What is a Way to Make $331 by Knowing Philosophy

Knowledge of Memetics + Stock trading account = $300+ 🥱💲

For the entire month of March, 2020, the stock market was in the sh*tter. It was a month of uncertainty and fear.

So why on earth, heaven, and hell did I spent $400 as a broke blogger on some shell company I heard about on TikTok? A company that literally had $0 in earnings, by the way.

The answer can be found in philosophy. Laugh all you want, but understanding the concept of memetics is what turned those $400 into $731.

How I Married My Philosophy with the Stock Market

The company I bought into, VectoIQ, was a shell company that literally only had one purpose, to buy another company. It didn’t produce anything valuable by itself. On March 3, it announced it had found its prey. The company it would be purchasing was to be Nikola Motors.

Nobody was actually interested in VectoIQ, but those of us who heard about the merger announcement were very excited about the “prey”.

The philosophy part has to do with what the name of the company is, by the way.

Nikola Motors, aka $NKLA, is one of the first major hydrogen vehicle companies. It has a deal with Anheuser-Busch for 800 zero-emission 18-wheelers. For context, Tesla’s deal with the beer company is only 40 trucks.

In March, I was one of only about 12,000 investors who had heard of the merger deal. The price was only about $10. By the time I bought in May, the trading price for VectoIQ was $20. The price after the merger in July reached $78 per share.

All told, I made $331 in profit.

(It takes 1.5 months for the boy to nut up 😁)

What is My Philosophy and How Did it Make Me $331?

The logic behind my willingness to buy this stock comes down to a branch of philosophy that studies memes. Yes, really.

I first read about this idea in The Game by Neil Strauss. Mystery mentions it in passing at one point while blacked out on a couch in Vegas. It’s called memetics.

Memetics describes how an idea can propagate successfully, but doesn’t necessarily imply a concept is factual.

Wikipedia

Memes are much deeper and more powerful than we realize. As we casually fling cat videos everywhere, we don’t understand that we are actually engaging in a form of cultural natural selection.

What is a meme? It’s a slice of culture that is characterized by reproducing very very effectively. Memes are the cultural equivalent of rats (not casting judgement here. I’m just saying rats can make 1,250 babies in one year)

The Practical Application of Memetics

Since Tesla came on the scene, everyone who knows about the 20th century inventor Nikola Tesla is already associating his name with electric vehicles.

I knew this would mean that another company that makes a similar product to Tesla could easily go viral with a name like Nikola. Turns out, I was right.

Today, NKLA is literally called a meme stock within certain Reddit communities (ahem /r/wsb). They’re not wrong. They just don’t know exactly how right they are.

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Dwight from The Office is a Philosopher IRL

“Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth … Love is as love does. Love is an act of will. Love is a choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.” – from The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson

Dwight Schrute’s real name is Rainn Wilson. I found out about Schrute’s brainy alter ego after stumbling upon Rainn’s talk at Google.

Rainn calls himself a “multi-nerd” — that’s the genre of nerd who participates in computer club as well as model U.N. and band. He is a believer in ghosts, God, and having fun.

Hearing the talk, I got the impression that Rainn’s parents were almost certainly West Coast hippies. Then I read his book, The Bassoon King …

Who is Rainn Wilson?

Rainn is the son of two OG West Coast hippies who came within one parallel universe of naming him Lord Byron Wilson. So … yeah.

He made his film debut in Galaxy Quest (1999). In 2005, he was cast as Dwight Schrute in The Office, a role he played (sublimely) until the series finale in 2013.

His friend and real-life Jim, Will Eno, calls his first book, Soul Pancake, a very gentle game of truth-or-dare.

Soul Pancake came out in 2010 as a kind of companion to Rainn’s internet brand. The accompanying YouTube channel has more than 1 million subscribers and seeks to make philosophy and spirituality less … well, boring.

An Eccentric Fellow

Like Dwight, Rainn is an eccentric fellow with a love for the outdoors. Rainn had a wild childhood. He lived in Nicaragua from the ages of 1-5. During this time, he had a pet sloth and got a traumatizing case of tapeworm.

Today, he and his wife own three pitbulls, two potbelly pigs, and a zonkey named Derek.

“My most vivid memory of Nicaragua involved worms coming out of my butthole”

The Bassoon King

Rainn’s earliest years were spent speaking Spanish in a Nicaraguan port town called Bluefields. Yep. His eccentric characters are based on his real life eccentricity.

The music at Bluefields was a Caribbean mash up. Rainn writes about “reggae and dancehall from Jamaica; Calypso and soca from Trinidad; son and salsa from Cuba; and even country and western, which was brought by the American employees of the United Fruit Company.”

Also, don’t freak out, but Rainn’s philosophy sounds like a cult. He and his family subscribe to a smallish religion that started in 1844 called the Bahá’í Faith.

A Spiritual Fellow

Don’t make fun of him! I’m sure being born into a non-major faith has caused him enough trouble, lol.

Anyway, the Baha’i faith sounds like a gentle and tolerant canon. Rainn is one step ahead of those of us who have grown up asking ourselves what is my philosophy of life? The Baha’i call Love the defining power in the universe and don’t go door-to-door unless completely shorted out on toilet paper.

Some of the big answers offered by Baha’i thinking include:

  1. We are not alone in the universe.
  2. You can be friends with Others.
  3. Good means living according to Love.
  4. God exists, and he is chill about the name you call him.

How did Dwight Schrute Help Me Figure Out What is My Philosophy of Life?

With his public-facing spirituality, Rainn’s nonchalant championship of faith makes it a little easier for non-atheist, non-Christian, non-Jewish folks like myself to “come out of the closet” as spiritual people.

That is particularly important for us Gen Zs, since we have little precedent for spirituality in our generation. It’s good to see somebody smart and relatable talk about spirituality on YouTube without sounding like he is pushing some ancient, outdated agenda.

The benefits of spirituality include physical ones such as longevity, less hypertension, and decreased depression.

An explanation for why Dwight freaking Schrute might actually make an impact on how our generation sees spirituality is social proofing.

Social proofing is a concept in psychology that says people will follow the masses. In other words, people see an action as easier and safer if they see others doing it.

Rainn provides precedent for spirituality as somebody who is fun, interesting, smart, and (apparently) satisfied with his life while believing in something beyond science.

Some folks care more about social proofing than others, but it’s hardwired into all of us.

“My dad swears that there were real, actual ghosts in that rickety old house. Every night he would hear this mysterious screeeeee sound, like something scraping the floor, and every morning he would come downstairs to find that the furniture was arranged a bit different. ”

Personally, he makes me more open to believing in the unexplainable, ghosts, for example. I don’t care if science doesn’t partake in a good haunting.

Conclusion – Do You Ever Wonder, “What is My Philosophy?”

To start with, the scientific method is as much of a philosophy as Christianity, so whether you live your life based on faith or science, you are still following a philosophy.

Wilson’s personal tao (or path) hinges on having fun, being open-minded, and expressing your individuality, even if it comes at the cost of being made fun of or missing out on being “normal”.

If you want to know the inner workings of the mind behind Dwight Schrute, you can find his second book The Bassoon King on Amazon.

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