Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Story of Mona Lisa

I like listening to Michael Mauboussin talk about disentangling skill from luck. Here is a recent presentation from a keynote lecture.

If you have even a passing interest in statistics, you should listen to the entire talk; it is very enlightening.

At the 18:30 mark, he talks about "path-dependent" successes. When the audience is asked to name the most famous painting about 85% of the people say the "Mona Lisa". He goes on to discuss the reason why Mona Lisa became so famous, and the reason is truly interesting.

The Straight Dope has a fuller explanation on why Mona Lisa became famous.

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