So, what does the future hold?

…NO-ONE KNOWS! Deal with it. Move on.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a calculator or a PhD, a supercomputer and a job with a 200 year old financial institution that is a fact. So, can we PLEASE get over our prediction addiction and deal with what we are able to influence in the real world!?

Coincidentally, this morning, I read an excellent book review (Models Behaving Badly by Emanuel Derman) and I wanted to share his quote about mathematical models: “we are trying to force the ugly stepsister’s foot into Cinderella’s pretty glass slipper. It doesn’t fit without cutting off some of the essential parts.” 

But here is yet another expert making the same point…

Simulations of highly dynamic natural systems have shown that models of growing complexity are moving slowly toward reasonable replications of reality: global climate modelling is a fine example of this slow, but indisputable, trend. In contrast, forecasts of interactions of social, economic, technical, and environmental developments are not going to improve by making models more complex. This is because so many critical variables determining eventual outcomes cannot be either anticipated or, when they get considered, their probabilities cannot be confidently placed within bounds narrow enough to generate a restricted fan of possible outcomes that might be used in confident decision making. Once the inherent uncertainties make the outcome fan too wide, there is little point in building more complex models: we might have obtained pretty much the same results with a small electronic calculator and the proverbial back of an envelope.

What to Do Instead

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The Small, the Big and the Beautiful

I am always delighted to find out that the ramblings on my humble blog do appeal to others sufficiently that they decide to “follow” it. When I can I do try to check out their blogs for kindred spirits from whom I can learn. Sarah Denie is one such…thanks Sarah! This is a mere extract from a great, recent, article.

the key factor of all economic development comes out of the mind of man”. Our actions, transactions and interactions ultimately stem from our mental models; the way we perceive the world and ourselves within it. The darker side of this coin is that all economic destruction – whether it is a collapse of the financial system, serious damage to the worlds’ ecosystems, or the exhaustion of earth’s resources – are also fruits of the mind of man. It is our perception of separateness, from each other and from our natural environment, that has misshapen the concepts of wealth, value and wellbeing into individual rather than systemic qualities. It is for this reason that we find ourselves in a system in which economic gains are considered value-creating, even if they destroy the very source they sprung from.

This piece reminded me of words of wisdom from some of  history’s great leaders and intellectuals, from Jesus, Confucius and Ghandi to Benoit Mandelbrot and countless others who, in one way or another, tell us or have demonstrated the need to look within and at smaller scales for solutions to even the biggest problems. Such is the nature of complex [non-linear] systems where, courtesy of the “Butterfly Effect” the very small – even invisible to the naked eye – can have unpredictably large impacts.

“…in its beginning it is easy to cure, but hard to recognise; whereas, after a time, not having been detected and treated at the first, it becomes easy to recognise but impossible to cure”

– Niccolo Machiavelli


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My “understanding” of the impact of toxic mould contamination on Public Health is not great but has grown considerably due to my interest in risk and complexity in the health service,  insurance and reinstatement industries.

What I have learnt is that the health implications for tenants, owners, landlords, contractors, etc, are considerable. As a result, so is the potential for substantial costs unless full facts about the dangers are established – and there appears to be a concerted effort to prevent this, both in US and UK – this could be bigger than Asbestos and ignorance is no excuse!

Perhaps that explains why people who voice legitimate concerns about ‘the official stance’ and what treatments are effective have found themselves marginalised, persecuted…even prosecuted!?


Mrs. Sharon Noonan Kramer
2031 Arborwood Place
Escondido, CA 92029
August 27, 2012
Update: September 10, 2012.  The Court, with no subject matter jurisdiction, fined me $3K (this is my Motion for Reconsideration submitted under duress) for refusing to publish a false confession on the internet of being guilty of libel for a sentence I never even wrote.. “Dr. Kelman altered his under oath statements on the witness stand’ while he testified as a witness in an Oregon lawsuit.— to conceal how and why the courts framed me for libel for the sentences, “Upon viewing documents presented by the Hayne’s attorney of Kelman’s prior testimony from a case in Arizona, Dr. Kelman altered his under oath statements on the witness stand.  He admitted the Manhattan Institute, a national political think-tank, paid GlobalTox $40,000 to write a position paper regarding the potential health risks of toxic mold exposure.”…

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Bob Dylan and the evolving role of Social Business in the redistribution of “absolute power”

Complexity to casualtyYou can’t fail to have noticed the sorry demise of some major High Street brands in recent years. It’s true that a lot of the “tales of woe” are as a result of the, immediate impact, of the global financial crisis but that is only part of the story. Because, there have probably been more casualties, large and small, as a result of the far-reaching “aftershocks” and resultant recession. Read more of this post

Nassim Taleb [Princeton Uni. presentation]:: Fragility and “Anti-fragility” [resilience]

When Taleb speaks the financial world should listen

I am a fan of Nassim Taleb and, even though I never studied Maths beyond school, I understand what he is saying. And, more importantly, WHY! For me, he is “the contrarians contrarian”.

For the sake of clarity, when NNT refers non-linear systems these are complex systems…like a business.

Although NNT delivers this presentation as if someone else had prepared it…in an unfamiliar language… the message is pretty clear. The fact that much of it runs contrary to “conventional wisdom” is no bad thing. In fact, with the growth in his personal popularity, following on from the success of his excellent books and the advent of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, it is reassuring that those who have questioned aspects of the thinking that has underpinned the Financial Sector for so long, are no longer so easily dismissed as radicals, nutters or heretics. It is only with a growing number of informed-thinkers on this and related subjects, that we have any chance of reaching a, much-needed, “tipping point” from where we can begin to repair the damage done…instead of adding to it! Read more of this post