Monthly Archives: July 2016

‘My Friend’, Turkey, STALIN, GMOs, Arguing, Scale Dependent Properties, SKIN IN THE GAME | Facebook

Nothing can be both boring and truly important. 7/29/16

To perpetuate a lie, you must whisper it, not shout it. 7/27/16


The expression “my friend”: for a name dropper, it is anyone important; for a politician, anyone who does not vote against him/her; for regular people, a friend; in the mob, “a friend of ours” is another mafia member.

For me it is anyone I run into at a party and can’t remember the first name. 7/27/16


For those of you on a hot summer day want to stroll on a beach, this is the way to do it.

It takes some training; rehearse in the privacy of your living room before doing it in public.

(Aldo Maccione, Jacques Brel, etc…)

L’aventure c’est l’aventure is a 1972 French film directed by Claude Lelouch. It stars Lino Ventura, Jacques Brel, Aldo Maccione and Johnny Hallyday. 7/24/16


Turkey is, after 100 years, a complete failure of top-down secularization. So are Iraq and Syria. You keep pushing religion under the rug, via bureaucrats; it comes back with a vengeance.

Iran has, somewhat, the opposite situation. 7/21/16



An illustration of the notion of minimal type 2 error (no false negative): At the Congress of 1934, for the critical confidence ballot, a minority of the 1288 delegates (perhaps a quarter) voted against Stalin.

Stalin ended up trying to eliminating, during the great purge, not just those who were presumed to have voted against him, but all the delegates who were present. 7/20/16


This picture is worth an indefinite amount of words.

It shows why GMOs are *not* traditional breeding. Few people trained traditionally get complex systems (i.e. those with interractions). But there is a growing number of young people who “get it”, particularly when familiar with P/NP in computer science.

Finally I looked at Monsanto’s financials and it shows GMOs are contracting; as a “technology” GMs are dying and no complicated technology survives unless it is multiplicative. Meanwhile organic is growing rapidly.

The PP page is here…

Rahul Gotswani commented on the drawing by Joe Norman for our paper.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's photo.7/14/16


Never argue with people in private (you will not convince them); argue in public to convince others. 7/12/16


Another explanation of Scale Dependent Properties:

Some may believe that *armies create wars* but nobody sane believes that *police create robberies*. 7/7/16


Since more and more of academia is becoming a ritualistic publishing* game that maps less and less to real research, we should force people who want to do “research” to first have a Real World day job, or at least spend 10 years as: lens maker, patent clerc, mafia operator, professional gambler, postman, prison guard, medical doctor, uber driver, militia member, social security clerc, trial lawyer, farmer, restaurant chef, high volume waiter, firefighter (my favorite), lighthouse keeper, etc., while they are doing their initial research.

It is a filtering, BS expurgating mechanism.

I for my part spent the first 21 years in a full-time highly demanding extremely stressful job while studying, researching, and writing my first 3 books at night, and it lowered (in fact, eliminated) my tolerance for fake research.

*I borrow from Saifedean Ammous the apt description “ritualistic game”. 7/6/16


Real World Risk Institute LLC Workshop Announcement. Dear friends, we have:

1) Changed location to a huge room rented from… the Masonic Lodge in NYC, on 23rd St between 5th and 6th Ave.

2) Changed the date of RWRI 3 to October 3-7 2016

3) Changed the non-Antifragile part of the program to add Information, Cybersecurity, Big Data, Complexity (in place of technical finance)

4) Added more scholarship slots.

Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People | Stephen Wolfram

5.0 out of 5 starsThe Real Thing, a Jewel., July 28, 2016
This review is from: Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People (Hardcover)
The general public is usually supplied by books on mathematical scientists written by “science communicators” and other outside observers–the worst by far being the academic historians of science. Their books are like reviews of comparative squid ink recipes written by anorexics, or descriptions of the Loire Valley by visually impaired travel writers. They are well written, which masks the BS. The descriptions focus on “interesting” traits of the personalities; scientists are discussed as if they were partaking of spectator sports. This fellow “was the best…”, this fellow “was the first to…”, “Einstein made a big blunder”, etc.
This book, “Idea Makers”, is written from an insider. It is the real thing on several accounts.
Primo, Wolfram deserves to be in the book as an “idea maker”, in his own right.
Secondo, Wolfram is the developer of a new way to do (useful) mathematics, an entirely new method, which allows us to tinker with mathematics, something that is an anathema to purists. Thus he depicts Ramanujan, not with the usual mathematical prism of the theorem crowds, but as someone who, starting with intuitions, does experiments till a mathematical identity feels right. As an eyewitness, I spent almost all my career in quant finance and probability toying with Mathematica (Stephen Wolfram’s invention), and saw it accumulate special functions and tools. Mathematica allowed me to be a car mechanic who looked under the hood; such experience makes us look at the pompous theoretician as a cook would a nerdy chemist. The book is about this refreshing perspective: theorems were to Ramanujan a thing used by European mathematicians to convince other European mathematicians.
Terso, Wolfram is fair. He shows a fair –even adulatory– portrait of Mandelbrot, in spite of attacks by the latter. Indeed, if Mandelbrot hated someone, the person has to be good and threatening. Otherwise he would not bother mentioning him.
Finally, many of the people involved are actually known either personally (Feynman, Mandelbrot, Minsky), or like Boole, Ramanujan, Godel, and Lebnitz, “connect” to the author.
HatTip to Dave Lull

Horace, Frauds, SaudiBarbaria, Syria, Salafi, Jihadis, Monsanto, Mr Bradford, Gulenists, Turkey, Drezner | Twitter

@nntaleb Horace translated by Fat Tony: “Those you meet on the way up, you will also meet on the way down.” @ArmandDAngour @TijlDeconynck Permalink 9:56 AM – 30 Jul 2016

@nntaleb This Epistle is Gold. Permalink 9:39 AM – 30 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Federal Reserve: Stultorum incurata pudor malus ulcera celat [Horace] The fool through excess modesty hides his wound instead of healing it. Permalink 9:15 AM – 30 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 2/You don’t become economist by accident but genetic mutation: low curiosity/erudition, inability to be bored by boring stuff, colorlessness Permalink 8:37 AM – 30 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Who would you avoid in a street fight? A young economist who looks like an economist A 75 y.o. who deadlift >405 lbs Permalink 8:07 AM – 30 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Incorporating 3ashura in Skin in the Game: “qorban” @ban_kanj Permalink 7:50 AM – 30 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Friends are easy I need interesting enemies. @Spfannenschmidt Permalink 5:33 AM – 30 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Pesticide (herbicide, insecticide,etc.) is systematically giving nature antibiotics followed by chemotherapy, & claim “no evidence” of harm. Permalink 5:30 AM – 30 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Ok, more squid ink (it’s Friday) Permalink 6:20 PM – 29 Jul 2016

@Trader_Moe Only Taleb can uncover the connection btwn GMO & Soviet utopianism–both the product of idiot intellectuals.   Permalink 11:50 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb One should call IYI people just what they are: Intellectuals Yet Idiots. @AdamThierer @hbkazemi33 Permalink 10:39 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb السرج المدهّب ما بيعمل من الحمار حصان   Permalink 10:34 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Barba no facit philosophum   Permalink 10:05 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Fat Tony on Michael Bloomberg: “The man has never been self-owned; he is one of those who get more dependent as they get richer”. Permalink 9:13 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 2/ When you have skin in the game, boring things like checking the safety of the aircraft cease to be boring. @nntaleb Permalink 9:03 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Exactly the point!!!   Permalink 8:33 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Nothing can be both boring and truly important. Permalink 8:21 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Note that Islamic contract law contains terms that are > Latin than Greek; Latin was used in Beirut School of Law. @Nb1769 @ByzantJustice Permalink 7:54 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb For fellow funded by Saudi$, investigate U.S.Wahabi preacher Joe Bradford. Hides under Xtian name @joebradfordnet @sylvainlp @GhassanDahhan Permalink 5:50 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Paula, check this (3eli not Eliahu) for similarities. (The sect after death of sons). Hidden religion   @schmittpaula Permalink 5:46 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The French are starting to grow a mini-brain. But take the idea to its logical consequence: Saudi Barbaria.   Permalink 5:21 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Low tech solutions (unlike GMOs) have no side effects! How ‘Ugly’ Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Solve World Hunger   Permalink 4:20 AM – 29 Jul 2016

