Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fooled by randomness

I like lessons that leave me with a useful mental picture, or a humorous way of reminding myself to watch out for common mistakes. I'd say this fits the bill nicely.

From Cafe Hayek: Snapping his fingers (a post mainly addressing the stimulus package):
There once was a man on a Manhattan street corner snapping his fingers over and over again. What are you doing, someone asked. Keeping away tigers, he said. You don't think that really works, do you? It's working so far, he answered.

Hah. There you go, I said to myself, when I read that. I spend a fair amount of time looking at things and wondering if something has really helped, or if it was coincidence, or what. Now I can look at a situation and ask myself if it's real, or finger snapping to keep away tigers. Heh.

Russell Roberts filed that post under Fooled by Randomness. Fooled by randomness? Uffda. Been there. Done that. Expect it will happen again despite my best intentions. Ahem.

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