jeudi 5 janvier 2012
Letter to Mr HO, Mr Erudite of Malaysia re Daniel Kahneman
Dear Friend, Mr Erudite of Malaysia
It is not often one reads an autobiographical sketch (no more than about four pages) and gets so engrossed in it, because of the incredible insights into human behaviour, that one can gleam. One such is the short autobiography penned by Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate in Economics, an Israeli, now at Woodrow Wilson in the USA.
How can one cry at the end of reading a brilliant man's life? Born in Paris to a family of Lithuanian Jews fleeing their native lands, soon to be confronted by Nazis and Gestapo, forced to wear the Yellow Star of David, sprited away into the countryside during the war and ending up in Israel. At age 11, he was already carrying a notebook with him, with the title My thoughts.
His contributions to the Behavioural Economics are legendary. Why do we do what we do, take chances knowing when we are sure to fail, what is loss aversion? Believe it or not , It took me most part of yesterday's afternoon to get through the theories, even to begin to understand what he is saying.
The first person I thought about was you, Mr Ho, ex-President of the Mahler Society of Malaysia!
You with your intricate wiring, both for accounting science and social science would grasp the complexities of his theories. Why do we not sell a 200 dollar vintage bottle of wine, but will not spend 100 usd to replace it, if it does break? When is intuition counterproductive?
Here is the autobiography written for the Nobel Prize organizers and going through the names, many of them have gone on to make names for themselves, including Nobel Prize!
also in the Vanity Fair issue, there are some questions and you can see for yourselves the follies you would commit answering some of the questions or understand your brain a little better.
here is the TED talk he gave, certainly will make you think, http://www.ted.com/
talks/daniel_kahneman_the_ riddle_of_experience_vs_ memory.html
The morning has just risen over the gray clouds here in Paris, a reasonable day with sun peeking in occasionally is predicted, but one is in Paris! It would be nice to meet in London one day in the future for a week of Theatre, my student days were crowned with the weekly visits to the Theatre (Sir Ronald Sher, Sir Derek Jacobi among them) that made me feel proud of my language. You should come the week they have a Chekhov Festival! how wonderful that would be. The English capital is also becoming something of a gourmet capital, with the influx of at least one million europeans in the last few years.
I have ordered four books from Amazon.com yesterday and they will be waiting for me at home in Miami, when I arrive there in one weeks time.
Best wishes and it is always a pleasure talking to you, electronically or personally
I was weeping at the end of the autobiography of Dr Daniel Kahneman which ends with an Eulogy for his long time collaborator Dr Amos Tversky who died prematurely at 59 of metastatic melanoma. I also recognized that for a collaborative effort, people must spend LONG time together, working on the project at hand.