@nntaleb My review of Wolfram’s book   Permalink 5:14 PM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Twitter friends, anyone knows of a Cat Bond ETF? Thanks. Permalink 2:48 PM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Religious Texts are never precise enough–which explains longevity. “The devil can quote the scriptures for his own case” @candela3paz Permalink 2:06 PM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The frauds I am currently exposing: +GMOs +Salafism/SaudiBarbaria +Fallacies by IYI class: Pinker, economists, etc.   Permalink 9:56 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Severe error to look at texts; observe social/political behavior. Shiites act like Westerners (Catholicism of 50s) @schmittpaula @mtpollack Permalink 7:55 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb (cont) The error by West to classify Salafis as “religion”( #SaudiBarbaria propaganda); shd be criminalized as genocidal political movement. Permalink 7:49 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The regulation of the cults by the state was proposed by Plato in Laws. Nobody cared for 800 y. Salafism an old Permalink 7:31 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb More probable that the source had a genetic mutation than the proba being unconditionally low. @John1ODea Permalink 7:00 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Intellectual life is infected w/ignorant BS vendors s.a. @michaelshermer who called Pinker’s book “well documented”.   Permalink 6:21 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Armenians of Aleppo among the Christians and minorities extreminated in Syria.   Permalink 6:06 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb (cont): Where Pinker is “not even wrong”: HIS data do not match HIS statements. BS Vending. Permalink 6:01 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Collecting comments on draft paper on decline of violence (Why Pinker’s thesis is *not even wrong* to be science).   Permalink 5:06 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb To perpetuate a lie, you must whisper it, not shout it. Permalink 4:35 AM – 28 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Explain your logical flaw: of course they have missiles pointed at us SINCE we are not allies. @spencer_chen Permalink 3:53 PM – 27 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Iocus Russicae: Si Donaldus ascendit, Hilaria perdiderit Permalink 10:45 AM – 27 Jul 2016

@nntaleb “My friend”: 1) politicians: anybody, 2) pple: friend 2) namedropper: a hotshot, 2) mafia: another member, 3) me: I forgot his first name. Permalink 10:04 AM – 27 Jul 2016

@TheBrowser “Always apologise, except when you have done something wrong” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb Permalink 7:17 AM – 27 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Someone explain in clear logical terms why the US has an alliance w/Saudi Barbaria, but refuses one with Russia on grounds of “democracy”. Permalink 7:04 AM – 27 Jul 2016

@nntaleb (Version 2, longer) People don’t know what they are talking about when they say “religion” Permalink 6:12 AM – 27 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Semitic Philology du Jour: Hope Sanchuniathon (in Levantine,Atallah) could exist somewhere in the Syriac stacks.   Permalink 6:40 PM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Was asked w/my anti-Salafi activism to worry about safety. Wahabis can’t do targeted killing. Too low IQ. Only 87 y.o.s & random children. Permalink 4:36 PM – 26 Jul 2016

@DavidBCollum And Hillary’s bribes from sovereign states are not attempts to influence the election?   Permalink 4:13 PM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Just like cancer stop it before the multiplicative effect. Too late otherwise.   Permalink 3:25 PM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Typo: I meant “by opposition to “superstitio Permalink 2:14 PM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb (Cont) No term for religion in Greek (just cults) & in latin it meant superstitio (fear of gods). 3rd reading! Permalink 2:02 PM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 2/ Unlike in France, there are only two types of Jihadis in Lebanon. Those who are incarcerated, & those who have been …liquidated. Permalink 12:43 PM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb About to spend a few days in France & Lebanon. In France my risk detector is always on alert. Never in Lebanon. Permalink 12:38 PM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb NEVER engage Salafis&Co online. Expose then block them. The Jesuits, uberrethoricians, failed to convert a single 1.   Permalink 11:24 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Closer to transfats! @trishankkarthik @calestous Permalink 10:33 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Conditional on act of terrorism, what’s the probability of person being Salafi? 99.9% P[A|B] not P[B|A]. Now I can block you. @SaraAssaf Permalink 9:03 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb >99.9% of targeted Euro/US civilians in past 18y by Salafi/Wahabis yet some try equivalence w/Shiism. crypto #ISIS sympathizers @SaraAssaf Permalink 8:47 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb A 60 year program of top-down secularization in Syria& Mesopotamia & 100Y in Turkey has led to worsening. @British_Aladdin @AlMesopotamian Permalink 8:40 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Basically the minority rule doesn’t harm in mixed populations. @yaneerbaryam has shown effects of cantons. @British_Aladdin @AlMesopotamian Permalink 8:36 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Paradoxically, in places like Syria where they are native, I would give them their own municipalities, & isolate the rest. @British_Aladdin Permalink 8:31 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Problem is also “measured” & fake-scholars Qatar-Wahabi funded propagandists s.a. Shadi Hamid @shadihamid invading think tanks s.a Brookings Permalink 8:16 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb (cont)Godel-Popper argument: Tolerating the intolerant leads to collapse   To do with Salafis? Permalink 7:37 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb OK, this is the Permalink 7:17 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Should I show a picture of my car the flaneurmobile, Yes/No? @WriterPb Permalink 7:00 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The Monsanto Shill Juma produces a perfect illustration of a severe IYI reasoning error @Calestous Permalink 6:55 AM – 26 Jul 2016

