jueves, 13 de diciembre de 2012

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder


Edge.org
December 13, 2012
http://www.edge.org

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THE THIRD CULTURE
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"The point we will be making here is that logically, neither trial and error nor
"chance" and serendipity can be behind the gains in technology and empirical science
attributed to them. By definition chance cannot lead to long term gains (it would no
longer be chance); trial and error cannot be unconditionally effective: errors cause
planes to crash, buildings to collapse, and knowledge to regress."

UNDERSTANDING IS A POOR SUBSTITUTE FOR CONVEXITY (ANTIFRAGILITY)

NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB, essayist and former mathematical trader, is Distinguished
Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU�s Polytechnic Institute. He is the author the
international bestseller The Black Swan and the recently published Antifragile:
Things That Gain from Disorder. (US: Random House (http://amzn.to/TPmY7M ; UK:
Penguin Press http://amzn.to/W6rlNS )

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"Something central, very central, is missing in historical accounts of scientific
and technological discovery. The discourse and controversies focus on the role of
luck as opposed to teleological programs (from telos, "aim"), that is, ones that
rely on pre-set direction from formal science. This is a faux-debate: luck cannot
lead to formal research policies; one cannot systematize, formalize, and program
randomness. The driver is neither luck nor direction, but must be in the asymmetry
(or convexity) of payoffs, a simple mathematical property that has lied hidden from
the discourse, and the understanding of which can lead to precise research
principles and protocols.

"MISSING THE ASYMMETRY

"The luck versus knowledge story is as follows. Ironically, we have vastly more
evidence for results linked to luck than to those coming from the teleological,
outside physics�even after discounting for the sensationalism. In some opaque and
nonlinear fields, like medicine or engineering, the teleological exceptions are in
the minority, such as a small number of designer drugs. This makes us live in the
contradiction that we largely got here to where we are thanks to undirected chance,
but we build research programs going forward based on direction and narratives. And,
what is worse, we are fully conscious of the inconsistency."  ... [MORE]

http://www.edge.org/conversation/understanding-is-a-poor-substitute-for-convexity-antifragility

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Copyright (c) 2012 by Edge Foundation, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

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