Benoit Mandelbrot was a Polish-born, French and American “mathematician with broad interests in the practical sciences.” I met him only once at a lecture at Microsoft Research before he passed away in 2010. Mandelbrot and Richard Hudson are the authors of the influential book The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence. I suggest you read this book for yourself (even though it is not an easy book to read). My comments on Mandelbrot in this post are shorter than usual, since Mandelbrot’s own words convey his ideas well. I am not going to dig deeply into fractals in this post since most of you will stop reading, but I will explain generally what they are. You might want to think about recent movements in the market price of Bitcoin as you read this post and ask yourself how Mandelbrot’s ideas may help explain them.
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