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Rolf Dobelli’s Case

Rolf Dobelli’s Case

Please note that I am putting these facts in the public domain, not making any legal or even ethical claim (yet). Just facts.

(Four months after becoming aware of the problem, and exactly one month after informing Dobelli, I resolved to put this here.)

Taken from Taleb’s Incerto (Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, The Bed of Procrustes, & Antifragile) and other material without attribution; partial list.[i] [ii] These correspond to Rolf Dobelli’s various articles as well as his latest book.


Rolf Dobelli translated and summarized the section on via negativa from the unpublished manuscript of Antifragile (with which he was entrusted) in a German newspaper Zeit, with no sourcing and attribution. And published it before Antifragile.

One could stop here and draw a conclusion… but there is more: in the US version:


Michelangelo was asked by the pope about the secret of his genius, particularly how he carved the statue of David, largely considered the masterpiece of all masterpieces. His answer was: “It’s simple. I just remove everything that is not David.” (Antifragile)


The pope asked Michelangelo: “Tell me the secret of your genius. How have you created the statue of David, the masterpiece of all masterpieces?” Michelangelo’s answer: “It’s simple. I removed everything that is not David.”

via Rolf Dobelli’s Case.

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