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Pragmatic Capitalism

Capital for Living a More Practical Life

The Greatest Risk of All

I’m weeks behind in my RSS feed so naturally I just came across this great post by Robert Seawright in which he discusses the greatest risk of all:

“Again, the existence of these behavioral and cognitive deficiencies is difficult enough.  That we tend to think they’re other people’s problems and not our own – the bias blind spot – is the icing on the cake.  As I have tried to point out repeatedly, risk is risky.  Because of our behavioral biases and our tendency to think they don’t apply to us, the odds are overwhelming that we’re going to miss or ignore many of the risks that plague us.  The greatest risk of all is staring us in the face when we look into the mirror.  At least, the greatest risk of all is staring you in the face when you look into the mirror.”

This is so important to understand.  The biases we inherently face can be learned from.  They can be understood.  They can be harnessed and controlled.  That’s why I embrace being wrong.  As I say, “it’s only in being wrong that we can learn to be right”.  The key to being wrong is in understanding why you were wrong.  We are powerful animals not because we are unable to learn.  We are powerful animals specifically because we learn and adapt.  The greatest risk of all is being inflexible and unable to adapt….

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