Day: September 26, 2019

Why You Should Ignore Your Horoscope

Do you read horoscopes? If so, you could be wasting not just your time but your precious brain cells, too. Come on, do you really believe that half a billion people in the world are going to have the same day/week/month?

Your horoscope isn’t exactly personalized. It applies to a twelfth of the world’s population. Horoscope writers use a lot of tricks to make you believe what they’ve said.

Here are some of the most common ones:

We Believe A Personality Analysis – Even If It Doesn’t Really Apply To Us

A famous experiment was carried out in 1948 by the psychologist Bertram R. Forer. He gave his students a personality test and gave them the exact same “results” which he’d assembled from horoscopes:

“You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.”

The students were asked to rate the personality profile’s accuracy from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most accurate rating. Guess what?

The average rating was 4.26- despite the fact that every single student had received exactly the same rating. This has been dubbed the Forer effect and it’s been borne out by study after study ever since 1948.

So, if you have one of those key rings that tells you your personality based on your star sign or name, ignore it.

We Give Too Much Importance To Co-incidences

happy go lucky

You might be reading this and thinking “but, my horoscope has come true on several occasions!”

Well, I’m afraid that’s just an example of subjective validation. It means that you pick up on co-incidences and assign them an incorrect meaning. This particularly happens when it’s something that has personal meaning to you or when you want it to be more than a co-incidence.

Think of it this way:

Have you ever had that experience when the phone rings, you think “It’ll be John” and it is? Spooky, huh? But what about all the times when you think “It’ll be John” but it wasn’t?

You probably forgot all about those.

Horoscopes Use Vague Statements and Generalizations

Here are a few statements taken from typical horoscopes-all from the Daily Mail newspaper:

  • There will be ups and downs financially with nothing going quite to plan.
  • But if you can give yourself space to ponder, you may be able to answer one or two questions which have been bothering you recently. Nothing superficial will really help so you will need to focus and get right down to the nitty gritty.
  • You won’t suffer fools or slow coaches gladly and will express yourself firmly but forcefully at times. Just don’t go a step too far since you may want support when you get into a muddle towards mid month.

Notice anything in common?

These statements could apply to anyone:

Aren’t everyone’s finances up and down, especially during current times?

DLM readers probably know that getting to the heart of tricky questions in life involves focusing and pondering, not just looking for a quick fix. This is good advice, but why on earth would it only apply to one particular star sign?

Do any of us suffer fools and slow coaches gladly? And don’t we all get into a muddle on a regular basis? “Towards mid month” is vague enough to cover at least a ten or twelve day period, too.

The Big Reason You Shouldn’t Place Your Trust In Horoscopes


Even if you’re a horo-sceptic like me, imagine for a moment that you do believe every word of a horoscope or personality profile. You could end up hugely limiting yourself because of it.

For example, if your horoscope warns of money problems ahead, you might get anxious or even use it as an excuse to spend unnecessarily, thinking that hard times are inevitable.

One of the horoscopes I looked at included the line: “You’ll occupy yourself happily spending money on all manner of frivolities since you reckon you need pampering.”

Now, how many of us have the self-discipline not to use this as an excuse to think “Yes, my horoscope is right. I should buy that new CD/shirt/game even though I want to pay off my loans”.

You could be subconsciously sabotaging yourself because you believe in a nonsense personality profile.

Perhaps, you think you’re an impetuous and sometimes angry person, because of your star sign. This is preventing you from dealing with your hot-headed nature (which might be half-imagined anyway). Or maybe you think that you’re shy, because your star sign’s always told you so and you’ve never made an effort to overcome this.

None of us are “stuck” with our foibles. We can all improve ourselves, break bad habits, and establish good ones. Instead of reading horoscopes, find some truly worthwhile reading (Dumb Little Man is a great place to start – and the blogs linked to in the Blender) that can actually help you improve your life.

What do you think about horoscopes? Whether you agree with me completely or think I’m an idiot, let me know your views in the comments!

