Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How I failed in business and in life

"Go to a bookstore, and look at the business shelves: you will find plenty of books telling you how to make your first million, or your first quarter-billion, etc. You will not be likely to find a book on "how I failed in business and in life"—though the second type of advice is vastly more informational, and typically less charlatanic. Indeed, the only popular such finance book I found that was not quacky in nature—on how someone lost his fortune—was both self-published and out of print. Even in academia, there is little room for promotion by publishing negative results—though these are vastly more informational and less marred with statistical biases of the kind we call data snooping. So all I am saying is, "What is it that we don't know", and my advice is what to avoid, no more."
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"I tell people don't get your representation of the news from television, because it hits you in a part of your brain, and the way it hits you is much more the story than if you'd read it. And if you read it, it's much more distorting if you read words than if you're reading statistics."
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb



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