Alice in Business-Land

42 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2018

See all articles by Ravi Kashyap

Ravi Kashyap

Gain Knowledge Group; City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - Department of Economics & Finance

Date Written: September 22, 2018


Introduction: We will consider some similarities between the wonderland that Alice stumbled into and what her reactions might be if she wandered into the present Business-Landscape.

Body: The story Alice in Wonderland has three main elements: The First is known as Anthropomorphism, all it means is that there are creatures and objects that can talk and have human emotions; secondly some things make sense; some don’t, which is known as literary non-sense. Lastly of course, there is everything else. Similarly, in today’s business world we have Uncertainty, which many people know more about than me; and there are Unintended Consequences, which very few of us know much about. So I will focus on the easiest part, which is also my strength and we will talk mostly about Everything Else today.

A central aspect of our lives is uncertainty and our struggle to overcome it. We discuss the nature of uncertainty in society and in our daily lives. One way in which we presently attempt to understand the world around us is by categorizing our observations into various fields or disciplines. We provide an alternate view of the role of various disciplines and consider why categorizations, despite being helpful need to be supplemented with a broader perspective to truly comprehending the cosmos and finding better solutions both for business and for everything else.

We discuss the one certainty despite all the uncertainty around us, which is the subjectivity in all decision making, which gives rise to unintended consequences. We consider a tale of two consequences: Unintended and Welcome; Unintended and Unwanted and how this is a recurring theme in all walks of life.

We briefly venture into the world of economics and finance, and an unintended consequence of technology which is creating complexity and also leading to the use of lots of data to deal with problems. We see how something seemingly scary, (monsters like mathematics) can become an extremely helpful tool, when the right mind set is adopted.

We consider some techniques that can be helpful to increase our intelligence; and if we make an assumption that Albert Einstein was smart, these techniques might show us how to become smarter than him.

Conclusion: We conclude with a discussion of how we can overcome the uncertainty around us succinctly described as, “Fighting Uncertainty with Uncertainty”.

The main topics we consider are: - The Nature of Uncertainty - Objectively Subjective - A Tale of Two Consequences - The Miracle of Mathematics - Becoming Smarter than Albert Einstein - Fighting Uncertainty with Uncertainty

Keywords: Alice, Wonderland, Business-Lan, Uncertainty, Monster, Recession, Inflation

JEL Classification: D81, C61, C44

Suggested Citation

Kashyap, Ravi, Alice in Business-Land (September 22, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Ravi Kashyap (Contact Author)

Gain Knowledge Group ( email )

1 Austin Road West
Hong Kong


City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - Department of Economics & Finance ( email )

83 Tat Chee Avenue
Hong Kong


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