Search Results for: taleb

Reductionism: Understanding the Parts, Misunderstanding the Whole

June 16, 2011

In 1637 René Descartes changed the course of science forever with the publication of Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences. That work lays the foundation to modern science by putting forth two enduring ideas about reductionism: As a way of knowing (“divide each of the […]

Suppressing Volatility Makes the World Less Predictable and More Dangerous

June 15, 2011

I recommend reading Nassim Taleb’s recent article (PDF) in Foreign Affairs. It’s the ultimate example of iatrogenics by the fragilista. If you don’t have time here are my notes: Complex systems that have artificially suppressed volatility tend to become extremely fragile, while at the same time exhibiting not visible risks. Seeking to restrict variability seems […]

Mental Model: Anchoring

August 20, 2009

We often pay attention to irrelevant information. This happens because we develop estimates by starting with an initial anchor that is based on whatever information is provided and adjust from the anchor (sometimes our adjustments are not sufficient). This is called anchoring. More problematic perhaps is that the existence of an anchor leads people to […]