7 Swift ways to deal with hate and coriander

This article deals with cilantro (coriander) hate, as well as haters and hating in general, and specifically hating in internet (equity) chat rooms.


Shake it off

Taylor Swift makes the point abundantly clear: Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate. Period.

If you don’t know what I’m referring to. Check out these 10 seconds of Swift’s Shake it Off here on YouTube.

No matter how much I like Taylor Swift, I think she’s wrong. Some haters can be turned, even yourself. The rest however, there TS has a point: shake it off

in Europe, incl. the U.K., cilantro is known as coriander, or by its Latin name:  Coriandrum sativum


Executive Summary: My message on hate

  1. Don’t hate – turn your hate into a challenge and a lesson instead
  2. Cilantro haters can be turned – albeit maybe not all (Gastropod)
  3. Follow Dale Carnegie’s advice on how to not only avoid hating but how to actively turn haters around
  4. Celebrate second careers: brilliant Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez parallel professions, as well as more mediocre outcomes (ehrm, Britney Spears, ehrm)
  5. If somebody is wrong on the internet, just walk away. You can’t save them all
  6. Shake it off. Think of something else. Sometimes there is nothing to learn, no prospect of turning, just an intellectual parasite or troll to shake off
  7. Don’t confuse “not hating” for “not executing revenge”. Do exact your revenge; 3 to 1 is reasonable (Retard’s Notebook “Fairness Floor: 3 Lefts Make A Right – May 29, 2015”)




Cilantro hate

The latest episode of Gastropod deals with the special circle in hell reserved for Coriandrum sativum.

I can’t remember the first time I tasted coriander, but I do remember when I finally singled out what was once again ruining my food. It was in Cancun, Mexico in 2003, and the tomato salsa that came with the nachos was simply inedible. Somebody must have had cheap soap in it, I thought. When we ordered a second round I tried to understand why I hated it and my girlfriend didn’t.

Finally, she came up with the word “coriander”, and once I had that word at the ready, I kept asking about it at restaurants. Thus, I finally got to know why I usually liked all kinds of food, but sometimes I just couldn’t stand some dishes. I was 31 at the time.

I’ve been an informed hater ever since, i.e. for more than a decade. I’ve even become secretly angry with friends that used coriander in their food, since I thought it had to be obvious (hater mentality) a lot of people wouldn’t be able to stand it.

There actually is a genetic predisposition for cilantro hate, 3 distinct genes that together do Satan’s soapy culinary handiwork. I learned that much later but easily took it to heart that around 5% loathe the taste and smell of coriander – and I was one of them.

According to Gastropod some people are said to have been turned from absolutely despising every aspect of coriander… to loving it. To someone with coriander contempt it sounds about as likely as drinking perfume or eating a bar of soap would ever be agreeable.


The turning

And, yet, I was turned about a year ago.

At 42 years old, a certified cilantro hater, set in my ways in all respects, I became a coriander cordial, a cilantro lover.

Now I want it in large doses on everything, not least Vietnamese spring rolls with salmon, or just hot-smoked salmon with mango and fresh coriander.

This time it was another girlfriend that kept insisting on using coriander in her cooking, and sometimes my food was ever so slightly contaminated. Gradually I started tolerating that, albeit still not liking it.

But somewhere along the way, through adding dried coriander in small amounts in casseroles, and just feeling the smell of fresh coriander next to me, then masking tiny amounts in my own food with plenty of chili and lemon, I found myself starting to kind of hate-liking it – and sooner or later truly loving it in and of itself.

If I could be turned, so can you. And that goes for so much more than cilantro.


What do you hate? Why?

Cross-fitters? Soccer fans? Immigrants? Your boss?

I’ve got one tip for you: Ask yourself exactly why you hate what you hate? Why do you care at all?

Does it affect you physically? If not, just shake it off, or even better, put yourself in their shoes. Perhaps they had a flat tire earlier in the day, or their parents died. How would you behave, what would you do? (if you wanted to win a cross-fit competition, e.g.). There is almost always something to learn from studying whatever grinds your gears.

I used to be a hater. One of the worst. Hating on kipping pull-ups, on people stopping in tight passages or after escalators, not boarding a plane effectively, politicians, journalists, beards, moustaches, cigarette smoke, “stupid” views and so on… But now I have a hard time even coming up with examples of things to hate.

There is one thing, though, I never hated, not even during my darkest years: Alternative/second careers.

I have always celebrated both brilliant second acts such as Selena Gomez, Jared Leto and Jennifer Lopez, as well as failed alternative attempts such as Britney Spears’ movie career. Who, if not a successful actor, lawyer, hedge fund manager or singer, should go ahead and just do something they like? Who cares if it’s “good”, if it sells or if he could have made more, having more status, more fame if continued with his premier profession?

