Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Christian Barbell Strategy

I talked about Nassim Nicholas Taleb a couple of posts back and gave his analogy of the turkey. Another idea that I like a lot from Taleb is his barbell strategy. Here is a quote by Taleb that givs this strategy.

…the good investment strategy is to put 90% of your money in the safest possible government securities and the remaining 10% in a large number of high-risk ventures. This insulates you from bad black swans and exposes you to the possibility of good ones. Your smallest investment could go “convex” – explode – and make you rich.

This is very different from Aristotle ideal of the golden mean. The golden mean says that the best position between two extremes is the middle. The problem that I have with the golden mean is that Christ's life really doesn't fit this model. Jesus' life wasn't always moderate. Sometimes Jesus was incredibly radical. I think Taleb's barbell strategy looks more like how Christ lived his life.

In the majority (90%) of life's situations it's really a good idea to be hyper-conservative. If you live your life 100% conservatively you miss out on a lot of things that makes life worth living. Always playing it safe is just not fun. So there should be that 10% of life were you are ruthlessly risky to expose yourself to what Taleb would call the black swan and what I would call from a Christian prospective the Holy Spirit. You really don't want to go more than 10% because most attempts at innovation (mutation in evolution) fail.

If you take the golden mean when dealing with our society your are going to take on too much risk. Your going to take on too much crap and when things blow up your going to end up a turkey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i have already said neither of us can empirically prove/disprove god's existence, therefore i do not say that my point is the truth, it's just another choice, n i would contend it is a wiser choice. just as i would challenge u, how do u justify that christ is the truth?? u cannot justify it, same story with the pope, u say that just becos the pope says so isn't gonna cut it, remember?? christ will not become the truth simply becos u say so, or the church says so. n i challenge that the church side has the burden of proof, which they cannot produce. that is my argument.

what is am saying is we can make an informed decision at best with whatever information we have, n

firstly, with all the evidence available to us now, as the equation stands i calculated that religion is more harmful to human beings than beneficial, the bad side effects overwhelms whatever benefits it generates.

secondly, from pascal i simply want to prove a point to any fair weathered worshipper/gambler habouring wishfull thoughts that it also does not make sense to make a wild bet.

thirdly, with the inconsistency within religions, although the ultimate claim cannot be verified(god) meaningfully, the inherent inconsistency is sufficient justification to conclude that itis more likely a lie than a truth.

in summary, a inconsistent claim which has many side effects and zero proof makes a very bad choice, ergo, for any intelligent person to make an informed choice after weighing all considerations, it is undeniable that agnosticm/atheism is a more rational choice.