@nntaleb In 2010, closed Twitter acct to focus on Antifragile. Worked! Reopened 11/2012 to punish BS reviewers For SITG shd I Permalink 1:17 PM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Excellent! Convexity effects contradict mean-field/naive evol.@yaneerbaryam @gwaconstable @Plektix Permalink 10:58 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 2/ Look at the metaproba! Same BS as Jay Ulfedler’s @dtchimp “mathematical model”. @philipbstark Permalink 10:11 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Which probabilities are decidable? Which ones are balloney? @philipbstark @PhillipsPasha @mtracey Permalink 9:54 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Salafism: Imagine religion having intolerant beliefs about the State; the State having intolerant beliefs about religion, together. @fpoling Permalink 9:14 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Sorry, pal, but the Sultans had Qanun laws that were of Byzantine origin & separate from Sharia. @Nb1769 Permalink 8:52 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The idea is: to be “decidable”, error on probability < error on exp. payoff @philipbstark @ReekRend @PhillipsPasha @mtracey @johndurant Permalink 8:51 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@republicofmath I like this message from Permalink 7:44 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb “Probability” following the path of maestros Freedman and Stark @philipbstark @PhillipsPasha @mtracey Permalink 7:06 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 2) so the ignorance is not just with Christianity; it is to the point that Salafizers talk about Shiite thought without the slightest grasp Permalink 6:19 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 1) My experience w/Salafi and Co: could not find one w/erudition outside Islamic studies; they get lost in “meta” discussions of religion. Permalink 6:17 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@philipbstark @PhillipsPasha @mtracey @johndurant @nntaleb Point is “chance Trump wins” meaningless. See   re earthquake probability Permalink 1:22 AM – 25 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Meaning absurd to direct “Islamophobia” at Shiites when they act differently. Shd be Salafiphobia. Kapish? @TheBobber Permalink 11:08 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb For those of you on a hot summer day want to stroll on a beach, this is the way to do it. Takes some training.   Permalink 10:44 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb No”discussion” w/Salafis & Co: the Jesuits tried for 400 y & Jesuits couldn’t convert *a single one* you won’t change his mind on twitter. Permalink 10:07 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Anyone has some backgrounds on Brookings boy Shadi Hamid @shadihamid? Something smells funny. Permalink 9:50 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Monotheistic (Abrahamic) religions are by definition exclusive hence intolerant; unless they recycle pagan creeds.   Permalink 8:51 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb This is not a zen proverb but an antisemitic qoranic verse. @DPrabhata Permalink 8:13 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb (cont) Islamists think their “expertise” allows debating me on religion, as if memorizing multiplication tables made one a mathematician. Permalink 6:23 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Act most probabilistitic inequalities are missing from Ineq books. Wiki has a great list to compile from.   @alxpr1c3 Permalink 6:09 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Christian Aramaic (Syriac) separates church from law by using the Greek *nomos* in place of the Aramaic “Din” Permalink 5:58 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Aramaic meaning of “Din”: all of it = *law*. Remarkably Christian Aramaic uses Nomos for law:separation church/ Permalink 5:52 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb (cont) Original meaning of “Religion” in Arabic “Din” = law. Hard to explain “secular but religious” to a Permalink 5:44 AM – 24 Jul 2016