Investing one’s scarce resources is about getting the most out of life, and money is but a very small part, whereas sleep, happiness, meaningful relations etc. is much, much more important.

note for traders: don’t keep that share or trade, if it hurts your sleep or mental health

Life is not screens and bank accounts; life is life.


Carnegie and chat rooms

If Dale Carnegie had been alive today, I imagine he would have loved turning chat room haters into believers. Or would he? They are so many, and there are always new haters, new straw men with your face on getting pummeled somewhere on the internet.

Would even the nicest man in history (Dale) have managed the aggressive onslaught any kind of rational thought, independent idea or criticism has to endure, when expressed in the cheer leading cum hooliganism atmosphere that flourishes on the internet in general – and not least in story stock chat rooms?



Online stock forum hate fading

I actually set out writing this article with the idea of chronicling my recent experiences with discussing Swedish story stocks online.

(3D printing, and fingerprint sensors respectively. If you are not from Sweden, beware, both companies, Arcam and Fingerprint cards, will dominate the world in just a few years, according to some very informed investors [ehrm, not me]. Please note that the entire parenthesis is meant to drip of sarcasm)

It is a funny story, and there are a lot of details to cut and paste from various chat rooms, tweets etc. Not least are the (deliberate) misunderstandings, and history rewrites hilarious in retrospect.

Some truly retarded rants about “world domination”, “not understanding”, me “living in a cellar in a house on the wrong side of the tracks in a small town” etc. are gems that really warrant a larger audience. I myself pulled the “Your mother” joke, and got back a very serious “my mother is dead” comment. Scene.

Nevertheless, I don’t think recounting the facts or the arguments would serve any higher purpose than just setting the record straight and give me a point of reference for future haters. Pure indulgence. For you, it probably would only amount to a slight smile, at most.

In a Hofstadter (#4 Gödel Escher Bach) recursive, self-referential, kind of way, this just proved my point. I wrote about hate and not hating, and when trying to tell a specific story about story stock criticism hate, I lost interest, since all hate dissipated before I got to the point.


Hanlon vs Occam

The simplest path, the razor cut, might be to assume evil, hatred and malice, but, according to Hanlon, you should never dismiss ignorance or stupidity as the root cause. In a similar fashion my online equity investing ‘opponents’ perhaps would benefit from considering if there is something worth noting in my method and assumptions- rather than huddling ever tighter in a confirmation bias circle jerk.

Owners of stock appreciating manifold should take a pause for contemplation from their speeding down the dollar highway…

…Instead they tend to stick their heads out the window, roaring of hubris. Coincidentally, that’s exactly how students from my business school were depicted in a national newspaper article at the height of the IT bubble.

On my best days, even hatred completely devoid of thought and meaning can trigger learning. At the very least I mull over how I ever would go about finding common ground to even get a chance to try to explain my point.


Summary: don’t hate but do exact revenge

First, regarding revenge, my foremost life principle is Ahimsa, non-violence. My second principle is “if you have different principles and use them against me, I’ll (happily) take your principles out on you”:

  • first, once to even out the score
    • e.g., taking back what was stolen
  • then, twice to give the principle back to you
    • two eyes for an eye, if you assaulted me
  • finally, three times for good measure
    • as a lesson, and just revenge and deterrence for all who like to initiate asymmetric principle breaking, you’ll get some well-deserved asymmetry right back
    • hit me once and I’ll hit you thrice; steal a dollar and I’ll rip three from you

When you feel hate, break it down, analyze the feeling and its root causes and try to 1) learn something and 2) turn the situation around and find common ground with whatever started it

Try cilantro every now and then until you like it. By the way, cilantro actually doesn’t taste. Genetic cilantro haters can’t even identify the taste if holding their noses. Right after they release their grip on the nostrils, they feel violated: “What did you do to me?!”

Sometimes, however, there just is no common ground at all, nothing to learn, just an endless stream of trolls, morons and haters. Then walk away, shake it off, and remember it as a fun story in your past.

If haters hate where you are not present, did they ever hate at all?

From Eric Barker, based on research*: when you suppress your feelings, the encounter gets worse for the angry person, too. Instead, reappraise (“They are having a bad day”) and distract yourself (any intellectual activity)

(Butler et al., 2003, English, John, & Gross, 2013; Gross & John, 2003; Srivastava, Tamir, McGonigal, John, & Gross, 2009, etc. Read more here)


Final words: Check out my eBook if you haven’t done so yet.

One of the many rules of investing I live by is “Don’t hate” – although it has been difficult when it comes to central bankers.

My book is poorly written and bizarrely ‘designed’, but also a page turner, pretty funny and really useful (in terms of investor psychology) I’ve heard.

Just sign up for my weekly newsletter and download the book – or just read the first page of the copy you might already be sitting on.

More are coming – and you don’t want to miss those.

8 Replies to “7 Swift ways to deal with hate and coriander”

  1. ”7 Swift ways to deal with hate and coriander”
    Picture of Taylor Swift.

