Fooled by Randomness - Deepstash
Fooled by Randomness


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Fooled by Randomness

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Randomness, chance, and luck influence our lives and our work more than we realize. Because of hindsight bias and survivorship bias, in particular, we tend to forget the many who fail, remember the few who succeed, and then create reasons and patterns for their success even though it was largely random.

Mild success can be explainable by skills and hard work, but wild success is usually attributable to variance and luck.


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Many systems we move and live works in linear fashion mean in sequential form, usually in one line, with every day of your work you move closer to your promotion, when you go to school you move closer to graduation, with every savings you do, you move closer to your retirement same lifestyle, and so on.

Because of all these events we think that life is linear, or sequential, but that’s not the actual fact.


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We need irrationality to make certain decisions.

If we make every single of our decisions based on rational reasoning then we may not be able to survive or we will cease to exist. Not every decision or choice can be easy, some choices can be indifferent like there can be some choices whose outcome will neither make us feel better and will not be able to make us feel worse.

If you want to invest money, by thinking rational like the market can go down or can go up, by thinking this way you won’t be able to make a proper decision, unless you are being slightly irrational.


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Randomness is not all bad it’s harmless too, we people need to use randomness in a better way so that it can improve our lives in better way, there are some fields which can’t work without randomness such as art, poetry, humor, books etc., author says that without randomness there will be no beauty in art there will be no joy, happiness in these things, author says that in some situations randomness is good, author says that we can’t let randomness fool us, but the right kind of randomness is good.


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Random irrational thinking can be harmful or harmless, and we must understand that harmless randomness and irrational behavior thinking will help us to make our lives better but irrational behavior attitude or randomness which is harmful will only destroy our lives. We must develop a stoic attitude and understand the difference between good and bad randomness.


114 reads

  • As much as we want to “keep it simple, stupid” … It is precisely the simplification of issues that are actually very complex, which can be dangerous.
  • Mild success can be explainable by skills and labour. Wild success is attributable to variance.
  • Every man believes that he is quite different.


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It’s better to value old, distilled thoughts than “new thinking” because for an idea to last so long it must be good. That is, old ideas have had to stand the test of time. New ideas have not. Some new ideas will end up lasting, but most will not.


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Randomness means there are some strategies that work well for any given cycle, but these cycles are often short to medium term successes. The strategies that work for a given cycle in the short term may not be the best for the long run. They are suboptimal strategies winning over a randomly beneficial short term cycle.

The same can be said for setting big goals, following a fad diet, chasing an extreme training protocol, and so on. Unsustainable and suboptimal for the long term. 

Evolutionary traits that are undesirable can survive for a period of time in any given population.


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The ratio of undistilled information to distilled is rising. Let’s call information that has never had to prove its truth more than once or twice, undistilled. And information that has been filtered through many years, counter arguments, and situations is distilled. You want more distilled information (concepts that stand the test of time and rigorous analysis) and less undistilled information (the news, reactionary opinions, and “cutting edge” research).


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Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American Essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader and risk analyst, whose work Focuses on Problems of randomness, probability and uncertainty.

Fooled by Randomness deals with the fallibility of human knowledge, This book is one of the 75 smartest books of all time for its work on the way humans perceive randomness. The author has come up with various ways through which humans assign meaning to a series of independent random events.


43 reads


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