See Also: How to Control Your Luck

The post Why You Should Ignore Your Horoscope appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Will Ferrell, Maisie Williams, Jeff Goldblum, Mark Hamill, and more stars get burned and bleeped in a stinky Mean Tweets


Jimmy Kimmel’s Celebrities Read Mean Tweets is back, and there’s a lot going on here. Zendaya sniffs her shoe (and claps back perfectly to her hater). Mark Hamill busts out his Yoda impression. Kim K says “anus.” Sarah Paulson swears a LOT. Jake Gyllenhaal gets poetic. David Spade is also there (and might have the funniest tweet of the night). Enjoy, and never let the haters get you down. Read more…

More about Kim Kardashian, Jeff Goldblum, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Mean Tweets, and Maisie Williams

Vested, a newly minted startup, aims to tell startup employees precisely when to exercise their options

Research when to sell shares in a privately held company, and the results may have you laughing — not because they’re funny but they’re because there’s an almost comical amount of information available out there. From blog posts to advertisements to advertorials to calculators, the data is overwhelming to the point of being useless.

It’s a problem that Matt Venables and Tom Hennessy — both former execs at the peer-to-peer payments company Circle —  experienced first-hand across numerous startup jobs. The more they looked to understand what their equity was worth and how to sell it without making a massive financial misstep, the more frustrated they felt.

Enter Vested, their three-month-old, Boston-based startup, one that is already backed already with $1.2 million from UnderscoreVC and Boston Seed Capital, and which — if they’re exceedingly lucky — will become the first stop for many thousands of startup employees who are in the same boat that the two once were.

What these individuals will find, promises Vested: access to secondary outfits that offer employees liquidity and to loan providers, but as crucially, they say, plainly explained information around taxes, along with competitive data about different industries and other recent stock sale information. More specifically, Vested will make available on its platform a lot of data that’s right now tricky to find but that VCs and data analysts tend to use, including public records filings, salary information, and 409a valuations.

Hennessey explains the pitch this way: “Matt and I have both some sold shares on the secondary market, and the process was non-transparent and not a fair process. But we realized the problem is much bigger than that — that the bigger issue is really around private equity compensation. The misunderstanding starts from day one. We’d love to capture employees before they ever sign an offer letter, then keep them along the way, so they understand at what points it makes sense to exercise their options and why.”

Ultimately, the goal is guide more employees to exercise responsibly and to convert option holders into shareholders, because the popular alternative, apparently, is for employees to do nothing at all. Says Venables, “Something like 80 percent of options are ever exercised. It’s abysmally low because people are confused, they wait too long, and [the rising value of their holdings] triggers the [alternative minimum tax]. A lot of people leave their jobs within a couple of years and they just decide it’s not worth the hassle.”

Of course, it’s very early days. Venables and Hennessey say they’ve already spoken to numerous secondary exchanges that want to work with Vested, which will serve as a kind of offer aggregator. To motivate the exchanges to put their best foot forward, Venables adds that, “In time, the most compelling offers will be surfaced first” to employees open to selling some of their holdings.

The same will go for lenders offering non-recourse loans to Vested visitors who want to exercise more options than they can afford at the moment, say the founders.

As for Vested’s business model, the idea is to receive a finder’s fee from both the exchanges and the lenders. The company also plans to offer a low-cost subscription product that goes above and beyond what an employee can find by by visiting Vested’s site. One idea is for them to receive push notifications when a buyer expresses interest in their company’s shares, though Venables and Hennessey say they’re  contemplating a host of other bells and whistles, too.

Step one, naturally, is to build up awareness around Vested, and then attract employees in search of better, clearer, more actionable information. In the meantime, the duo may need to watch out for the 600-pound elephant in their space — Carta, which helps private company investors, founders, and employees manage their equity and ownership and that raised a big round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz earlier this year to build out a secondary marketplace.

What if Carta tries killing off Vested before it ever has a chance, we asked the founders on a call earlier this week.

Vested instead sees the two as complementary. Says Venables, “We’ve talked with Carta. Carta is building a structured secondary marketplace, one that’s really [catering to] employers. We’re building Vested 100 percent for employees.”

Pictured above from left to right: Vested cofounders Tom Hennessey and Matt Venables, along with their VP of Design, Nat Tarbox.