You can live longer if you avoid death, get better if you avoid bankruptcy, and become prosperous if you avoid blowups in the fourth quadrant.

Now you would think that people would buy my arguments about lack of knowledge and accept unpredictability. But many kept asking me “now that you say that our measures are wrong, do you have anything better?”

I used to give the same mathematical finance lectures for both graduate students and practitioners, before giving up on academic students and grade-seekers. Students cannot understand the value of “this is what we don’t know”—they think it is not information, that they are learning nothing.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb The Fourth Quadrant October 1, 2008
Posted on October 1, 2008