@nntaleb In Malta they write a similar language to Shami in latin alphabet. It works! Permalink 5:58 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb So Mr Bradford you have been getting money from Saudi Sources. I have no more use for you. @joebradfordnet Permalink 4:00 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Mr Bradford are you financed by Saudi Arabia, yes/no @joebradfordnet Permalink 3:55 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Mr Bradford 1) Is your Salafi preaching financed in any way by Saudi Arabia? 2) Were you born or converted? @joebradfordnet Permalink 3:00 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Mr Ahman Al-Shathry you keep anwering w/incomprehensible tirades. Are you Salafi/Wahabi, Yes/No? @Abunass3r Permalink 2:11 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Is is Yes or No? Just one word in English. @Abunass3r Permalink 2:02 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Mr Ahmad Al-shathry, can you give a straight answer: Yes/No are you a Salafi/Wahabi? @Abunass3r Permalink 1:58 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Mr. AlSlathry @Abunass3r are you a Salafi/Wahabi, Yes/No?   Permalink 1:50 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb No worship without Skin in the Game. The Gods don’t like Cheap Permalink 1:24 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Imbecile, this is meant to show random violence is only Salafis, not Shiite, Sufi or Sunni-secular. @Streitapfel Permalink 12:26 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Le me rephrase: How many Protestant, Shiites, Sufis, that is, nonSalafis have blown up random people in Europe in 2016? @bollywig @raggedtag Permalink 12:22 PM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb In 2010 summarized The Black Swan in 2nd ed. as few were getting it & talked without knowing what it was about…   Permalink 11:00 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb How many Buddhists murder for ‘religion” ?@bollywig @raggedtag Permalink 10:36 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb #Turkey: the press is confused; the purge isn’t against securalists but Gulenists, another type of Islamists. Permalink 10:34 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb What is unacademic abt Leibnitz: he was incapable of working on subjects w/o big substance; even when commissioned to do historical work. Permalink 8:23 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb La7azt ma3 murasalete inno el3alam ahyanlon yista3mlo el-latini [cognitive effort] @CatnissEvercute @Priapus_D Permalink 6:02 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Ma fi sha3b bala le’3a Ma fi le’3a bala adab – Hayde ‘3altet Antun s3ade Sha3bna bye7ke sheme biyektob/biye2ra Inglisi msh 3arabe @Priapus_D Permalink 5:23 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Ma fi sha3b bala legha. Hayde ghaltet Antun S3adeh. @Priapus_D Permalink 5:15 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb You cannot talk about antifragile anecdotes without link to the necessary central link to convexity.   Permalink 5:11 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The Economist rediscovering Antifragile …and poorly.   Permalink 4:59 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 7ada bi3alle2 3a tarjemte? Permalink 4:43 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Bil Shami ma3 el 7arf el Permalink 4:19 AM – 23 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Meaning 100% iatrogenics. Think of a pilot who randomly pilots a plane. 100% crash. @Blacklabellogic Permalink 4:38 PM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 100% for th   Permalink 4:32 PM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb An evening (pre-squid) ink with the indispensable Tom Holland Permalink 4:28 PM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb “Malta yok” Fughedaboudit in Turkish, “there is no such thing as Malta”, used in the Levant, partic. my grandparents’ generation. Permalink 3:33 PM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Mr Tashdemir,you mean they did not brutalize Antifragile? @tasdemirm Permalink 12:43 PM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb They likely brutalized the newly published Turkish version of *Antifragile*; we can test if it gets stronger.   Permalink 12:35 PM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Trump’s nomination proves a rule: *The most flawed of risk takers is more real than the most qualified deadfish.* Find another risk taker! Permalink 11:50 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Three meanings of SHRB in Aramaic. Third is to spread. Permalink 11:08 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Discovered Sharbel is not Sharb El = Story of God but Glow of God. Permalink 11:03 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Answered my own question & derived the Mills ratio for Pearson class of distributions. [could be typos]   Permalink 10:23 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb For Fat Tony f*** you money is working a job with downtime room meditation & , s a security guard & doing science on the side @alanklement Permalink 8:38 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The case for f*** you money before doing scienxe.   Permalink 8:14 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@forsaken911 Sadly, the 9/11 victims and survivors need a PR machine. Saudi Arabia’s PR machine…   by @lhfang Permalink 6:16 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Then they should learn to keep their mouth shut. Good discipline when you don’t intend to do anything. @hbkazemi33 @FedericaMog Permalink 6:43 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb No communiqué by empty suits does anything unless accompanied w/sanctions. Not threats, actions. Doesn’t have to be military. @F1Ruaraidh Permalink 6:16 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Talk talk talk. IYI bureaucrats. Better keep silent UNLESS you do something (like Puting, Erdogan). Kapish?   Permalink 5:57 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Note that this scene dates 3 years *after* Fat Tony’s advice in Antifragile. Permalink 5:42 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The main advice Fat Tony will give you: from the position of f*** you money (John Goodman in The Gambler)   Permalink 5:39 AM – 22 Jul 2016

