Can of Worms or Buried Treasure?

Purple Brain

Experienced member
1,613 179
In an effort to mine as much useful info as I can from the site I spent at goodly part of yesterday evening going through old threads. Robster had recommended to me recently a couple of threads on stop setting and one member in particular Socrates. Linking as you do from one thing to another I ended up on a thread titled "Journey from the Basement".

I am curious to know whether any this was an elaborate hoax, a genuine attempt at developing trader instincts or simple grandstanding. I got through quite a few pages of very long posts and didn't want to discount it on the basis that nothing could have run that long without there being a solid fundamental basis for its continuance. I skipped to the last few pages to see how it all turned out and it was all a bit of an anticlimax.

Given the admonitions given in the first post of the thread I assume it was a sponsored thread and had the explicit support of the t2w staff, but could find no commercial aspects to it at all. More than a little confused, but found it vaguely hypnotic. More than willing to put the hours in to read it in full, but thought I'd ask first if the currently active membership - very few from the thread still post it seems - consider(ed) it a useful investment of their time.

Seems it generated strong feelings on both sides hence the title of this thread, but that isn't always such a bad thing.

Would appreciate your comments if you were there at the time or have subsequently discovered it and read it.
 

robster970

Veteren member
4,566 1,390
It was Shakone that recommended them my friend. That said, the content on this site from that era is rich in useful information about trading. If you want to find interesting things to read (imo) find threads/posts from these old timers:

Skimbleshanks - demonstrable and clear direction on how to trade off charts using volume. For me, the best trading related content dealing with the mechanics of trading on the site.
Mr Marcus - Great content although I think a lot of it was deleted when he left
Socrates - I have mixed feelings about the content. It is both interesting but verbosity levels are too high for me and the grandstanding was tedious. Nevertheless lots of good information around developing discretionary trading skills. I buy into the notion that everything is known in advance these days although it was not Socrates that reinforced this concept in me but someone else who I had more direct contact with some time ago.

What differentiates the content from this period is that there was a lot of relevant trading related information posted by experienced traders amongst the lulz and soap opera like behaviour of the time.
 
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timsk

Legendary member
7,374 2,164
Would appreciate your comments if you were there at the time or have subsequently discovered it and read it.
Hi PB,
Hmmmmm . . .

Short answer
One man's meat is another man's poison.

Long(er) answer
I was there at the time, as were a number of the old hands that still frequent the boards. Perhaps barjon will see your post and reply to it, as he's very good at encapsulating long and complicated sagas into a couple of succinct and pithy paragraphs. Suffice to say, it wasn't a "sponsored thread that had the explicit support of the t2w staff". I'm not sure what you mean by that exactly, but I assume you mean that T2W either paid Socrates or in some way encouraged him to post? Trust me, he didn't need any prompting or support from anyone, his massively inflated ego took care of that!

He had his fans and his detractors. He dealt with the latter with the same degree of sensitivity and understanding as President Assad deals with his detractors in Syria. That aid, no one can deny he was an interesting character and he still has disciples to this day: check out posts by new_trader

As an aside, I would be very interested to know the threads you've unearthed that you've found insightful and helpful. It's difficult for someone like me (old and jaded, lol!) to see the site through the eyes of someone relatively new such as yourself. So, any feedback on what you've found that you like or, conversely, hoped to find but couldn't - would be very helpful.
Cheers,
Tim.
 

Purple Brain

Experienced member
1,613 179
It was Shakone that recommended them my friend.
Apologies to both you and Shakone for the misappropriation. I'm getting sloppy.

That said, the content on this site from that era is rich in useful information about trading. If you want to find interesting things to read (imo) find threads/posts from these old timers:

Skimbleshanks - demonstrable and clear direction on how to trade off charts using volume. For me, the best trading related content dealing with the mechanics of trading on the site.
Mr Marcus - Great content although I think a lot of it was deleted when he left
Socrates - I have mixed feelings about the content. It is both interesting but verbosity levels are too high for me and the grandstanding was tedious. Nevertheless lots of good information around developing discretionary trading skills. I buy into the notion that everything is known in advance these days although it was not Socrates that reinforced this concept in me but someone else who I had more direct contact with some time ago.
Any idea why they no longer post? Fatigue? Said all they thought there was to say?

I’ll check out Skimbleshanks as I’ve not come across his posts, but I have seen a couple of Mr. Marcus’ which are very individual. Interesting chap and I’ll research him further.

