[FoRK] Dangerous Thoughts
Jeff Bone <
jbone at place.org
> on >
Sat Mar 25 21:34:15 PST 2006
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a serious ongoing situation that
was occurring with me / threat to my well-being of previously unknown
proportions. That situation and its effects have not completely
played out yet; it was my intent to write quite a bit more about
this on an ongoing basis as things developed. Plans have changed; I
have been advised not to write anymore about this as it unfolds. I
wanted to close the loop, though, so instead of the full epic I'll
merely toss a few random thoughts into the mix here.
The world can change - significantly - faster than anyone can
anticipate. Life is not a Gaussian distribution; the events and
experiences that most influence and effect life are always the
outliers. Expect fat tails. As the change-curve accelerates and
the first derivative increases in magnitude, one must be prepared for
a wider and wider range of challenges and necessary responses.
Lazarus Long was more right than wrong. Ender played his game
correctly, given his priors. Speculating about / anticipating the
worst-case scenario is never a waste of time. And the old adage "the
market can remain irrational longer than you can remain liquid"
doesn't just relate to finance. There's a LOT more irrationality out
there than most of us would-be rationalists would care to admit ---
and sometimes irrationality requires a symmetrical response.
Indeed Sagan was right: we do largely live in a demon-haunted world,
lit dimly by the fragile flickering of the candlelight of
rationality. Don't ever fool yourselves otherwise. And those demons
--- insubstantial and false though they may be --- steer the forces
of history, both personal and social.
Take care. Be prepared.*
* there may be fringe benefits in the exercise of this preparation.
I've learned a lot --- in a lot of previously-unknown and -
uninteresting areas --- in dealing with this situation over the last
3.5 weeks. Good things can come from bad circumstances.
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