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I was in an industrial laboratory because academia found me unsuitable.
– Benoit Mandelbrot
There is a joke that your hammer will always find nails to hit. I find that perfectly acceptable.
When the weather changes, nobody believes the laws of physics have changed. Similarly, I don’t believe that when the stock market goes into terrible gyrations its rules have changed.
I don’t seek power and do not run around.
The techniques I developed for studying turbulence, like weather, also apply to the stock market.
An extraordinary amount of arrogance is present in any claim of having been the first in inventing something.
Smooth shapes are very rare in the wild but extremely important in the ivory tower and the factory.
For much of my life there was no place where the things I wanted to investigate were of interest to anyone.
Until a few years ago, the topics in my Ph.D. were unfashionable, but they are very popular today.
Think of color, pitch, loudness, heaviness, and hotness. Each is the topic of a branch of physics.
My fate has been that what I undertook was fully understood only after the fact.
Most were beginning to feel they had learned enough to last for the rest of their lives. They remained mathematicians, but largely went their own way.
Although computer memory is no longer expensive, there’s always a finite size buffer somewhere. When a big piece of news arrives, everybody sends a message to everybody else, and the buffer fills.
Now that I near 80, I realize with wistful pleasure that on many occasions I was 10, 20, 40, even 50 years ahead of my time.
Nobody will deny that there is at least some roughness everywhere.
Order doesn’t come by itself.
A cloud is made of billows upon billows upon billows that look like clouds. As you come closer to a cloud you don’t get something smooth, but irregularities at a smaller scale.
There is a saying that every nice piece of work needs the right person in the right place at the right time.