeakable gain. For if a person were to select the night in which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to compare with this the other days and nights of his life, and then were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I think that any man, I will not say a private man, but even the great king, will not find many such days or nights, when compared with the others.
Now if death is like this, I say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? If indeed when the pilgrim arrives in the world below, he is delivered from the professors of justice in this world, and finds the true judges who are said to give judgment there, Minos and Rhadamanthus and Aeacus and Triptolemus, and other sons of God who were righteous in their own life, that pilgrimage will be worth making. What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again. I, too, shall have a wonderful interest in a place where I can converse with Palamedes, and Ajax the son of Telamon, and other heroes of old, who have suffered death through an unjust judgment; and there will be no small pleasure, as I think, in comparing my own sufferings with theirs.
Above all, I shall be able to continue my search into true and false knowledge; as in this world, so also in that; I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not. What would not a man give, O judges, to be able to examine the leader of the great Trojan expedition; or Odysseus or Sisyphus, or numberless others, men and women too! What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking them questions! For in that world they do not put a man to death for this; certainly not. For besides being happier in that world than in this, they will be immortal, if what is said is true.
Wherefore, O judges, be of good cheer about death, and know this of a truth – that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death. He and his are not neglected by the gods; nor has my own approaching end happened by mere chance. But I see clearly that to die and be released was better for me; and therefore the oracle gave no sign. For which reason also, I am not angry with my accusers, or my condemners; they have done me no harm, although neither of them meant to do me any good; and for this I may gently blame them.
A Buddhist monk once told me I was a very old soul with many lifetimes of experience. Perhaps, but I have no recollection of such experiences.
Nevertheless, it was Milton Friedman who came to listen to me speak at a trader’s convention in Chicago. Afterward, he walked up, stuck out his hand, and said, “Hello, I’m Milton Friedman.” That was the best speech I have ever heard. He then told me I was doing what he had only dreamed about. I was shocked. From my perspective, I was just a trader, although one who roamed the world. With time, politicians, economists, heads of state, and central bankers all came to meet me. John Exter came to my office to show me his life’s work. When the Asian Currency Crisis hit China, they asked me to come to Beijing. When they were creating the euro, the Commission attended our World Economic Conference in London and took the whole back row.
Money drives the world. The flow of capital dictates the trend and within that trend lies the rise and fall of empires, nations, and city-states. Yes, there are those who are only interested in how much they can make from trading, but over the years, I have come to realize this is a very small minority. The number of subscribers you might get from that crowd is limited to less than 10,000. I was shocked to discover, back just two years ago, that we had more than 600,000 unique viewers to our site. Today, we are in the millions. There is more to all of this than just buying and selling. You can run any program to develop buy or sell signals on 10,000 markets and stocks. That is no big deal. But to create something that expands our understanding of how the world functions, that is a different animal altogether.
It has been an interesting life. They say God gives us only what we can endure. Perhaps that is true. What does not kill you definitely makes you stronger. Life is but a novel. You have to get to the end to understand the whole. If what I have discovered can endure and help to change the way we manage society for the better, then I can rest in peace with a smile.