Friday, 4 May, 2012 Leave a comment
Probability and Measure (Photo credit: John-Morgan)
I am not expert (in anything!) but, unless I am very much mistaken, these scientists are striving for the simplicity on the other side of complexity that Einstein craved.
When confronted with a complicated system, scientists typically strive to identify underlying simplicity which is then articulated as natural laws and fundamental principles. However, complex systems often seem immune to this approach, making it difficult to extract underlying principles.
I particularly like the reference to “these systems have memory and are predictable to some extent; they are more complex than a coin toss”.
Which leads me, nicely, on to a recent paper by Nassim Taleb! “Why We Don’t Know What We Talk About When We Talk About Probability”
Taleb is one of the most well known and widely published, critics of the dangerously “naive” practice of applying raw mathematical probabilities [applied to individual or independent events e.g. the coin toss or spin of a roulette wheel] to the, serious and very real, world of finance and insurance*: where it is not ignorance of the subject that is the problem, so much as the blatant disregard for the medium and long term impact upon corporate profitability and social resilience.
A manifestation of the unacceptable face of “Irresponsible Capitalism”