Monthly Archives: April 2013

When Nassim Taleb Attacks – Forbes

Were he not so convinced of my evilness, Taleb might even have allowed himself to like this paper which shows that evidence that some economists are better at forecasting than others is largely due to random sampling error (so yes, people are fooled by randomness …)

I will report back on the severe mathematical scrutiny as soon as I hear anything.

For now, I’m off to get ready for teaching, including discussing this paper by Ricardo Caballero with my MA class. Titled “Macroeconomics after the Crisis: Time to Deal with the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome” it critiques the fake precision of modern mathematical macroeconomic models. It’s one of my favorite papers.

via When Nassim Taleb Attacks – Forbes.

Nassim Taleb Lashes Out On Twitter – Business Insider

Nassim Taleb Gets Into Historic Twitter Brawl, Shows Everyone How ANTIFRAGILE He Is


It all started with a simple generalization, as Twitter conversations often do


Never buy a product that the owner of the company that makes it doesn’t use (Generalized Skin in the Game)

via Nassim Taleb Lashes Out On Twitter – Business Insider.

Artangel | The Artangel Longplayer Letters: 1

From: Brian Eno, London

To: Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New York

30 April 2013

Dear Nassim,

We’re all used to the idea that actions and thoughts take on different values when we expand the ‘picture’ within which we frame them. We realise that something which makes sense in a local frame may make less sense in a broader frame: dumping your waste in the river is fine as long as you don’t think too much about the people downriver. When you do, you might decide to stop dumping. Government ought to be the process by which such overlapping ‘bigger picture’ considerations are negotiated: good government should make empathy practical.

Indeed our geographical ‘circle of empathy’ grows decade on decade: a hundred years ago it would have been impossible to imagine millions of people raising hundreds of millions of pounds for tsunami victims on the other side of the world – people they didn’t know and would almost certainly never meet. In terms of geography, we inhabit a much bigger picture than we used to, and we sense our interconnectedness within it.

via Artangel | The Artangel Longplayer Letters: 1.

Let us open a discussion on anger in ancient literature…

Let us open a discussion on anger in ancient literature.

It seems that our version of modernity seems to demonize outrage, sort of sterilize citizens’ sense of indignation. The only criticism I am getting about my current approach with econoquacks is that I am “irascible” and should not have outbursts with fraudsters, “be less rude about it”. Some moralizing idiots even try to pathologize temperament, for “saying it as it is”. Yet ancient literature is nothing but a succession of angry heroes. “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”.

Is modernity’s mission to overdomesticate, castrate, neuter, even lobotomize citizens? Let us compare our values to more ancient ones.

via Let us open a… | Facebook.