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« iPad: Travel | Main | A Tale of Two Vacations »

August 11, 2011


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I haven't been more specific because I haven't finished Black Swan and detailing exactly the problems between step A and step D is a process that will take some time. Meanwhile, a tangent for my friends who will indulge me for 250 words on the morning commute, and a tickle for my brain that I can identify another path with a similar pothole ("What is the information FOR?" Who is his audience? What does he mean for them to do?--Not think, but do. This is particularly relevant to the Traffic problem.-- His contempt for other people thinking on the same topics--they exist where he writes that they do not and therefore does not have to engage their work-- and apparent contempt for all humanity has caused him to skip these issues... to where I am anyway.) even if I have not described it completely. I promise I'm reading Black Swan with diligence, taking plenty of notes, and will put together something directly relating to Black Swan when I'm finished.

Troy Skinner

What the hell does this mean? Are you being cryptic in an effort to confuse me? If so, Mary 1 - Troy 0.

People only have so much working memory. We can hold 7 pieces of information in our head... + or - 2. To handle the complexity of the world, we chunk information in stories, metaphors, models, etc.... All necessary, of course. While that makes information more manageable, it also removes contextuality, detail, nuance, etc.... What are we to do? We can only hold so much in our head.

The Black Swan (assume I underlined that to show it's a book) looks at how all these simplifications of complex systems change how people make decisions, where they have habitual blind spots in their analysis, etc....

This book reminds of me of Kuhn's, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which I also enjoy.

I really like the bits in The Black Swan that talk about how persuasive we find mathematical models of things that can't be mathematically modeled. Anyone that has sat in a boardroom and heard arguments and seen huge decisions made based upon a 5 year forcast of something unforcastable will recognize the nuttiness induced by narrativizing complexity with if that allowed to get our hands around tricky stuff.

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