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There is a special kind of intelligence for dealing with risk and uncertainty. It doesn't correlate with IQ and most psychologists fail to spot it because it is found in such a disparate, rag-tag group of people such as weather-forecasters, professional gamblers and hedge-fund managers. This book shows just how important risk intelligence is. Many people in positions which require high risk intelligence - doctors, financial regulators and bankers - seem unable to navigate doubt and uncertainty.
Risk Intelligence is a traveller's guide to the twilight zone of probabilities and speculation. Dylan Evans shows us how risk intelligence is vital to making good decisions, from dealing with climate change to combating terrorism.
He argues that we can all learn a lot from expert gamblers, not just about money, but about how to make decisions in all aspects of our lives. Risk Intelligence : How to Live with Uncertainty. Dylan Evans. He has a PhD in philosophy from the London School of Economics and is the founder of Projection Point, a company that designs risk intelligence training programs for corporate clients.
We all want leaders to make smart decisions. Maybe you fancy yourself as one of those leaders; someone who can make smart calls even when the evidence is inconclusive, as it usually is. Well, here's an interesting little online test to see how good you are at estimating probabilities. It asks a series of general knowledge questions designed not to see how much you know, but how certain you are about what you know. If you're too confident about your knowledge or not confident enough, your RQ will suffer. Give it a try. They avoid temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets, and they establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices.
Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty
Dylan Evans thinks — rightly — that most of us are bad at thinking about, let alone managing, risk. The way he puts it is that different people display different degrees of "risk intelligence", defined as "the ability to estimate probabilities accurately". At the heart of risk intelligence is the ability to gauge the limits of one's own knowledge — "to be cautious when you don't know much, and to be confident when, by contrast, you know a lot". And to have a rational strategy for obtaining relevant knowledge when you don't know much.
Risk Intelligence by Dylan Evans – review
Uncertainty has even been shown to be the key to happiness. People with high risk intelligence tend to be on the button in doing this. This is a vital skill to develop, as our ability to cope with uncertainty is one of the most important requirements for success in life, yet also one of the most neglected. Indeed, it is intelligence tip-offs, not airport checkpoints, that have foiled the vast majority of attempted attacks on aircraft. Schneier may be right that many of the new airport security procedures are purely theatrical, but that begs the question as to why they are such good theater.