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Taleb, Mystery and Conservatism | The Brussels Journal

‘Optionality’ involves recognizing the unexpected and unpredictable consequences of trial and error tinkering. Most inventions and discoveries are chance events; intelligence is involved in recognizing a good thing when you see it, even though you weren’t expecting it.

So intelligence is employed in employing optionality, rather than needing a correct theory that explains why everything is the way it is, usually impossible, or predicting the future. Taleb’s recommendation is to rely on empirical observation as much as possible and to be skeptical about theories. Theories come and go, but the empirical remains stable. Weight training, properly done, will increase muscle size and strength. We don’t know why. Theories as to why are fragile. Today you get one explanation, tomorrow a new one.

via Taleb, Mystery and Conservatism | The Brussels Journal.
HatTip to Dave Lull

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