There is an epidemic failure within the game to understand what is really happening. … They are asking all the wrong questions.
—Peter Brand in the movie Moneyball
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
—Mostly credited to Mark Twain
In the 1970s, Israeli psychologists Danny Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a research paper titled “Belief in the Law of Small Numbers.” The findings were that even professional academics mistook a very small part for the whole when making decisions. For example, even though flipping a coin is always a 50/50 proposition, if a subject were to flip it 100 times, but the first two times turned up heads, the subject would believe ...