By Dr. Laura Mondino
It is rare for an essay to read like a novel, however, Nassim Taleb’s book manages to have exactly this effect..
Fooled by Randomness talks about luck, that is to say, about the role that chance plays in our life, but it also speaks about the luck that, not being perceived as such, is mistaken for skill: a confusion present in a wide range of fields: from science to politics, from literature to finance.
To the backdrop of his experience as a Wall Street trader, Taleb shows us the consequences that may derive from mistaking luck for skill: there are loads of lucky idiots and overpaid fools who simply found themselves in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately people like that attract scores of devoted followers who believe blindly in what they – sometimes in good faith – pass off for method.
Reading “Fooled by Randomness” explores those cognitive deformations of our brain that lead us to the continual search for causal links, even where it is purely chance, deep-rooted trends (the result of the evolution mainly occurring in a much more straightforward environment than the one in which we live today) which we cannot manage to free ourselves from, and that lead to misunderstandings of which the book shows us the sometimes dramatic consequences, whereas it makes our prejudices on the idea of success and failure drop like skittles.
Jean Cocteau once said: “We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?”, nowadays without luck, we would not have any alibis. Good luck reading