View full issue

This link was published in:

Preppy Preppers

by M.G. Siegler


"We study natural stupidity."

Speaking of Michael Lewis' new book, here's the story of the two psychologists who are the focus of it: Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler:

Tversky was a font of memorable one-liners, and he found much of life funny. He could also be sharp with critics. After a nasty academic battle with some evolutionary psychologists, he proclaimed, “Listen to evolutionary psychologists long enough, and you’ll stop believing in evolution.” When asked about artificial intelligence, Tversky replied, “We study natural stupidity.” (He did not really think that people were stupid, but the line was too good to pass up.) He also tossed off such wisdom as “The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.” Managers who spend most of their lives in meetings should post that thought on their office walls.

All great thoughts.


Want to receive more content like this in your inbox?