I’m still in a tryptophan coma, but here’s a timely mention of the story of the turkey from Nassim Taleb’s book The Black Swan which I am (supposed to be) reading. The following excerpt is taken from the transcript of a Charlie Rose interview.
CHARLIE ROSE: And what is the story of the turkey?
NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB: In the book, I have the story of a turkey that is fed for 1,000 days by a butcher, and every day confirms to the turkey and the turkey’s economics department and the turkey’s risk management department and the turkey’s analytical department that the butcher loves turkeys, and every day brings more confidence to the statement. So it’s fed for 1,000 days…
CHARLIE ROSE: Gets fatter and fatter and fatter.
NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB: Fatter and fatter. On the day when its comfort will be at its maximum, there is going to be a surprise. There will be a surprise for the turkey.
CHARLIE ROSE: Yes.
NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB: There will be a surprise for the turkey’s economics department, all those Ph.D.’s. Will it be — after all, there’s maximum (inaudible)…
CHARLIE ROSE: But it’s not a surprise for the butcher, is it?
NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB: Not a surprise for Charlie Rose as well. Not a surprise for humans. It’s a surprise for the turkey. So the whole idea here is we are not to be a turkey.
Who or what might be the next turkey?