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1 minute reading

Some problems do not need mass of data to be understood, plain heuristics or rule of thumb alone can summarized problems

Some problems do not need mass of data to be understood, plain heuristics or rule of thumb alone can summarized problems Some problems do not need mass of data to be understood, plain heuristics or rule of thumb alone can summarized problems
Source: NASTY GAL via Pinterest
Antifragile
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Antifragile
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As they say in the mafia, just work on removing the pebble in your shoe.

There are some domains, like, say, real estate, in which problems and solutions are crisply summarized by a heuristic, a rule of thumb to look for the three most important properties: "location, location, and location"—much of the rest is supposed to be chickensh***t. Not quite and not always true, but it shows the central thing to worry about, as the rest takes care of itself.

Yet people want more data to "solve problems." I once testified in Congress against a project to fund a crisis forecasting project. The people involved were blind to the paradox that we have never had more data than we have now, yet have less predictability than ever. More data—such as paying attention to the eye colors of the people around when crossing the street—can make you miss the big truck. When you cross the street, you remove data, anything but the essential threat. As Paul Valery once wrote: que de choses it faut ignorer pour agir—how many things one should disregard in order to act.

Convincing—and confident—disciplines, say, physics, tend to use little statistical backup, while political science and economics, which have never produced anything of note, are full of elaborate statistics and statistical "evidence" (and you know that once you remove the smoke, the evidence is not evidence).

The situation in science is similar to detective novels in which the person with the largest number of alibis turns out to be the guilty one.

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