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They figured the instruments in the last hole were faulty. No, the first three didn't reach the deadly fault and the fourth one did. Based on these erroneous results they calculated that a 20 meter wave would result from the landslide so they lowered the lake's water level 25 meters below the dam's edge. The actual wave was calculated to have been 200 meters high! A whole order of magnitude error because the landslide happened in 45 seconds instead of in about a minute.

This is exactly what quants do. In their case though it's not so much "holding a wrong opinion against all evidence" but not having the imagination to envision something other, or beyond, what their available evidence leads them (and their number crunching computer programs) to believe.

They drill a few holes (metaphorically speaking) and if the next hole isn't like all the others they consider it an anomaly and disregard it. They set parameters about the likely behavior of markets, financial vehicles, etc., and have little motivation to think beyond the comfort zone they have constructed around their beliefs and assumptions. These "quants" are often very smart people, smart enough to figure they can get paid a lot more by hedge funds and their ilk than if they'd taken a route more suited to their proclivities and one where they would cause much less damage.

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