squarely in the Nassim Taleb camp (sometimes known as the Emperor-has-no-cloths camp) is an article forwarded to me from Fabrice Grinda and written by my friend Ramit Sethi about wine tasters and stock pickers. excerpt:
I invited you to a blind taste test of a $12 wine versus a $1,200 wine, could
you tell the difference? I bet you $20 you couldn’t. In 2001, Frederic Brochet,
a researcher at the University of Bordeaux, ran a study that sent shock waves
through the wine industry. Determined to understand how wine drinkers decided
which wines they liked, he invited fifty-seven recognized experts to evaluate
two wines: one red, one white.
tasting the two wines, the experts described the red wine as intense, deep, and
spicy—words commonly used to describe red wines. The white was described in
equally standard terms: lively, fresh, and floral. But what none of these
experts picked up on was that the two wines were exactly the same wine. Even
more damning, the wines were actually both white wine—the “red wine” had been
colored with food coloring.
about that for a second. Fifty-seven wine experts couldn’t even tell they were
drinking two identical wines.