Finally I have finished Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book, “Black Swan”. I enjoyed it, I fully agree with ideas presented there, although those are not easy to understand. Some of those ideas are close to my own view at so-called “sciences”, especially managerial or social. I think (and the book seems to confirm my point) that making up rules which organisations built out of humans (such as companies, communities, etc) is a nonsense, people who stubbornly try to use those rules should not be surprised that things don’t work out the way “science” said that they should. Reason is simple: each human being introduces unknown factor and predictions are pointless. We often fall victims to self-confirmation, seeing that in some rare cases rules do work, we are forced to believe that they should work in any case. Not so. In this there is a hidden reason why only experienced managers, who can draw on lessons learned while dealing with people, should be getting the MBA degrees. Theory is just wishful thinking without practical experience and case by case approach. This is one side of the coin.
The other side is that those rules are accepted and approved be people who simply don’t like, or cannot live, in chaos. Therefore we are made to fit them. Any behaviour, even truly normal, but nevertheless not “average”, is being frown upon. Rules don’t deal with extremities at all. For those rules, extreme differences don’t exist. If you behave outside of them, you are being frowned upon. On top of this, majority (all averages) dictate what the markets approve. Hence niche markets are getting smaller and smaller. Pop music forces rock and roll out, cars look pretty much the same and cost the same in their respective segments (offering the same options), companies unite and swallow each other up on the way to duopolies or monopolies in various industries. I don’t know if you agree with me, but I have a feeling that not only rules are made which do not fit reality, but we are made to fit those rules. Double whammy.
The “Black Swan” of course deals with a lot of other, important issues, the one described above is just something which struck me when I was reading that book. We follow people who call themselves “experts” having no right to do so, we base our (financial) future on people who have no idea what they are doing. And at the end, we pay. And accept that too.
I don’t want to be average. I want to be me, unique sample of human species. I don’t want to be forced to like pop music just because someone said that everybody likes it. I don’t want to be forced to save failing banks just because some idiot says it’s for my good. You get the picture. I enjoy being unique me…