Nassim Nicholas Taleb is my Hero

Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan are essential reading, as his latest piece on Edge, The Fourth Quadrant:
"Statistics can fool you. In fact it is fooling your government right now. It can even bankrupt the system (let's face it: use of probabilistic methods for the estimation of risks did just blow up the banking system)..."

"The current subprime crisis has been doing wonders for the reception of any ideas about probability-driven claims in science, particularly in social science, economics, and 'econometrics' (quantitative economics). Clearly, with current International Monetary Fund estimates of the costs of the 2007-2008 subprime crisis, the banking system seems to have lost more on risk taking (from the failures of quantitative risk management) than every penny banks ever earned taking risks."
[via beckmart]

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