The Risk Buffet

“All I’m asking,” the younger one said, “is whether you think it’s a good idea.”

“And all I’m saying is that I shouldn’t – can’t –┬átell you that.”

“Why not?”

“I’m a first-in scout.”

“What’s that got to do with it?”

“Because I’m a first-in scout. Hear my meaning. I’m in a profession defined by hurling ourselves into the deep unknown with almost no idea of who or what we might find, then when we do find it, poking it repeatedly to see if it does something interesting. If I had a normal soph’s risk appetite, I’d have gone into Survey work, or the family trade, or become an accountant. I became a first-in scout because I’m chronically insensitive to caution. We all are.”

She took a deep breath.

“And that is why you should never ask me for advice on what’s appropriate for you.”


2 thoughts on “The Risk Buffet

  1. I’m guessing there are similar sentiments among test pilots, innovator-entrepreneurs, and those unusual people who volunteer to be guinea pigs for untried sophotech.

    • I think real world test pilots tend to have a fairly reasonable relationship with risk. No-one wants their finest pilots or one-off prototypes incinerated, after all. Think sensible, conservative folk with families.

      Entrepreneurs with a fuzzy relationship with risk might find it awkward to attract investment.

      People who volunteer to have untried stuff plugged into their wetware or patched into their minds? That’s a different issue. If their first questions to the engineers aren’t “have you forked yourselves and run it on your own mind-states yet?” and “your copies all survived and everyone was safely re-integrated, right?” then they are perhaps suffering from some sort of diminished mental capability, and taking advantage of them might be considered immoral or illegal…

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