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The Unexpurgated Code

I used to detest vulgarity, but that was long ago. Now I don’t mind it too much. In the good sense, vulgarity can be the recognition of the essential identity between yourself and the crowds. You’re born in a pretty vulgar way, and you certainly die that way, and only somewhere in the middle of that trajectory can you afford to think badly of it.

A little vulgarity is the life of everything, and especially so in quantitative finance. When it gets too refined and deracinated it loses touch with markets, and what are markets if not vulgar?

William Butler Yeats: Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.

If you want to read an immensely funny vulgar book, try to find J.P. Donleavy’s “The Unexpurgated Code: A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners.” It seems to be out of print here (the USA) but it might be available in the U.K.

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