hearts and swans

today i passed my stress test? hurrah! am glad that at 56 am still blest with a normal heart. but the lesson is not simple. according to the lebanese thinker on randomness, taleb, you must not be fooled by randomness. this means that passing one simple stress test may be good for your emotions but it may be that the day was lucky for me. many people think that just because one is healthy at the time the heart test was conducted, they will be healthy for a long time. taleb says that we should be thinking of probabilities and that we should remain alert to all kinds of probabilities. his book “Fooled by Randomness ” is a difficult book to understand because he takes us to the science of probabilities and uncertainties. as i plowed through his ideas, i begin to appreciate his discussion of the” black swan” – that one may conclude that all swans are white after observing a million swans but somewhere in another place, a black swan is found. that is a rare event but invalidates the conclusion of swans being all white. now for all those who are interested in making money and investing in futures, read taleb.

now, what is so important about believing in a black swan? for me, if i look at the political situation in the philippines, i hope a black swan is found and that all the corruption and plunder money gets to blow up. my friends in the media and in ngos have been wondering how long will the apathy of our people last since there is no strong wave of reaction with the scandals that have been pestering the news. i often wonder about our people ‘s patience and capacity to tolerate unjust and immoral acts of politicians. but upon reading taleb and the theory of the black swan, maybe, just maybe the politicians will find the rise of the black swan.

the other idea that i found interesting is taleb’s habit of avoiding television and reading newspapers. he said that there is so much noise in the news and that journalists are not a good source of signals. he prefers to read books and do his homework by studying risks and uncertainties. the bibliography in his book is impressive because i have not met many of the authors he cites for the simple reason that he is working on scientific ideas and abhors pseudoscience. well, am glad ed bought taleb’s book in our life. now i know i cant afford to believe in swans being all white. it will be good for my heart to think of black swans.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Lifelong learning, Lucena Learning City, Psychology

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