Skip to content

Gerard @ 3am: Getting into Bed with an Aphorist: On Nassim Nicholas Taleb's 'The Bed of Procrustes'

Shared by JohnH

HatTip to Dave Lull

Take one of Taleb’s aphorisms: ‘The fool generalizes the particular; the nerd particularizes the general; some do both; and the wise does neither.’ A summary would seek to neutralise the potential for paradox and ambiguity: Taleb is not “against” the idea of moving between particularity and generality (this is, after all, the space in which aphorisms roam). He is merely opposed to a way of thinking that regards the particular and the general as discrete concepts; both the nerd and the fool seek to impose the form of one onto the form of another, when it is precisely the case that both universals and immediacies are essentially bound up with one another in the same instance. This relates to Taleb’s wider suspicions of the epistemological concepts with which we divide the world into normative states. It only took the discovery of a black swan to disprove the certainties of the concept ‘all swans are white’, thus disturbing our world vision.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *