Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Finally Fooled by Taleb’s Randomness?

Indicating my need to improve my reading speed, I have finally finished Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s excellent Fooled by Randomness. The string of posts on the impact that Fooled by Randomness has had on me as I have read it is linked here.

I leave the book definitely impacted, and – as I should be – with questions.

I need to percolate on thoughts over the next few days. I’m reading Guy Claxton’s Hare Brain Tortoise Mind to try and act as counterpoint to the thing that I think left me most concerned on leaving the book:

1. That emotions are hard-wired and cannot be changed: ‘the epiphany I had in my career in randomness came when I understood that I was not intelligent enough, nor strong enough, to even try to fight my emotions’

– I need to dwell on whether my problem with this is that I consider NLP to be something which can at least ‘re-direct’ my emotions (if I identify emotions with ‘state’)

I very much agree with and am pleased with the alignment (to other reading mentioned here) in one of Taleb’s conclusions in the final part of the book that ‘we need to accept the fact that we are mere animals in need of lower forms of tricks, not lectures’ 

It was this that prompted me to ask myself the question ‘if the mind cannot manage the emotions, can the emotions manage the emotions?’ – Claxton says on his site intro to Hare Brain Tortoise Mind: ‘Very different from the wild, subversive unconscious of the Freudians, I showed that most of our everyday intelligence belongs not to the screen of consciousness but to the invisible ‘motherboard’ behind it.’

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