    I see what you did there. ;)

    Really like the article and the way it’s written.
    You’ve definitely come a long way, Micke.
    Reminds me of ”WaitButWhy”, but with a different flair.

    When you first mentioned Selena Gomez churning out Masterpieces on Twitter, I though you’re trolling, again. :)
    But it’s like the movie stuff, just because some people dislike her music, doesn’t mean it’s bad.
    Anybody who’s ever actually produced music would know how difficult it is and how much talent and hard work are required to produce something palpable.

    So don’t feel bad for liking her music.
    Somebody busted his butt to make it sound good to you.
    Otherwise you wouldn’t like it.

    If producing mainstream hits was easy, everybody would do it.
    It’s an art in itself.

    The entire article is a good example of having a growth mindset.

    Remember the exchange on different movie tastes?
    Where X people dislike Y.
    If Y is in the movie, then it’s bad, irregardless of actual merit.

    Same with Coriander.
    If Coriander is in the food then they’ll hate it and dismiss the dish as ”bad food”.

    If you stick with it, then you’ll start to accustom to it and acquire the ability to view it from a different perspective.
    Then suddenly you appreciate it and it becomes something that you like to eat.

    ”I found myself starting to kind of hate-liking it – and sooner or later truly loving it in and of itself.”

    That’s exactly what I am talking about.
    It’s also what I meant with the movie stuff and getting used to different tastes.
    Not that different compared to getting used to a specific type of food.

    Everything is connected.
    Food, movies, haters, growth.
    It’s only different categories because we think by contrasting.

    ”If you know the way broadly you’ll see it in everything”

    1. Great comment, even if a lot of it mostly referred to a private conversation ;)

      I hope to be WaitButWhy when I grow up.

      Anyway, regarding good and bad movies, difficult food, and music that’s not to your taste, there is a time for just enjoying the food/movie/music you know you’ll like, and there is another time for something more “al dente”. And some things you’ll never like – otherwise we’d all be listening to the same artists sooner or later.

  2. Life is ironic –
    Haters are telling you more about *themselves* than they are you.

    They aren’t hating “you”, they’re hating what they see in you. It’s a response to lack.

    If you want to be more specific, it’s due to the battle between the “haves” and “have nots”. The way to overcome this is to understand what you “have” and use it to get what you “have not”.

    99.9% of people don’t know what they want (too scared to think about it). They are the most susceptible to bullshit, and are most eager to hate. They “have not”. Those who “have” are simply those who sat down long enough to think “gee, I don’t need $1bn or want to look like Brad Pitt, I could settle for $1m. What will I need to get it?”.

    The “getting it” is then what constitutes their life, which is why the most “on purpose” people are always occupied (not necessarily busy… just occupied). They imagine *their* future and work to build it. They also help others build theirs

    1. “getting it” = work dedicated to a goal or purpose, where the effort results in a state of flow which is its own reward.

      I’ll be doing a speech soon, where finance wanna-bes will get to hear me saying my career was mostly a waste, except for the winning part. But what if I hadn’t won…

      1. ”I’ll be doing a speech soon, where finance wanna-bes will get to hear me saying my career was mostly a waste, except for the winning part. But what if I hadn’t won…”

        Can already imagine their reaction.
        Guess it will end up being another post on your blog? ;)

        You’re basically slapping them in the face verbally, so don’t be surprised if you offend them and the people who brought you in to give the speech to begin with.

        Guess they want a motivational, success speech by someone who made it.
        People tend to dislike if if they don’t get what they want, even if what they get is better than what they wanted. :)

        Make sure to not attack them directly, they’ll take offense and defend themselves, thus creating a ”him vs. us mentality”.
        Better to get them on board first and then slip it in.
        Preferably by saying that from your perspective it was a waste of time.

        Thus you don’t attack them while still airing your view.
        You’re basically isolating your point of view by not generalizing and saying that they’re wasting their lives in the subtext.

        That way the seed is planted without causing too much drama.

        But you already knew all of that. ;)

        1. I’ll be gentle, then slip it in, without them even noticing it.

          Actually my message is “For ME it would have been the wrong choice, since I didn’t really like finance”, “I just want YOU to choose a career you’ll like, appreciate and feel proud of, no matter if you make it to the upper echelons or become rich, or not”

          1. “For ME it would have been the wrong choice, since I didn’t really like finance”, “I just want YOU to choose a career you’ll like, appreciate and feel proud of, no matter if you make it to the upper echelons or become rich, or not”

            Sounds good, Micke. :)
            Good luck with your speech, albeit you’re always lucky anyhow, so you’ll do just fine . ;)

            Speech will be given at 13:37 minutes too . ;)

  3. Good post. It’s an interesting thing but the more you experience the world as hateful, the more hateful you are yourself. Be brutally honest to yourself first, before you blame the world for being hateful.

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