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Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Donnie Darko, and the Meaning of History « Jeremiadus

Anyone interested in my previous essays on Taleb can read them here and here. In this present essay, I would like to shape Taleb’s ideas in relation to two reality vectors – the film Donnie Darko and the concept of “summing over histories” deduced by theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. As I indicate above, a reality vector does not have to be literally true. Donnie Darko is a story that never happened. Summing over histories represents a series of quantum events that violate every rule of traditional non-particle physics. As Feynman himself said about summing over histories, no rational explanation exists for this phenomenon that is scientific fact.

Both Donnie Darko and summing over histories are reality vectors for Taleb because they attune us to a central proposition in Taleb’s writings, that stochastic processes, particularly randomness, rule reality. With his Monte Carlo generator, Taleb exposes the fraud that Wall Street bankers and traders can lay claim to any particular skill or insight to account for their accumulation of the wealth of Croesus. Their success is only one of thousands or millions of outcomes, fractions of a whole which sums all conceivable outcomes and their probabilities.

via Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Donnie Darko, and the Meaning of History « Jeremiadus. HatTip to Dave Lull.

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