Everything known in advance? That would be rather useful. I gather you buy into the notion rather than enjoy that facility yourself? Or maybe you do.

What differentiates the content from this period is that there was a lot of relevant trading related information posted by experienced traders amongst the lulz and soap opera like behaviour of the time.
There certainly appears to be a lot more content, period. Very active, but with fewer members presumably. I really can’t complain as I have received shedloads of stunningly useful advice from currently active members and I understand just how valuable is the distillation of your combined experience. But I can see back then it must have been a full time job just to keep abreast of it all.

Thanks for the pointers and if I’m interpreting your response accurately, investment into reading Socrates posts is borderline?
 

Purple Brain

Experienced member
1,613 179
I was there at the time, as were a number of the old hands that still frequent the boards. Perhaps barjon will see your post and reply to it, as he's very good at encapsulating long and complicated sagas into a couple of succinct and pithy paragraphs. Suffice to say, it wasn't a "sponsored thread that had the explicit support of the t2w staff". I'm not sure what you mean by that exactly, but I assume you mean that T2W either paid Socrates or in some way encouraged him to post? Trust me, he didn't need any prompting or support from anyone, his massively inflated ego took care of that!
There was in post #1 a clear admonition that that thread had special significance and any off topic banter could result in a banning which is somewhat stricter than the norm. I assume that could have only come from a member of t2w staff or from Socrates himself with that level of support implicit from t2w staff.

He had his fans and his detractors. He dealt with the latter with the same degree of sensitivity and understanding as President Assad deals with his detractors in Syria. That aid, no one can deny he was an interesting character and he still has disciples to this day: check out posts by new_trader
While manner of delivery does not faze me at all the content was intriguing. Not sure if it was genuine insight or bluster though which is why I asked the wider t2w membership. Only two responses so far and no clear indication of Yes/No which is in itself interesting.

As an aside, I would be very interested to know the threads you've unearthed that you've found insightful and helpful. It's difficult for someone like me (old and jaded, lol!) to see the site through the eyes of someone relatively new such as yourself. So, any feedback on what you've found that you like or, conversely, hoped to find but couldn't - would be very helpful.
Cheers,
Tim.
Be delighted to bring something to the party as last timsk. Will do.
 

barjon

Legendary member
10,612 1,751
:LOL: ah the good old days!!

There's certainly a lot of good stuff around but it takes some unearthing.

Agree with the Skimbleshanks stuff and it's well worth the effort to dig that out.

Mr Marcus was almost too good to be true - when I did a series of "wot happened next?" he was so accurate about what happened over the next 50 to 100 bars that many people thought we were in cahoots and I'd tipped him off as to which instrument and chart segment I'd used. I hadn't. Unfortunately, he took any disagreement as a personal slight so he departed and took all his posts with him (you could do that in those days). He still looks in though, so if he sees this - all the best, we miss you!!

Ah Socrates - love or hate in extreme measure. Once witnessed him make 57 consecutive winning trades on es so I respected his ability. He was abstruse because he wanted people to think it out for themselves, not spoonfeed them with the answers. As Tim says he was pretty vicious with anyone who had the temerity to disagree (the admonitions at the start of the thread mentioned was an attempt to get it progressed without the infighting, nothing more). Despite every effort we couldn't get him to stop his rude and insulting behaviour and he was banned.

I'd also point to bbmac's stuff as well worth reading. There are plenty of others but the old memory is suspect!!

Current day there's a good few on here worth listening to, but they are not inclined to start "learning threads" as happened in the past. That means the digging is a lot more difficult because the nuggets tend to be individual posts rather than threads.
 
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Purple Brain

Experienced member
1,613 179
A definite consensus building on names to check out as a result of my query on Socrates, but in relation to the chap in question I am increasingly interpreting responses as 'just possibly worth a long rainy weekend'.

57 consecutive winning trades. Did he do that here on was this offline somewhere? Stunning.
 

c6ackp

Well-known member
441 28
That 57 figure may be a bit misleading - wasn't he selling options naked and promptly blew-up? I'm guessing he's not sitting in a swanky Mayfair office, running a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, so take it all with a pinch of salt.

A definite consensus building on names to check out as a result of my query on Socrates, but in relation to the chap in question I am increasingly interpreting responses as 'just possibly worth a long rainy weekend'.

