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Reading Guide

Paradigm, by Robert Taylor

Paradigm is a scientific thriller about a mysterious granite Egyptian box found by twin scientists Alex and Nicholas Shepard. The secret they discover could collapse financial markets, bankrupt corporations around the globe, and destroy many of the world's most powerful families. And, the science in the book is real. We hope these thought-provoking questions lead to some lively book discussions.

  1. Paradigm keeps readers guessing about where the lines of reality and fiction merge. Discuss what aspects of the book you know are true and which you think are fiction.
  2. Which character that the Shepards meet in their adventure adds the most to the plot? Why?
  3. What European places do the Shepard's visit and how does each place bring the Shepards closer to their goal?
  4. Discuss the title of the book and what effect Alex and Nicholas' (actually the author's) discovery has on trading techniques, international relations, and the future of the stock market. What is the Paradigm Shift?
  5. Discuss Mika Hunter's character, her relationship with Alex Shepard, and how her feelings toward Malachi change throughout the course of the book.
  6. Alex and Nicholas discover a pattern in xyber9 where market predictions reverse for no apparent reason. Discuss why you think this might be and how the real markets are affected by it. Is there a real "phase inversion" in the stock market?
  7. Discuss how The Taylor Effect refutes the Random Walk Theory, outlined by Burton Malkiel in his book A Random Walk Down Wall Street.
  8. The Taylor Effect (that a financial market's expansion and contraction is qualitatively in direct correlation to the increases and decreases in gravitational fluctuations experienced at the human level) is outlined in the Appendix. Discuss what this might mean for the future of market prediction. How might this affect your own financial future?
  9. How can the information outlined in Paradigm help with your stock market trading? How can you use the information in the Appendix to your advantage?
  10. Why do you think the author decided to present his scientific discovery in a work of fiction?