Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Taleb on the Degradation of Predictability and Knowledge

If you haven’t read Nassim Taleb’s work or don’t follow what he has to say, you should. He’s the author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.

From a recent post on
So consider the explosive situation: more information (particularly thanks to the Internet) causes more confidence and illusions of knowledge while degrading predictability.

Look at this current economic crisis that started in 2008: there are about a million persons on the planet who identify themselves in the field of economics. Yet just a handful realized the possibility and depth of what could have taken place and protected themselves from the consequences. At no time in the history of mankind have we lived under so much ignorance (easily measured in terms of forecast errors) coupled with so much intellectual hubris. At no point have we had central bankers missing elementary risk metrics, like debt levels, that even the Babylonians understood well.

1 comment:

  1. EMH predicts that as knowledge of a market becomes easier to access, the market itself will behave more and more like white noise. So, yes, the internet will give us unpredictability, but not in the way that Taleb seems to be saying, imo.