LESSON ONE: New World Disorder
GO HOLLYWOOD: Ridley Scott is justifiably more famous for movies like Alien & Blade Runner. But he tackled the discovery story in 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992). The movie never quite manages to sail out of the doldrums, so you’ll need a bit of persistence to make it all the way though.
MAKE TIME TO REVIEW: Aside from time in the market, this lesson also reviews previous material including:
Anchoring bias: It has nothing to do with where Colum- bus parked the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Columbus underestimated the size of the globe, believing it was 63% of the actual circumference and to the end of his days he couldn’t accept anything much different.
Confirmation Bias: Columbus wanted to believe the islands he found were off the coast of Japan or China. But the natives in the New World looked and sounded nothing like the traders he had met from Asia, which might have given him pause. He saw everything that seemed to con- firm his theories and ignored whatever didn’t. In retrospect, Columbus came closest to the Asian continent as a teenager on a trading voyage into the Aegean Sea when he landed at the island of Khios in modern day Greece.
Unintended consequences: Columbus didn’t intend to sicken and enslave a native population when he left Spain, he was just looking for a shortcut. But, as so often happens, shortcuts lead to outcomes not foreseen before the journey.