Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr once remarked that a man’s mind, once stretched, will never regain its original dimensions ever again. On some occasions, the discovery is a flash of insight. My two year old discovering how to open doors is one good example. Now that she knows how to work the door handle, no matter how hard she tries in the future, she would never be able to unlearn that skill ever again.
On other occasions, the discovery takes place gradually over an extended period of time. Some liken it to peeling an onion – as the layers come off one by one the insight becomes sharper and more defined. For me, it was this slow osmosis of ideas over many years that shaped my thoughts on this particular matter we are about to discuss today. The mind has been stretched indeed, and I am now unable to see things as they were before.
I clearly remembered the moment where it all took off. In 2003, I came across Malcolm Gladwell’s article in The New Yorker magazine entitled Blowing Up: How Nassim Taleb turned the Inevitability of Disaster into an Investment Strategy. It was my first encounter with the Gladwell …read more