Optimism is KEY to managing uncertainty (even in public policy, even for coronavirus)

I have been meaning to write something about the uncertainty that seems to surround anything-coronavirus. I want to complement rather than repeat what other (more famous) people have said already, so I will not be comprehensive. Instead, I’ll focus on two points that, while known, deserve a brief mention, and add a consideration about the…

Christmas, Brexit, regulation, and how ‘good’ and ‘bad’ uncertainty is fundamentally the same

As a child, during the Christmas season, gifts greatly determined the activities for the holidays. If the gift was a soccer ball, one spent the holidays playing football. If the gift was a remote control car, one spent the holidays driving that car up and down the street. In my case, my parents never told…

The difference between risk and uncertainty – without using the coin example

Risk and uncertainty are undoubtedly linked, but uncertainty is not the same as risk. We know this but sometimes, to not think deeply about it, we repeat the coin script when asked about the difference: Imagine you flip a coin 100 times. If the coin were perfectly balanced, the final tally would read 50/50. However,…

Indeterminate complex uncertain life

It would seem to me that at least some of the uncertainty that I experience in life comes not from complication but from indeterminacy. For example, I love both sushi and pizza. Simple preferences. No lack of information involved, I’m telling you: I dig them both! But put me in front of two restaurants selling…

The nuances of the word ‘complexity’

One of the most popular ways to explain the difference between risk and uncertainty is the example of the coin: Imagine you flip a coin 100 times. If the coin was perfectly balanced the final tally would read: 50x head, 50x tails. However, since coins are not perfect, in real life you’re more likely to…

Edgardo W. Olivera (https://flic.kr/p/PKP2j7) (Unmodified). CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/).

Egyptians & Uncertainty

The concept of uncertainty runs deep in the fabric of human activity. So deep that the concept can be traced back to Ancient Egypt. In fact, considering that one of the first industries where the concept of modern risk was perfected was the insurance of ships, it is almost poetic that the Egyptian hieroglyphic used…

A poem about uncertainty

! There she was; I waited life. There she went; I never dared. She was uncertainty. We doubt. Happiness, if you and her. Sadness, you never dared. Joy and sorrow at once… the bloody cat! “Risk”, you say? Good luck in life my dear friend! *.*