What smart people miss

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

Even when you have the right theory, you can still miss the pattern of accumulating facts:

And so I anticipated and predicted the actual crisis of 2008, right? Wrong. I had all the intellectual tools I needed, I even diagnosed a housing bubble, but I somehow failed to put the pieces together. Maybe I wasn’t as completely surprised as people who believed in the inherent stability of modern economies, and I caught on fast once the thing happened, but no, I didn’t see it coming.

Is there a moral here? I think it is that the world is a very complicated place, and it’s way too easy to miss what you should see even if your analytical framework is pretty decent. For me, at least, the great crisis came as a surprise but not a shock, something I didn’t see coming but not a deep problem for my sense of how the world works. Still, I do wish I’d paid more attention to the right things.