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April 09, 2007

Nassim Taleb

We cannot help being fooled by randomness. We're too impressionable. I was in London when the second terrorist attack happened and I automatically behaved like anyone else, ducking for safety. Then I realised that my biggest danger in London came from my jet lag and being used to traffic driving on the other side of the road. We should worry about preventable sources of death. I should worry more about how much sugar I put in my tea than whether I am going to be hit by terrorists. The key is not to try to stop being a fool, but to be aware of when it matters not to be a fool. If you can't do anything about a problem, it's a waste of time analysing it.

Just a quote, to remind me that he has a new book out, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. I really loved his first book, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, so I'm looking forward to this next one.

Posted by dpwakefield at April 9, 2007 08:30 PM