I just listened to the first couple chapters of Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in the car on the way to work this morning. As the title suggests, it explores how we are hardwired into molding history to fit a story that we have developed retrospectively to events, and that the actual event was much more random than we later believe it to be….can’t wait to keep reading.

The best part for me was the discussion of professionally successful people, and how, intelligence-wise, they are not (on average) markedly superior to the rest of us. Hard work and persistence were necessary, but not causal. What was causal? A clue is in the title…

The other important part is that different people have different heuristics, i.e. mental shortcuts for interpreting the data, things and emotions with which they are presented. We like the things that are presented in a way that matches up most closely with our own mental framework, but that mental framework is not shared by anyone else…which is why it is always quite amusing when people quibble over the details of things that, whether they are presented one way or slightly differently, don’t have any effect on the overall meaning.


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One Response to “Randomness”

  1. Goodell exposed « It's more fun than a TPS report… Says:

    […] The thrust of the article is that Goodell looks the part of powerful league commissioner, but looking deeper reveals something different. My take is that he seems more susceptible to being ‘Fooled by Randomness’ than most people are – which is saying quite a lot. I won’t go into a long explanation of what I mean by that, but for a bit more explanation, check out an earlier post here. […]

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