The italian risk

fifth-risk

Michael Lewis’ latest book, The Fifth Risk, is good as expected. It’s not another “Trump-is-evil” non-fiction. It has something seminal, we all should think about: it works for the american government and for any other government.

To me it’s impressive how concerned the civil servants are about the possibility Trump administration could not be capable of handling the present or the future: it’s a matter of competence, not politics. But it’s also the most unevaluated risk of politics nowadays. Something we in Italy have been forgetting for years.

“There is another way to think of […] fifth risk: the risk a society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions. “Program management” is not just program management. “Program management” is the existential threat that you never really even imagine as a risk.

I’d pin also the following quote.

If your ambition is to maximize short-term gain without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing the cost. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is an upside to ignorance, and a downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.

Read that book.