Smarter People Take More Risks | Scott H Young - Deepstash
Risk and Uncertainty

People often confuse risk with uncertainty. But the terms "risk" and "uncertainty" do not refer to the same thing.

  • Risk is precise and quantifiable.
  • Uncertainty is when the underlying system is not understood.

The more you understand a system, the more able you are to convert uncertainty into risk.

191 STASHED

8 LIKES

  • Risk can be calculated by figuring out the odds.
  • Uncertainties can't be computed. Even if you could do the math, uncertainties don't have any numbers to calculate.

Most people deal with uncertainty by only doing things others have done in the past. But this tends to restrict people by repeating experiences they've had or knowing the experiences of others. This can create a trap where you avoid good opportunities just because nobody has tried them.

167 STASHED

6 LIKES

The prospect theory shows that people are often willing to make riskier decisions to avoid losses than to make gains - even when the situation is identical but framed differently. For example, a 30% chance of death and a 70% chance of life are two different ways to describe the same thing.

If uncertainty is the default, an irrationally strong influence will be exerted on the outcome.

151 STASHED

1 LIKE

Once you understand a system, you can change some risk into uncertainty. Sometimes you can do this completely, but other times you can limit your range of uncertainties to a calculable level.

More knowledge allows you more controlled risk. However, sometimes, people overestimate their knowledge. They may think they understand a system when they really don't.

149 STASHED

3 LIKES

Uncertainty hides the risks of our decisions. This makes us tread very carefully. But, in reality, most of the decision terrain isn't nearly so dangerous. Things that look risky often aren't, and things that look routine and safe, often are.

The solution is to gain more knowledge and understanding of the specific area. This will clear the fog, often revealing a gentle passage.

163 STASHED

4 LIKES

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP: