The five laws that confirm our worst fears: stupid people can and do rule the world.
Since time immemorial, a powerful dark force has hindered the growth of human welfare and happiness. It is more powerful than the Mafia or the military. It has global catastrophic effects and can be found anywhere from the world’s most powerful boardrooms to your local pub. This is the immensely powerful force of human stupidity.
Seeing the shambolic state of human affairs, and sensing the dark force at work behind it, Carlo M. Cipolla, the late, noted professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley, created a vitally important economic model that would allow us to detect, know and neutralise this threat: The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.
If you’ve ever found yourself despairing at the ubiquity of stupidity among even the most ‘intellectual’ of people, then this hilarious, timely and slightly alarming little book is for you. Arm yourself in the face of baffling political realities, unreasonable colleagues or the unbridled misery of Christmas day with the in-laws with the first and only economic model for stupidity.
Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb interviewed about his book Skin in the Game by author and journalist Katrine Marçal. Taleb explains the concepts of Skin in the Game and Soul in the Game. He also talks about rationality and honour. Taleb is not a fan of economists Paul Krugman, Richard Thaler and behavioural economics. In this interview, he explains why.
In this fantastic lecture at the end of August 2019 at the WorldSkills Conference in Kazan, Russia, he addressed some very interesting points:
✅ The importance of trial and error for the development of technology. ✅ Theory does not allow interaction with uncertainty. ✅ Theoretical knowledge is inferior to the knowledge gained from experience. ✅ We get smarter when we perform, not just when we sit and think. ✅ People who use trial-and-error are more successful than those who just dedicate themselves to designing, writing formulas, and reasoning in theory. ✅ Businesses that make small, cheap mistakes can end up making a mistake that will make them big. ✅ People involved in technology do not write books. The books are written by teachers. But the real heroes didn’t come from the academic world, they didn’t have time to discuss what they were doing. ✅ Do not try to teach birds to fly. The world does not develop from top to bottom. ✅ Industrial Revolution and Cybernetics did not come from academia and science but from people without formal study. ✅ Formal education does not generate wealth for countries. ✅ First, they must get rich and only then invest in this type of education (If you care about Brazil!) ✅ South Korea and Switzerland first became rich with the technical skills of their people and later invested in formal education.
When someone tells you it was a 10 sigma event, meaning it is 10 standard deviations and it is Gaussian; unless the information came from God, you can reject the Gaussian distribution for that domain. We show the derivations.