A Sister Project of Ours

Noah denkt™: There is no lasting Success without Peace of Mind

Iyov Extreme Risk Management (IERM) has evolved out of the insights and experiences IERM’s founder has gained in working on the Noah
denkt™ -Project. The IERM consulting service is hence unthinkable without the Noah denkt™-Project.  So let us explain what our sister project is
all about.

Noah denkt™ is an educational project and platform that aims at demonstrating
the superior quality of judgments that a Golden
Rule/Categorical Imperative (GR/CI) inspired worldview generates
. Noah denkt™ believes that the balance of perspectives which are
inherent in a GR/CI- inspired posture not only provides for a balance in the judgments emanating from this world view but it also encourages its
adepts to go the extra mile of proficiency in the process of reaching subject judgments.  Obviously Noah denkt™ is cognizant of several issues
and shortcomings relating to the Golden Rule and the Categorical Imperative. And if you bear with us we will lay out the most important of these:

  • First there is a confusion about what the Golden Rule actually says: Is it a) Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to
    you(Confucius, Analects, 15:23, 6:28; The Mahabarata 5.39.57) or is it b) “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”(Luke 6:
    13, Matthew 7:12)? Clearly there is a difference between a) and b) as far as the practical application is concerned. The Luke and Matthew
    version clearly is more comprehensive and doesn’t just refer to actions one would not want to be subjected to. This is why Noah denkt™
    leans more to version a) than to version b).

  • There is an important difference between the Golden Rule and the Categorical Imperative. The Categorical Imperative has its
    followers actively think in terms of their obligations to the common good and the post-enlightenment state of law. It requires them to “act
    according to the maxim whereby they can, at the same time, will that that maxim should become a universal law.” The Golden Rule
    however has its followers think only in terms of their personal preferences and does not oblige them to consider the possible universality
    or not of their own desires. The Categorical Imperative hence leads to an even more proficient reasoning, than the Golden Rule.

  • Because of the lack of reference to the need for respecting a higher good outside your small world of personal preferences (such as the
    question of the universal applicability of one’s desires in an enlightened Kantian state of law or the love and respect for God in Jesus’s first
    two commandments (see: Matthew 22:36-39)), the Golden Rule cannot be viewed as an all-encompassing guide to balanced and
    reasonable behavior. There may be times when the Golden Rule must be violated for the sake of defending the concept of clairvoyance,
    humanity, soundness and reason. It is, however, in exceptional cases only that such violation of the Golden Rule is justified. In other
    words, the latter still serves a reasonable yardstick to calibrate the everyday behavior on, even if it doesn’t go all the way.

  • Immanuel Kant on the other hand went somewhat overboard in his creation of the concept of the Categorical Imperative. He argued that
    an act of human kindness and responsibility triggered by an emotional inclination to do something nice to someone else rather than by a
    pure sense of obligation towards the spirit of the Categorical Imperative would in essence have to be considered a selfish act. (See:
    Immanuel Kant: Grundlegung zu einer Metaphysik der Sitten, Berlin 1870, page 15). Clearly this is a pretty extreme interpretation. Schiller
    addressed this assessment of Kant when laying out that it would then be better to make your friends your enemies so that an act of
    kindness to them would not have to be considered as selfish since it wasn’t triggered by emotional inclination (“Neigung”). (See: Friedrich
    Schiller: Werke, Nationalausgabe Weimar 1943, Vol. 20, p. 357) . It is true that Kant generally acknowledges the fact that it is next to
    impossible to ever clearly determine what the underlying motive of an ethical act really is and how much selfishness is inherent in them.  
    (Kant, ibid, p.27) The fact remains however, that Kant is frighteningly and improbably strict in his requirements of purity and selflessness.

Despite the inherent shortcomings in both concepts (Golden Rule (1a) and the Categorical Imperative), Noah denkt™ continuous to believe that
there is still enough stellar wisdom left in these rules to put them at the heart of a superior business strategy and business
. In fact, it is our opinion that there is no other tool available anywhere else which could possibly take a market
participant to a higher level of wisdom and quality of judgment than the Golden Rule and the Categorical Imperative combined. The beauty of
that Golden Rule/Categorical Imperative philosophy is that it forces its adepts to not content themselves with shortsighted, one-dimensional
offerings but encourages them instead to look for solutions that flow gently between the client and its provider and which evaporate all doubts,
hesitations and reservations that each of them may have harbored individually before the transaction. This is particularly important in a market-
place that has the capacity to turn over in breathtaking speed. In such rapidly changing conditions any shortcomings in your actions can quickly
come to haunt you even if it were the very same shortcomings that helped you to succeed yesterday.   

In other words, the Golden Rule/Categorical Imperative philosophy helps you to
satisfy your needs without compromising your peace of
The tranquility thereby gained however is tremendously important for the accuracy of all your forward-looking, speculative decisions. If
people are not at ease with themselves it is highly unlikely that their interpretations of reality and their intuitions about the future will be cutting
edge enough to keep them on a path to success. This is especially true in the finance industry.  As most speculators know all too well there are
usually just as many solid arguments to consider the market glass as being half full (the bullish view) as there are to view it as half empty (the
bearish view). The view that then gets picked by the individual speculator has often times just as much to do with the way he or she sees
himself/herself in the world than with the mere facts on the ground. If people have their doubts about this assertion of ours they should
remember the fact that all our consciousness is dependent on the inevitable intentionality of our perceptions. The subjective element in our
interpretations and analysis can hence not be denied.  The Golden Rule/Categorical Imperative philosophy is hence very relevant to the success
of individual speculators and market participants. Nevertheless there may also be a wider social and economic component to it.

If we remember for a minute the difficulties governments had during the financial crisis of 2007 and the ensuing Euro crisis to counteract the
devastation which subject crashes had generated we could easily come to the conclusion that f
uture bubble ruptures in an ever more
contagious digital marketplace will probably bring governments even more to their knees than previous bubble bursts did
. It is
hence of some importance to convincingly demonstrate that there is ultimately more profit-making capability in a Golden Rule-inspired business
approach than in the one-dimensional “My bottom-line gains matters most” approach which clearly sparked the pre-2007 bubble in the first
place.  Providing that anecdotal evidence in favor of a GR/CI strategy is what Noah denkt™ has set out to do.

Granted, this is a long pitch to make, and it may take some time before the wisdom of our analysis breaks through in a sufficiently visible  
manner. That moment however will come. In the mean time we will supplement our work with exploiting the Book of Job experiences which we
have gained along the way.  
Iyov Extreme Risk Management
A consultancy to support Fund Managers, Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders
that are driven to take existential risk