Monthly Archives: April 2014


SKIN IN THE GAME & FASTING FOR LENT – I recommended to a friend who had a health problem to fast intermittently as frequency is more consequential than food composition (by Jensen’s inequality). Then I realized that I violated the ethics of Skin-In-The-Game by not doing so myself so I started last week to step-up the duration between meals (except for water and black coffee): 19, 20, 24,… and I just finished 48 hours.

In a way it was easier to eat nothing than comply by the grueling Orthodox lent, just bread and vegetables. I can report that much of the benefits in the literature are indeed there; one feels great not eating, and, strangely, also after eating. There is no loss of energy, but I can’t lift as heavily as usual, while paradoxically feeling detectably lighter walking up the stairs or standing up from a couch. Mental clarity and allergy for economists and BS operators are unimpaired.

But most at the end, one feels reborn… Will celebrate Happy Easter /Rebirth of Adonis in another post.

via SKIN IN THE GAME & FASTING FOR LENT – I… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Open Platforms and the Anti-Fragile Library

Antifragile collections

Wilkin profiles are a concept explained by Dan Cohen in 2012. Named after John Wilkin, a ‘Wilkin Profile’ essentially shows how unique a library’s collection is compared to any given group of libraries.

A library with lots of titles that are only held by a few other libraries in the set will have a ‘left leaning profile’. A library with mostly titles also held by many other libraries will have a ‘right leaning profile’. A library that has a few unique titles and a few popular ones but mostly an average sort of collection will have a ’rounded profile’.

If we took the Taleb ‘barbell’ approach to collection management, the Wilkin Profile would look like a left-leaning barbell. This is something we have started doing with our hardcopy reference collection at my library service. In public libraries a hardcopy non-lending reference collection is really used for two things – quick reference where it is easier and/or faster to use hardcopy than online e.g. language dictionaries, thesauri and questions with complex or obscure answers that can’t be easily answered with freely available online information which manufacturer does that silver mark belong to? what will the tide line be at this location in two weeks? When was this local building constructed?.

via Open Platforms and the Anti-Fragile Library.
HatTip to Dave Lull

Paper on the measurement of inequality almost done…

Paper on the measurement of inequality almost done. How people mismeasure it and flaws in Piketty’s approach.

Please make no comments on whether inequality is good or bad, etc. or engage in the politics of envy. This is a technical discussion about a technical *nonpolitical* problem.

via Paper on the measurement of inequality almost… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb.