How was the Universe created? How was the Internet created? How about you and I, math and science, sociology and psychology? In hindsight, it’s easy to answer these questions. Well, let’s say it’s easy to have evidence-based answers. What is difficult, is predicting these events before we had the evidence or data to do so.
Let’s take the internet for example. To some, the probability of the internet being a smashing success was Zero. So much so that economist Paul Krugman in 1998 predicted that the Internet would be no more useful than the fax machine.
Paul Krugman won a Nobel Prize in Economics. I’m sure he received that notification via e-mail, and not fax.
Let’s face it, the future is always uncertain. Though we all can’t be psychics, we do have physics. Physics is all about predicting the future. Using probability, we are able to quantify and manipulate uncertainties.
Paul assigned a value of Zero to the probability of the internet having a neglible impact on the economy. The same year, PayPal was founded. Peter Thiel and the “PayPal Mafia“, assigned a value of One to that same probability.
As time went on, the probability of economic activity on the nternet began to rise, shifting the spectrum from Zero to One. The uncertainties dwindled. It became a quantifiable fact that the internet had the greatest impact on the world economy, and the “PayPal Mafia” won BIG.
We entangle probability and physics in two ways: uncertain data and random influencers, or outliers. Keeping the internet as an example, the data on internet users in 1998 was uncertain.
Mathematically speaking, one can never really prove a specific physical fact. What we can do is leverage as much data as possible, account for random influencers or outlier, and interpret this data set in such a way that we describe the phenomena.
There’s a different assignment that I leverage, however. It’s called intuition. Combining intuition with experience, we can now assign these probabilities to events.
Your intuition is an aggregate of all the things you have encountered in the field and becomes embedded in your nature. What makes a great player or coach, is seeing so many different scenarios in a specific play, that it can “predict” which move is made next.
So what am I trying to say here? We must find ways to increase the probability of creating the outcomes we desire. Moving from Zero to One. I’m at the point in my life where I’m teaching myself more Math and Physics, but there is a philosophical approach to this as well.
Homework for this week? Read this book. You should do it in a week and I will re-read it as well. After reading I will give you some of my theories and concepts from making that move from zero to one, in an attempt to create your own future. It might not be a start-up, but I believe our lives are the most important start-ups anyway.
my life is a start-up within itself
— Oluseun K. Arowolaju (@kidseun) July 10, 2017
The Art of Creation: Part III – Memory