Fooled by Randomness: some thoughts
I'm struck by the application of his ideas to environmental and ecological issues. It seems as if we're placing most of our societal bets on growth, a bet that has played well for centuries. Given the current news, though, those seem like some of the investment bets Taleb describes as foolhardy. A prudent "investor" (citizen or business person) at this stage in the Earth's development might place most or all money on bets that can't lose much. Betting on the ability of the planet to absorb more growth, on nonrenewable energy sources to remain plentiful, or on technology to increase efficiencies sufficiently yet again seems like a risky bet, given the news of the day (and year and decade).
That's consistent with the precautionary principle; do check out THE YEAR IN IDEAS: A TO Z.; Precautionary Principle from The New York Times.
What do you think?
For more on Taleb's book, see words by Andrew Gelman, Wikipedia, and James Glassman.