@yaneerbaryam A brief note: Why Silver was tripped up on Permalink 7:04 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Note that brko/brkto is corrupted in Levantine: rikbo/rikbto. @menleben @holland_tom Permalink 7:30 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Concluding the Daniel Drezner: @dandrezner is poster boy of the IYI class:totally clueless & no accountability #SITG   Permalink 7:27 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Note afo (face) we use “afa” back [wesh = face] @menleben Permalink 7:24 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb رجعت حليمة لعادتا القديمة! @ArmandDAngour Permalink 6:12 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@ArmandDAngour @nntaleb nice! Cf. Horace (Epist.1.X.24)’naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret’, expel nature with a pitchfork, it will always return Permalink 5:58 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Syriac   Permalink 6:03 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Chassez le naturel il revient au gallop. Permalink 5:46 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Likewise when I block someone for trolling, I automatically block all his followers.   Permalink 5:05 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Turkey: Failure of secularization from the top (so for Syria and Iraq). Iran: the reverse? Permalink 4:22 AM – 21 Jul 2016

@nntaleb I never compromise, never with ethics. @zayn_300 @farnamstreet Permalink 4:42 PM – 20 Jul 2016

@lukasnaugle “When conflicted between two choices, take neither.” Permalink 1:17 PM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb No type 2 error: Congress of 1934,minority of 1288 delegates voted anonymously ag Staln. He killed almot all of Permalink 1:42 PM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb A heuristic method to price American Options, part of my deck of unpublished results @EmanuelDerman Permalink 11:11 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Gave a partial answer with proof for Inverse Mills Ratio. Now need to generalize to ALL dist.   Permalink 10:56 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 5) Ramanujan’s m.o: intuition + endless trial-and-error. Computers don’t give direct intuition, but accelerate trials, feeding intuition. Permalink 9:29 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Do you think pandits know more? #IYI (Intellectual Yet Idiots) @davidharsanyi @Trader_Moe Permalink 8:59 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 4/Mathematica is bringing back the Babylonian way of doing math. What if Ramanujan had Mathematica? Permalink 8:57 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb To evaluate the truthfulness of a statement requires statements of higher universality/abstraction. No “evidence” without probability theory Permalink 7:02 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Venetians were Franj but also Banadiqa (bunduqia), means also bastard or mixed parentage. Bandouq means shrewd.@FullTiltonic @holland_tom Permalink 5:57 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb In Arabic Med is Ba7r Er- Rum so: Rumi= Mediterranean Christian Franji= Northern European Sqalibi= Slav Farisi= Persian @holland_tom Permalink 5:35 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Coalition is *also* killing civilians in Syria. Why don’t we call Hollande a butcher? Because no Qatari PR firm? Permalink 4:49 AM – 20 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Delenda Monsanto Permalink 4:14 PM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Agamemnon entering battle in state of madness. In the Iliad, both sides, Hector & Achilles are Permalink 1:19 PM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb And here the wrath of Recep, not counting the death penalty   Permalink 10:07 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb To listen to the Wrath of Achilles son of Peleus against Agammemnon son of Atrides in Attic Greek   Permalink 9:59 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Three thousand years ago, in the same location, the wrath of Achilleos … Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος Permalink 9:56 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Unsure: Some are ethnically Greek, most are mixed Phoenician-Greek-Ghassanids; same blood as Cypriots   @tri_moreta Permalink 8:40 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb [Silver rule/Ethics] I am a minority (Greek Orthdx) & as such I don’t support Erdogan. If I were Sunni, would I support him? I can’t answer. Permalink 7:49 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The war agnst ISIS showed that an airforce is almost only useful against enemy with an airforce. Even less for coups. #Turkey @yaneerbaryam Permalink 6:41 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb A probability question (for those into probability)   Permalink 6:31 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb It takes a diamond to cut a diamond @EmanuelDerman @carmi797 Permalink 6:07 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Italiano du jour: “chiodo schiaccia chiodo” @EmanuelDerman Permalink 5:05 AM – 19 Jul 2016

