Thursday, September 30, 2010

The one side heuristic

In the introduction to fooled by randomness, nassim taleb handles the following question. He talks against people mistaking nose to signal, yet many times we mistake signal to noise. His answer is illuminating. Mistaking noise to signal is much more common. 

This insight is a great strategy to thinking and to deciding. Everything has two sides, making handling life confusing. But when you know where the usual mistake lies, it gives you a good heuristic to which direction you ought to generally bias your ship. 

It goes for thinking and it goes for deciding. You take it a default to move away from the common error. (as a general heuristic, though, you try to do the right thing rather than avoiding errors.....) 

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