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Re: NNT Princeton Event

Reader Jonc wrote with a report from the recent Princeton lecture. He graciously allowed me to reprint his letter here:

Dear John

I attended the event with South Jersey artist Nancy Jackson.. The audio visual gremlins normally present were not at this presentation of NNT’s concept of Antifragility… they were at both the Stevens and Columbia versions. At His appearance at the Harvard Club for the Black Swan of Cairo he was not only hard to hear but nearly invisible to the paying attendees… At Dodds Auditorium, all 100 or so attendees could hear almost every word… HOWEVER, The graphic of the hydra was more reminiscent of a pudgy Muppet than the fearsome 9 headed serpent with poisonous halitosis of the long dead swamp dweller of Lerna in Argolis…

Unlike either the Stevens or the Columbia audiences… (Except for the reserved seating section of students) the Princeton audience looked like it was gathered from the local AARP Mailing list… Taleb’s esteemed Princeton collaborator Daniel Kahneman was not to be seen.

There was a Ivy like subdued resistance to the convention tipping concept in the audience … The Q&A pushback was inept, feeble and somewhat desperate… Resistance was futile… If all is normal Ivy the Princeton Resistance is now in their campus lair dipping verbal arrows in Hydra venom for more aggressive written attacks on NNT and his antifragility concept from a safer distance …

For irony among the honored photographs of heroes hung on the wall of honor of The WWS Dodds Auditorium where this presentation was made, were Paul Krugman and Allen Binder…

Just my 2 cents,
Jonc

PS I purchased my 57th copy of The Black Swan and had NNT autograph it for Nancy..

And later…

The Daily Princetonian piece you used is correct as far as it goes but does not mention any Q&A… NNT has both supporters and detractors at Princeton…Many of the detractors have vested career interests in the status quo..

I was there early and stayed late to listen to the murmuring…NNT had less faculty support in the room than usual… He was in the land of Krugman and Binder after all…

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