Book Review: Fooled by Randomness

What looks like a talented performance could be sheer luck. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in Markets, “ If one puts an infinite number of monkeys in front of (strongly built) typewriters, and lets them clap away, there is a certainty that one of them would come out with an exact version of the Iliad. Upon examination, this may be less interesting a concept than it appears at first: Such probability is ridiculously low. But let us carry the reasoning one step beyond. Now that we have found that hero among monkeys, would any reader invest his life’s savings on a bet that the monkey would write the Odyssey next?”

… and as far as the media is concerned, writes Taleb, “People do not realise that the media is paid to get your attention. For a journalist, silence surpasses any word.” But will we ever see a day when a journalist views the matter like a historian and says, “Today the market went up, but this information is not too relevant as it emanates mostly from noise.”

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