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Taleb, volatility and macroeconomics: Fragility and rapping | The Economist

Shared by JohnH

Article includes link to Russ Roberts rap!

NASSIM Taleb was (almost) our last speaker of the day at the Buttonwood gathering and I recorded an interview with him for our Tea with The Economist slot, which will appear in due course. His new idea was antifragility, that some systems actually benefit from shocks; a kind of opposite of the black swan idea for which he is best known.

Taleb’s argument is that nature is brilliant at design. “Evolution doesn’t forecast” he says, unlike economists and finance professors. It is shocks, changes in climate or the availability of food, that cause new species to emerge. Nature also builds in a fair degree of redundancy into the system to guard against shocks – we have two lungs and two kidneys for example. Nature doesn’t try to optimise.

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