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Archive of posts published in the tag: Nassim Taleb

The Populists are Championing Liberalism

Today’s populists are resentful of being called racist and intolerant while they watch intellectuals such as Charles Murray being physically attacked for speaking at an elite liberal arts college with an annual tuition price tag of $60,000 a year. 

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The Lindy Effect

In Nassim Taleb’s new book Skin in the Game, he refers to the Lindy effect; that the best predictor of continuity is survival. This is why I general insist that any book on history, politics, sociology, or economics be at least 20 years old, preferably (but not absolutely required) still in print.

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The Price of Rage

by Henry Oliner One of a few themes that I return to in this blog is the fascination with poor decisions from very intelligent people. It has led me from  reading history to reading about the way we think and…

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Intellectual Yet Idiot

from Zero Hedge by Nassim Taleb- Nassim Taleb Exposes The World’s “Intellectual-Yet-Idiot” Class: Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be…

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Is too Much Information Antithetical to Knowledge?

From The Wall Street Journal Book Review: ‘The Power of Knowledge,’ by Jeremy Black The review is by Roger Kimball Excerpt: Although deeply grounded in history from the Middle Ages on down, this book also conjures with contemporary issues. Some…

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Academic Fragillity

“Overconfidence leads to reliance on forecasts, which causes borrowing, then to the fragility of leverage. Further, there is convincing evidence that a PhD in economics or finance causes people to build vastly more fragile portfolios. George Martin and I listed…

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Expert Problems

“Expert problems (in which the expert knows a lot but less than he thinks he does) often bring fragilities, and acceptance of ignorance the reverse.3 Expert problems put you on the wrong side of asymmetry. Let us examine the point…

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An Illusion of Understanding

“There is so much noise coming from the media’s glorification of the anecdote. Thanks to this, we are living more and more in virtual reality, separated from the real world, a little bit more every day while realizing it less…

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Signal to Noise News

“The more frequently you look at data, the more noise you are disproportionally likely to get (rather than the valuable part, called the signal); hence the higher the noise-to-signal ratio. And there is a confusion which is not psychological at…

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Toxic Data

“Likewise, those in corporations or in policy making (like Fragilista Greenspan) who are endowed with a sophisticated data-gathering department and are therefore getting a lot of “timely” statistics are capable of overreacting and mistaking noise for information—Greenspan kept an eye…

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The Trauma of Stability

“Variations also act as purges. Small forest fires periodically cleanse the system of the most flammable material, so this does not have the opportunity to accumulate. Systematically preventing forest fires from taking place “to be safe” makes the big one…

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Complex Regulations Decrease Predictability

“Man-made complex systems tend to develop cascades and runaway chains of reactions that decrease, even eliminate, predictability and cause outsized events. So the modern world may be increasing in technological knowledge, but, paradoxically, it is making things a lot more…

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Strength in Redundancy

“Layers of redundancy are the central risk management property of natural systems. We humans have two kidneys (this may even include accountants extra spare parts, and extra capacity in many, many things (say, lungs, neural system, arterial apparatus), while human design…

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A Detached Elite

Megan McArdle writes The New Mandarins in The Daily Beast, 2/21/13. Excerpt: All elites are good at rationalizing their eliteness, whether it’s meritocracy or “the divine right of kings.” The problem is the mandarin elite has some good arguments. They…

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Bigger Haystacks

What Data Can’t Do by David Brooks at The New York Times, 2/18/13 Excerpt: Data struggles with context. Human decisions are not discrete events. They are embedded in sequences and contexts. The human brain has evolved to account for this reality.…

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The Great Oz- Observations 2013 01 24

  Since the election many of the disappointed, such as I, have diverted attention from the topics that occupied us to something either greater or smaller.  Taxes were raised and immediately the president talked of raising them more.  The incessant…

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Presumptuous Leaders

From the Michael Lewis address to Princeton graduates, “Don’t Eat Fortunes Cookie”, 6/3/12 as prepared: I now live in Berkeley, California. A few years ago, just a few blocks from my home, a pair of researchers in the Cal psychology…

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The Fool in the Mirror

The editors write in the Wall Street Journal, Manufacturing Decline- Obama, Santorum and the political allocation of capital,  Feb 17, 2012. Excerpt: Real manufacturing output stood at about $35,000 per worker in 1947, in constant dollars. It doubled by 1980 as…

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When Should You Trust The Experts?

One of the themes I seem to revisit most often is how the intelligent among us screw up so often.  When a candidate is heavily promoted because of his or her intelligence above other characteristics, it makes me want to…

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Random Notes 10.22.2011

Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit was finally released in exchange for 1027 Palestinian terrorists and captured cold blooded murderers.  One should be reminded that Schalit was kidnapped on Israeli soil.  Many have weighed in on whether the exchange was worth the…

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