Fancy what a game of chess would be if all the chessman had passions and intellects, more or less small and cunning; if you were not only uncertain about your adversary’s men, but a little uncertain also about your own . . . You would be especially likely to be beaten if you depended arrogantly on your mathematical imagination, and regarded your passionate pieces with contempt. Yet this imaginary chess is easy compared with a game man has to play against his fellow-men with other fellow-men for instruments.
–George Eliot, in Felix Holt, the Radical (1866)
Lots of political leaders and their academic advisors, and also more than a few business executives, fail to understand this point about the kind of “chess” that they are playing.
See also investing advice from George Eliot.