Thursday, 23 August 2018

The Black Swan. Nassim Nicholas Taleb






p.53 Inability to automatically transfer knowledge and sophistication from one situation to another or from theory to practice is a disturbing att Our reactions, our mode of thinking, our intuitions, depend on the context in which the matter is presented, what evolutionary psychologists call the domain of the object or the event. We react to a piece of information not on its logical merit but on the basis of which framework surrounds it and how it registers with our social emotional system. Logical problems approached one way in the classroom would be treated differently in daily life.


Knowledge even when it's exact does not often lead to appropriate actions because we tend to forget what we know or forget how to process it properly.


Our brain lacks a central all-purpose computer that starts with logical rules and applies them equally to all possible situations.


p70. Potential of narracy. Compare "the king died and the queen died." TO "the king died, and then the queen died out of grief" Second sentence has more information but is much more easily reduced in dimension in total for human brain. The second sentence is much lighter and easier to remember, we now have single piece of information instead of two. We can sell it to others better now. That implies with everything, people love stories because it's easy to remember
Memory is dynamic in reality, it's not a serial recording device.. Memory is self-serving dynamic revision machine: you remember the last time you remembered the event and, without realizing it, change the story at every subsequent remembrance.


p76. Which of these two statements are more likely:
Joe seemed happily married. He killed his wife.
OR 
Joe seemed happily married. He killed his wife to get her inheritance.


People will choose second. But the first one is much much more probable since it's much broader. The second one is just more narrative and justified for us. All these patologies are leading us to mistakes in our decision making.
EX:
People are more likely to pay for terrorism insurance than for plain insurance (which covers terrorism insurance as well)
Black swans we are imagining are not the ones that will happen. We worry about wrong "improbable" events even if we tend to consider Black Swans. You just need to be aware of that, but you must understand you can't predict that.


"There are more ppl writing books than ppl reading books. Inequality causes than thousands of ppl who has for example same talent as Einstein but less luck are put aside and nobody ever hear about them. " page 102

-> people have VERY VERY limited time & attention to be able to know at least 1% of the whole interesting things in the world. No matter how smart we'd be. Our attention (and time??) will be limited. We forget things also which even worse.

What we can do to that? Two approaches. Either pull your focus to the more relevant things (which will make situation a bit better but still has limits), diversify as much as we can, focusing and exploring very narrow part of reality and trying to summarize & expose that to others (experts syloses, that's what we do actually) or just don't care and live you life to be as much happy as you can (doesn't matter how)


How to become millionaire in ten steps.
You shouldn't study skills of millionaires to know how to become one, because there's a lot of not known ppl who had that set of skills and didn't succeed. It's just a matter of luck.

-> Increase your luck -> yes man? give chance to more possibilities to occur, use more of your chances and say yes to more things, if filter our do it smartely

ONLY FILTERING USEFUL VS UNUSEFUL GIVES PPL NEEDED SUCCESS

All successful ppl I know have more strict filters to the time they devote to particular things.
Important points for not loosing:
* assymetry -> don't hold your loses, hold your wins, don't spend more effort on not successful path, but devotes fully if you see it's going in good direction
* everything is purely random, you must understand that half of the plays will be loses, but but half will be small wins. You spend your time & money on each of them, so you must use smart filters to not fail into hell of notimemoney. However more filters occur more probability of loosing important plays.

There are too many things that we don't see, causing our very wrong understanding of the world (very limited)

Money given somewhere will be taken from somewhere else. But we don't know from where same as we may not know where to put it better. We see obvious and visible consequences not the invisible and less obvious ones. Yet those unseen consequences may be and generally are more meaningful. 

We can see what people (goverments, companies) do and therefore we sign their praises. But we DO NOT SEE THE ALTERNATIVE. But there is always an alternative, it is less obvious and remains unseen.

EVERYBODY IS TELLING WHAT THEY DID. But nobody tells what they did not do.

-> always think what you can do instead of what you do now, always think what you can do that will cause better future/world/your live/your feelings

-> always think about possible negative consequences not only positive ones?

RISK UPWARD OVERESTIMATION
we see all patients who has cancer and died from it. But maybe there's a lot who has cancer and survived or had healing? 

-> anual full medical check is needed (gadgets that make it easier to track the things)
-> we're not moving forward in medicine, where are all those money that can be put in medical researches & gathering data from patients & giving for free all the traking systems.

illusion of stability
bias lovers our perception of the risk we incurred in the past because those who were experiencing it did not survived. Even if you survived you gonna underestimate how risky the situation actually was.

P138
We're demonstrably arrogant about what we think we know.
There is a lot of implications of such arrogancies

Many professions are dependent on somebody's prediction/vision/guessing or estimation about the future (how many sales can be done of that book, how the person will perform, how customers will behave)
The problem is that our prediction skills are proved to be not even close to reality, meaning that trying to guess something in most cases actually causes worse outcome that without it.(due to the wrong expectations)

when you're employed, hence dependent on other people's judgement, looking busy can help you claim responsibility for the results in a random environment (bad results of your work).


The more information you give to someone, the more hypotheses they will formulate along the way, and worse off they will be. They see more random noise and mistake it for relevant information(filters are quite brocken). 


 So what you propose? Having less information? think about that The longer interval allows information to be filtered a bit?



Our ideas are sticky: once we produce a theory we're unlikely to change it (tip - what if we will suggest a theory to sbd, they gonna stick to it as well, we just need to be faster). Those who delay developing their theories are better off(for themselves only)


p152
We humans are the victims of an asymmetry in the perception of random events. We attribute our successes to out skills, and our failures to external events outside our control, namely to randomness. We feel responsible for the good stuff, but not for the bad. This causes us to think that we are better than others at whatever we do for a living. Ninety-four percent of Swedes believe that their driving skills put them in the top 50 percent of Swedish drivers; 84 percent of Frenchmen feel that their lovemaking abilities put them in the top half of French lovers.



We feel unique unlike, we underestimate what others did ("it's pure luck") and overestimate what we did (it's skills).

Buying real estate and tying ourselves to it makes no sense? Sedentary living is dire. We are very nomadic, far more than we plan to be, and forcibly so.


We either know one thing, and blindly believe in it, not accepting anything else (black swan that unlikely to happen, but can) ex dollar fall. OR we know many things and don't see (accept) any black swans

We tend to be biased by numbers and every other reference points we can't fully understand. When presented with initial number (price, estimation etc) we are tight to it as a reference point later on. Also we can't understand the logic of large deviations from the norm as well as exponential growth.


"SOLUTION LOOKING FOR A PROBLEM" - we build toys, some of those toys change the world.

TODO: look for the new discoveries and advancements and try to find their new applications in absolutely unbelievable fields.


In order to predict historical events you need to predict technological innovations, itself fundamentally unpredictable.

If I expect to expect something at some day in the future then I already expect that at present.
If you know the discovery you gonna make in the future (and you should know it if you want to predict something) then you already made it (but if you already made it the future is already today and later something else will happen)




181. Weakness apply to all knowledge(Hayek). Because of the confirmation problem one can argue that we know very little about our natural world; we advertise the read books and forget about he unread ones. Phisics has been successful, but it is a narrow field of hard science in which we have been successful, and people tend to generalize that success to all science.  It would be preferable if we were better at undrestanding cancer or the higlhy nonlinear weather than the origin or the universe.




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