Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Risk Intelligence

Risk Intelligence: How to Live With Uncertainty by Dylan Evans, 276 pages

How do you make decisions? Do you carefully weigh all the factors, creating pro/con lists and weighing the risks inherent in choosing the wrong thing? Do you just wing it? Evans argues that good risk-takers have something called high risk intelligence, meaning that they know how to estimate probabilities accurately. A lot of us, he argues, are either underconfident or overconfident in our abilities to make these estimates.

Despite the fact that this was much more of a psychology or even math book, this is the April pick for Business Reads. I chose it on the basis that there is inherent uncertainty and risk involved with owning or running a business. That's certainly true, and some people may find Evans' focus on probabilities fascinating and useful. However, as someone who has been known to say that there's a 50% chance of anything happening (either it will or it won't), I was largely frustrated by this book. (And based on what Evans was saying, I think he'd be equally frustrated with me.) I enjoyed a few of the chapters, particularly about those about the tricks of the mind and being aware of what you actually know and don't know, but I didn't care for the heavy emphasis on mathematical equations. This was similar to Think Twice, which we read in February for the Business Reads group; of the two, I prefer Think Twice.

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