We focus on those signals that tell a story about the world as we would like it to be, not how it really is.
We ignore the risks that are hardest to measure, even when they pose the greatest threats to our well-being.
We make approximations and assumptions about the world that are much cruder than we realize.
The closest we came to catching Al Qaeda red-handed in advance of September 11 was in the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, the Islamic extremist who had an unnatural interest in learning how to fly a 747. Were there innocent explanations for that? I suppose he could have been some sort of flyboy with a lot of time on his hands. But if we had attached some prior possibility, even a small one, to the hypothesis that “terrorists might hijack planes and crash them into buildings,” our estimate of its likelihood would surely have increased substantially once we came across this intelligence.
Note: from what to what? is it the same as the example re: first plane hitting