If we can manage 100 homes at a time safely, we’re competent to do 10,000 because the proportionate or marginal risk must be lower. Right?
Not necessarily and probably, Absolutely NOT.
Risk is much more complex than a child-like interpretation of the theory of economies of scale. There is a huge difference between a scientific and business perspective.
- In science, you need to understand the world; in business you need others to misunderstand it. Taleb
It does not matter how frequently something succeeds if failure is too costly to bear.
Rank beliefs not according to their plausibility but by the harm they may cause.
The sucker’s trap is when you focus on what you know and what others don’t know, rather than the reverse.
It is now the scientific consensus that our risk-avoidance mechanism is not mediated by the cognitive modules of our brain, but rather by the emotional ones. This may have made us fit for the Pleistocene era. Our risk machinery is designed to run away from tigers; it is not designed for the information-laden modern world.
We favor the visible, the embedded, the personal, the narrated, and the tangible; we scorn the abstract.
Much of the research into humans’ risk-avoidance machinery shows that it is antiquated and unfit for the modern world; it is made to counter repeatable attacks and learn from specifics. If someone narrowly escapes being eaten by a tiger in a certain cave, then he learns to avoid that cave.
Don’t cross a river if it is four feet deep on average.
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb 1960