Monthly Archives: September 2013

Anything deemed bad for you is, well…

Anything deemed bad for you is, well, good when infrequent and in small quantities.

From the idea of the “S-family” dose response with a convex section it flows *necessarily* that anything deemed harmful that you are exposed to 1) in small enough quantities, 2) in a non-recurring, not chronic exposure, and, 3) in an acute, short lived way (“one off”), *no matter how toxic* it is deemed to be in long term consumption, will eventually either leave you better off or at least no worse off than before. This means that sugar, smoking, pollution, medication, the New York Times, etc. have to leave you not worse off under the condition that your exposure is episodic, not chronic. (Beware the “small”: some things like heroin or an MBA class can leave you permanently altered after a single exposure at doses that do appear small but are not).

The proof is in Part II of the technical book (I am cleaning it up thanks to Carl Fakhry’s indefatigable vigilance). [CORRECTED TYPO]

via Anything deemed bad for you is, well,… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Facebook.


GROTHENDIECK & CONNECTING THE DOTS- I was recently surprised to find the name of a fellow I know in Grothedieck’s book as a sort of co-author/assistant. By serendipity I ran into him last night in the lobby of my hotel, which lead to a very very long conversation about the great man. It turned out that the fellow was one of Grothendieck’s last students, and drove him around the Paris area as G did not have a drivers license.
Few know that Grothendieck who struggled in school as his idea of math did not match the curriculum not only hated equations but struggled to understand them. His idea of abstraction is maximal, and his idea of mathematics is to connect the dots, exactly the opposite of the school teacher. Another person had told me that he went into a state of disgust when he saw textbooks.
Another attribute: G has very gentle personality with students but proved extremely cruel with anyone who was arrogant towards him.

 Alexander Grothendieck – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Alexander Grothendieck German:[ˈgroːtn̩diːk]; French: [gʁɔtɛndik]; born 28 March 1928 is a stateless mathematician born in Germany and raised in France, who is the central figure behind the creation of the modern theory of

via GROTHENDIECK & CONNECTING THE DOTS- I… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Facebook.


GIFTS AND INVERSE GIFTS.Beyond all aspects linked to reciprocity, gifts increase the variations in one’s life; they bring a bit of bilateral optionality. You increase variations by borrowing someone else’s imagination, and get to use or read things you would have never done spontaneously. The same with enemies, and their often enriching inverse gifts.Give plenty of gifts, hope you receive a few!

PS – Just realized the point as I received as a gift “The History of Western Philosophy” by Jean-Francois Revel incidentally the father of the buddhist monk Mattieu Picard. Revel was quite critical, a la Fat Tony, of these packaged ideas. On my own I would have never bought the book, particularly a book with such a bland title.

Technical PS – Social scientists spin many many theories about gift-giving, not seeing the point. Thaler’s analysis of gifts and application of mental accounting is seriously flawed.

via GIFTS AND INVERSE GIFTS. Beyond all… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Facebook.