Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Apophatic

The Apophatic: Pseudo-Dionysius the Aeropagite figured out that you can express the negative (what is not) in theology, not the positive. That seems to be present in Syriac Neoplatonism (but I need to dig for more. He was most certainly Syrian).
He did not use these exact words, and did not get the idea with clarity, but to me he figured out subtractive epistemology and asymmetries in knowledge. He was the disciple of Proclus the Neoplatonist and repeated the metaphor of making statues by removal.
This solves the problem of happiness, for instance. We know what being unhappy means, and can do rather well with it.
(Peri mystikes theologias)


The TRAGEDY OF THE APOPHATIC. Just to show that to nerds things that don’t have a name don’t appear to exist – & same problem 1) fail to understand uncertainty, 2) cannot connect dots, 3) cannot understand religion (what they don’t see doesn’t exist) and, from 3, 4) fall for the problem of induction/ confirmation.

Charlie Rose Talks to Nassim Taleb – BusinessWeek

Shared by JohnH

HatTip to Dave Lull.

So what should they have done, as soon as they realized that there was too much risk in the system, that they had overleveraged?
When Obama took power, he appointed people who were part of the system that caused all this risk. It was the wrong message. They started doing the stimulus package. … We should have done what David Cameron in the U.K. understood immediately—try to cut the cancer immediately.

Tell us what David Cameron has done.
He realized that the problem is not a problem of recession. The problem is vastly worse. It’s the problem of risk, which can lead eventually to a much worse recession later, you see. The problem of all these people who are … against austerity, in favor of spending money we don’t have, is that they don’t realize that you’re fragilizing the system further with these packages of stimulus. Take an individual: If you’re in debt, you borrow more?