Thursday, June 14, 2007

Recursive on xxii of Taleb's The Black Swan

Recursive...means that the world in which we live has an increasing number of feedback loops, causing events to be the cause of more events (say, people buy a book because other people bought it), thus generating snowballs and arbitrary and unpredictable planet-wide winner-take-all events.

We live in an environment where information flows too rapidly, accelerating such epidemics. Likewise, events can happen because they are not supposed to happen. (Our intuitions are made for an environment with simper causes and effects and slowly moving information.) This type of randomness did not prevail during the Pleistocene, as socioeconomic life was far simpler then.

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