57 consecutive winning trades. Did he do that here on was this offline somewhere? Stunning.
 

Purple Brain

Experienced member
1,613 179
That 57 figure may be a bit misleading - wasn't he selling options naked and promptly blew-up? I'm guessing he's not sitting in a swanky Mayfair office, running a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, so take it all with a pinch of salt.
I saw that thread too - Vanilla Options? I don't know enough about derivatives or how they are traded to comment, but there did seem to be an issue with the confirmation of the claims he made in terms on when he closed his positions and for how much, in that there was no evidence of them in reality.
 

Triggerfish

Active member
229 14
.....,investment into reading Socrates posts is borderline?

Reading and understanding are two very different things!

To assume what it is would be to limit oneself with false views/glass wall/boundaries which originated from the deluded self perception.....Is this not ignorance?

The penguins / helicopter needs to be understood and comprehended.....there is a saying....."One cannot see beyond what one cannot understand".
 

robster970

Veteren member
4,566 1,390
Thanks for the pointers and if I’m interpreting your response accurately, investment into reading Socrates posts is borderline?

No. For me personally it was a key turning point in how to trade. It made me aware of something I did not understand at the time. Although the pursuit of what Socrates alludes to has been long and often difficult for me personally, I believe it has made me a better trader than I could have aspired to be by following a purely mechanical/technical/systemic approach. I am not stating in absolute terms that discretionary trading is better than systemic trading. What I am saying is that it is better for me and the Journey from the Basement aroused my curiosity enough to change approach.

TBH, the real gear shift for me happened about 12 months ago as a result of some very specific conversations with a professional away from T2W. What I now understand is Socrates concept of 'Everything is known in advance' but the basis for that is formed through a greater understanding of market structure and participation by different players of different sizes. What is flawed sometimes is my execution against this understanding. It's one thing having an open goal, it's another matter kicking the ball into it.
 
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timsk

Legendary member
7,374 2,164
. . . I believe it has made me a better trader than I could have aspired to be by following a purely mechanical/technical/systemic approach. I am not stating in absolute terms that discretionary trading is better than systemic trading. What I am saying is that it is better for me and the Journey from the Basement aroused my curiosity enough to change approach.
PB,
If you decide to get stuck in to reading more of Socrates, then you'll need to offset that with the posts of his arch enemy: dbphoenix. The latter advocated the more mechanical approach to trading that robster refers to, although still under the umbrella of discretionary trading.

They were like chalk and cheese in many respects, united only by their unwavering self confidence, total belief that their view of the markets was right and having little or no time for anyone who dared to question their guru like status.
Tim.
 

Shakone

Senior member
2,458 665
I have to agree with the posters already mentioned posting some very useful material. It's all quite personal though, as for example a seemingly throwaway comment from BBmac one day switched on a lightbulb for me. It wouldn't had I not been struggling to understand a specifically related problem for weeks beforehand. It's about being ready to hear it. And if you're not, it's going to sound like waffle. I still look back on some Socrates and DBPhoenix (another top poster) posts and see the gems there that I didn't when I first started.

Aside from being ready, it's also about verifying the truth of it for yourself, because there are those whose waffle is actually nonsense. Verify whether it's a truth, and don't dwell on how or from whom it is delivered.

Journey from the basement has about 8 stories/allegories/lessons for various mental and trading situations. So if you're interested in that, get those posts from Socrates and make up your own mind rather than read through everyone else's thoughts on the matter (unless you're really keen). I think the context of the first story is related to this chart

http://www.trade2win.com/boards/analysis/7751-no-indicators-revisited-98.html#post103784

(someone correct me if I've got the wrong post)

The above no indicators thread has a lot of good contributions.

Some posts in
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/first-steps/71898-quotes-good-great-trading.html
made a big difference.
 
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Shakone

Senior member
2,458 665
PB,
If you decide to get stuck in to reading more of Socrates, then you'll need to offset that with the posts of his arch enemy: dbphoenix. The latter advocated the more mechanical approach to trading that robster refers to, although still under the umbrella of discretionary trading.

They were like chalk and cheese in many respects, united only by their unwavering self confidence, total belief that their view of the markets was right and having little or no time for anyone who dared to question their guru like status.
Tim.

You're very dramatic today Timsk! Comparing Socrates to Assad, and DBphoenix an archenemy...

I think you'd find that they were in great agreement on the core principles of trading.
 
 
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