The basic idea of probability theory is that some things happen for no reason.
This idea is of subversive significance to our world view. People used to think that the world runs as accurately as a clock. But the real world is not a clock, it is full of uncontrollable accidents.
More strictly speaking, there can be no causal relationship between the occurrence of some things and anything that happened before it. No matter what you do, you can’t let it happen, nor can you let it never happen.
If a person enters a good university, people will say it is the result of her hard work. If a person succeeds in his career, people will say it is the result of his hard work. But if one wins the lottery, what is the reason? The answer is that there is no reason, this is a random event. There will always be people who win the lottery, and it has nothing to do with whether he is a good person, how many tickets he has bought in previous issues, and whether he pays attention to the trend of winning numbers.
If a person always buys lottery tickets, his probability of winning is always a little higher than others? Indeed. He is more likely to win a prize once in his life than those who only buy lottery tickets by chance. But when he faced an award with tens of millions of people, he had no advantage. All his previous efforts did not help his luck in this award. It is entirely possible for a person who has never bought a lottery ticket before, and it is equally possible to take away the highest prize in a given lottery.
Winning the lottery is neither the result of his own efforts nor the “favor” of “heaven” to him. Miss, does not mean anyone is against him. This is “random”, you have no way to control the result. This is easy to understand, right?
Most things are not completely random events, but have certain random factors. If chance and necessity are combined, it is not so easy to understand. People often misunderstand chance and always want to explain it with necessity.
Sports competitions are the most typical examples. The team won the ball, everyone was active, and reporters helped analyze the way to win. Everyone is responsible for the team’s loss, and we must reflect on it both inside and outside. However, the competition is full of accidents. All you can do is to win as much as possible. Even if you are well prepared, there are always some factors that are uncertain, which is what we usually call luck. I seldom hear reporters ascribe the reason for losing or winning games to luck. People are confused by randomness, never calm down in ecstasy and rage, and even do not hesitate to make personal attacks. In fact, the strength gap between competitors in modern professional competitive sports is often no big difference, and the accidental factors that determine the competition results are very large. Strong teams can also lose to weak teams, which is an important feature of modern sports and also its charm. If a strong team is sure to win, what is the suspense of the match? In this sense, what we see in the competition is this randomness. No wonder Taleb, author of “Black Swan,” said in his book “Quotations from Black Swan,” Sports are the randomness of commercialization.
Therefore, for the wise, accidental factors are not worth taking seriously. If you lose this match, you can win it back. As long as you lose less and win more, you are still a strong team.
Civil airliners are very safe, but no perfect means of transportation can be 100% safe. Will you not fly because of the very small probability of accidents? We just need to make sure that its accident probability is lower than that of other travel modes-even this is not necessary, we just need to make sure that the probability is small enough that we can tolerate it. It is childish to make a fuss about accidental events, even to be bitten by a snake for ten years.
Managers have a common mode of thinking. Once something happens, they must all reflect and formulate relevant policies to prevent similar accidents from happening again. However, accidents with a very small probability are not worth overreaction. This is not necessary even if it is caused by employees’ mistakes. In 2010, Fred and Hansen, the two founders of 37signals, published a book “Re-starting”, which tells us how to start and manage a company. In my opinion, one of the highlights of this book is that it emphasizes not to make policies to correct people’s mistakes on the first sight. That will only turn mistakes into scars and make the company more and more bureaucratic. The right way is to tell the staff who made the mistake that it was a mistake and then it is over.
Accidental mistakes are not worth exploring, nor are achievements worth exploring. Jacob Bernoulli, one of the founders of modern probability theory, even thinks that we should not praise a person based on his achievements. It is a common practice in modern society to evaluate a person’s ability by performance to decide whether to admit him to school and whether to give him a promotion or a raise. Everyone is convinced of this and it is very fair for children and the elderly not to cheat. What else can I say? The problem is that there may be a lot of accidental factors in the results. Losers don’t need to belittle themselves. Winners should also understand that there is luck in their success.
Someone told you that there is a tree on the hillside behind the house, which will bear a fruit in three years. As a result, you are waiting hard, waiting everyday, talking with friends, and arranging the opening ceremony in three years time after time. The more you think about that fruit, the more you wonder about it, and the more you add suspense.
After three years, we finally picked it. everyone opened their mouth and looked at each other immediately. It turns out that the fruit tastes mediocre, coarse and dry, and no one wants to take a second bite.
If you look around, the mountains are covered with strawberries, lemon, pomegranate, mulberry, wild jujube and green orange. For three years, they have all been neglected and have not even been looked at.
However, are you snubbing them or are they snubbing you? Look at their bright and cheerful expressions, you will know.
This proves that waiting is an exclusive fantasy. It may be embarrassing to wait hard.