Nassim Nicholas Taleb on lions

The Fooled By Randomness author and deadlifter describes going to Africa and seeing lots of giraffes and impalas but only one lion:

It turned out that I had squarely made the error that I warn against, of mistaking the lurid for the empirical: there are very, very few predators compared to what one can call collaborative animals. The camp in the wild reserve was next to a watering hole, and in the afternoon it got crowded with hundreds of animals of different species who apparently got along rather well with one another. But of the thousands of animals that I spotted cumulatively, the image of the lion in a state of majestic calm dominates my memory. It may make sense from a risk-management point of view to overestimate the role of the lion — but not in our interpretation of world affairs.

If the “law of the jungle” means anything, it means collaboration for the most part, with a few perceptional distortions caused by our otherwise well-functioning risk management intuitions. Even predators end up in some type of arrangement with their prey.

 



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