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What Nassim Taleb Misses About Technology and Innovation

What Nassim Taleb Misses About Technology and Innovation | Free Economy Thinking | Scoop.it

"What Nassim Taleb misses about technology and innovation is that its purpose is not to entertain the delicate tastes of the chattering classes, but to improve the lives of us all.  ...What’s more, most of technology’s black swans are positive ones."

 

Excerpts: The Usefulness Of Useless Things

 

What Mr. Taleb fails to understand is that technologists are supremely aware that most of their efforts will come to nothing

 

...They are, in fact, searching out black swans (to use Mr. Taleb’s own parlance), in full knowledge that they will spend most of their time rushing up blind alleys.  

 

What, I wonder, would Mr. Taleb make of Edison’s 9,999th try?

The truth is that useless things often end up very useful indeed.  Modern information technology did not originate with engineers, but has its roots in an obscure academic crisis, whose major figures, such as Cantor, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Gödel and others never dreamed that their work would have important practical consequences.

 

...What Mr. Taleb seems to miss is that these are ...people dedicated to following their dreams and willing to put their own skin in the game to do so.

 

What’s more, most of technology’s black swans are positive ones. 

As [Greg Satell] recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Innovation is a particularly sticky problem because it so often remains undefined.”  You can’t simply focus on the technologies that are sure bets, but must take into account the entire matrix (pictured in the article, four quadrants.)

 

... the logical consequence of his argument) is that we should remain in the upper right quadrant, where both the problem and the domain are well defined and he would presumably assign the lowest value on basic research and disruptive innovation, which have no clear applicability.

 

Yet it is there that we break truly new ground.

 


Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN, Klaudia A. Prasek
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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 28, 2013 11:16 PM

This is a follow-up on the "Anti-Fragile" post below.  The author discusses failure is an important part of the process leading to success, as author Greg Satell explains via the nature of innovation.  


This seems to be a worthy new perspective and critique of Taleb's work, also listed in our Innovation and Institutions curation stream.  ~  Deb

Bill LeGray's comment, April 29, 2013 11:26 AM
Good thoughts verey deeply buried within the Social Media mileau. BUT not so deep I will not try to follow the Change Leadership Watch, and other excellent Forums provided by Scoop It. In fact, while quite broad, the entire Innovatioon and Institutions stream may be worth a look now and then. Deb; "Thanks for leading the way for creativity, process changes, and obtaining "better" innovations and institutions with more properly responsive institutional outcomes."
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, April 30, 2013 3:37 PM
Thanks for the comment Bill. Best to you.
Rescooped by Klaudia A. Prasek from Change Leadership Watch
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What Nassim Taleb Misses About Technology and Innovation

What Nassim Taleb Misses About Technology and Innovation | Free Economy Thinking | Scoop.it

"What Nassim Taleb misses about technology and innovation is that its purpose is not to entertain the delicate tastes of the chattering classes, but to improve the lives of us all.  ...What’s more, most of technology’s black swans are positive ones."

 

Excerpts: The Usefulness Of Useless Things


What Mr. Taleb fails to understand is that technologists are supremely aware that most of their efforts will come to nothing


...They are, in fact, searching out black swans (to use Mr. Taleb’s own parlance), in full knowledge that they will spend most of their time rushing up blind alleys.  


What, I wonder, would Mr. Taleb make of Edison’s 9,999th try?

The truth is that useless things often end up very useful indeed.  Modern information technology did not originate with engineers, but has its roots in an obscure academic crisis, whose major figures, such as Cantor, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Gödel and others never dreamed that their work would have important practical consequences.


...What Mr. Taleb seems to miss is that these are ...people dedicated to following their dreams and willing to put their own skin in the game to do so.

 

What’s more, most of technology’s black swans are positive ones. 

As [Greg Satell] recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Innovation is a particularly sticky problem because it so often remains undefined.”  You can’t simply focus on the technologies that are sure bets, but must take into account the entire matrix (pictured in the article, four quadrants.)

 

... the logical consequence of his argument) is that we should remain in the upper right quadrant, where both the problem and the domain are well defined and he would presumably assign the lowest value on basic research and disruptive innovation, which have no clear applicability.

 

Yet it is there that we break truly new ground.



Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN
more...
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 28, 2013 11:16 PM

This is a follow-up on the "Anti-Fragile" post below.  The author discusses failure is an important part of the process leading to success, as author Greg Satell explains via the nature of innovation.  


This seems to be a worthy new perspective and critique of Taleb's work, also listed in our Innovation and Institutions curation stream.  ~  Deb

Bill LeGray's comment, April 29, 2013 11:26 AM
Good thoughts verey deeply buried within the Social Media mileau. BUT not so deep I will not try to follow the Change Leadership Watch, and other excellent Forums provided by Scoop It. In fact, while quite broad, the entire Innovatioon and Institutions stream may be worth a look now and then. Deb; "Thanks for leading the way for creativity, process changes, and obtaining "better" innovations and institutions with more properly responsive institutional outcomes."
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, April 30, 2013 3:37 PM
Thanks for the comment Bill. Best to you.
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Think piece: The Keynesian bias in A-Level economics

Think piece: The Keynesian bias in A-Level economics | Free Economy Thinking | Scoop.it
RT @AsraaH50: Keynesian indoctrination by A-level economics specifications. I wish we were taught Austrian economics in school!

http://t.co/Or7wgS9TGC
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Is Austrian Economics 'Unscientific'?

Of course not. Each discipline has a method appropriate to its nature. Prof. Jeffrey Herbener explains the method of economics. http://www.LibertyClassroom.com (Is Austrian Economics 'Unscientific'?
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The Challenges Of Bringing Education To Everyone On Earth

The Challenges Of Bringing Education To Everyone On Earth | Free Economy Thinking | Scoop.it
There are some major challenges, but also some encouraging news, on the progress of bringing education to everyone on the planet.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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FOFOA: The Return to Honest Money

FOFOA: The Return to Honest Money | Free Economy Thinking | Scoop.it
RT @einandererblog: Why #Freegold is perfectly compatible with Austrian school of economics. #Menger #Mises #Hayek #Fekete

http://t.co/9hBzl4haeV
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Is the Austrian School the Creationism of Economics? - The Mises Community

Is the Austrian School the Creationism of Economics? - The Mises Community | Free Economy Thinking | Scoop.it
An online community for fans of Austrian economics, featuring forums, user blogs, and more. (Is the Austrian School the Creationism of Economics? - The Mises Community - Ludwig von Mises Institute: The M...
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Learn Austrian Economics

Learn Austrian Economics | Free Economy Thinking | Scoop.it
Ever since the Panic of 2008 vindicated the warnings of the Austrian School of economics, and with Ron Paul bringing this venerable school of thought before a national audience, there has been a reviv...
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