Skip to content

I distance myself a bit from Taleb « Increasing Marginal Utility

Many of Taleb’s concerns also take on a strangely moral tone in contexts where moral questions are tertiary. If the Fed actually did need to bail out the banks to stop 25% unemployment from happening, I would do that every day of the week and twice on Sunday, questions of the morality of transferring resources to financial institutions be damned. And moral hazard, despite its name, is a question of prudence, not morality per se, so it is not a point in Taleb’s favor. Emphasizing these transfers without talking about the moral hazard issue is penny-wise and pound-foolish.

This also holds true for Taleb’s many discussions of nutrition. Look, I’m not someone in a position to dole out advice for being healthy. But the paleo diet is just the naturalistic fallacy with a bit of evolutionary biology thrown in. Note obviously again that I am one whose priors favor evolutionary explanations. I’ve essentially read Taleb’s arguments against fructose and Pinker’s commentary on the naturalistic fallacy side-by-side, and Pinker makes Taleb look silly – although I never heard Pinker directly comment on paleo crap and it would be funny if he followed it. Hearing Taleb endorse it though has always confused the hell out of me. It feels like the same type of errors, e.g. model blindness, the narrative fallacy, that is at the heart of his argument in The Black Swan.

via I distance myself a bit from Taleb « Increasing Marginal Utility.
HatTip to Dave Lull

Post a Comment

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