Over the past year or so I’ve become aware of how terms from quantitative analysis are filtering into everyday conversation. This month a juicy tidbit from television made it clear that tech terms are becoming household words. It’s a scene from “The Office”: Angela is caught up in an off-beat love triangle with Dwight and Andy. Does she take a traditional pull-the-petals-from-a-daisy approach to the messy business of love and commitment?
Nope. Ignoring a deadline from Dwight and under pressure from Andy, Angela clears up this irrational scenario by taking a rational approach. We find her making a decision tree.
She is weighing the pros and cons of both men, a kind of romantic risk assessment of the heart. I found her pad and pencil a little too dated to put much faith in her analysis. But she could easily drop that pencil and click open her Microsoft Excel statistics worksheet and begin a risk analysis model, complete with option valuation and value-at-risk, before moving on to genetic algorithm optimization. Clearly the most rational method of choosing a man. Wouldn’t you love to see the probability functions she assigned?
The finance techie terms I just cited haven’t made it into everyday lingo yet, but stay tuned. . . .for the next episode of romance analysis.