@RachelsNews All hands on deck ! please sign and RT   Permalink 7:58 PM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Policy pple @dandrezner et al. don’t realize “BS” isn’t expression of disagreement, but contempt, as w/astrologists.   Permalink 3:22 PM – 18 Jul 2016

@TalebBot We tend to define “rude” less by the words used (what is said) than by the status of the recipient (to whom it is addressed). Permalink 2:33 PM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Working with the nastiest of all probability distributions: Pearson family IV. Science is never Permalink 11:52 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb No, people are sensitive when they feel an ever so slight loss of privilege because of ethnicity, as in Leb/Syria. @LudWitt @joshua_landis Permalink 11:27 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb For those interested in knowing why I am allergic to pol science BS entailing Permalink 11:25 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb These are NOT generalizations. Disproportional power brings instability. Kapish? Only decentralization works. @joshua_landis @LudWitt Permalink 11:12 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Cycle: IRAQ: Sunni opprss Shias=>2004,Shias oprss Sunnis=>ISIS SYRIA: Sunni oprss Alawis=>Alws oprss Sunnis=>war.   Permalink 10:48 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Silver rule: I ask myself: if I were Sunni, what would make me a Salafi? 1) humiliation 2) intrusion 3) patronizing IYI. All these soluble. Permalink 8:42 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb That is not repentance. If Drezner were repentant, he would not be spewing geopolitical BS w/o #SITG. Kapish? @EmilArchambault @dandrezner Permalink 8:11 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb BS vendor Dan Drezner @dandrezner promoted Iraq war & still unrepentant. To protect society (#SITG) such pple shd Permalink 7:47 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The principle لك دينك و لي ديني   Permalink 7:04 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 3) Hence proposed local autonomy for Islamists to be as Islamists as they want *in* their neighborhood, decentralization; they shd Amishify Permalink 6:19 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 2) My impression talking to Islamists is that feel misunderstood by IYI bureaucrats, want to be left autonomous. Brcrts,talk to them. #SITG Permalink 6:11 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 1) When ISIS was still occupying parts of Tripoli, spent a day (hiding my accent) there, talking to Permalink 6:09 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb One thing about Erdogan: those who like him *love* him. Like Brexiters, Islamists are those tired of the 100y patronizing secular IYI class Permalink 5:35 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The Sultan played the situation like a violin Turkey government seemed to have list of arrests prepared   via @Reuters Permalink 5:27 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb When “short” treasuries, I had MY money on the line.Daniel Drezner the sickening man called Iraq war &paid no price for the dead @dandrezner Permalink 4:49 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@bee_starship You rock for RT this @rob_swire my family is Iraqi Shia and we cop so much crap. Know the difference people ️   Permalink 3:50 AM – 18 Jul 2016

@nntaleb For the amnesiacs: in 1826 Mahmud II incited the Janissaries to revolt, to terminate them (execute & imprison them) Permalink 6:51 PM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Drezner boy: not possible to explain to bullshit vendors what is and what is not bullshit, what’s rigorous &what’s crap. Kapish? @dandrezner Permalink 3:06 PM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The only other explanation is that the F16 pilots were economists/social scientists, all show no go.   Permalink 12:03 PM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb This is very, very strange: 2 rebel F16s had a lock on Erdogan’s plane but didn’t fire! Yet they bombed Parliament.   Permalink 11:50 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Which (almost) ends a month-long tweet storm for the n-summed lognormal! It works! Permalink 8:09 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Respect! @Pete_Spence Permalink 7:56 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb كان لازم سعيد عقل يسميا “اللغة الشامية” مش بس اللبنانية و يتعلم السريايا   Permalink 7:30 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Corrected1 Life is trial and error. Permalink 6:58 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Warning: there may be a problem in conversion table t2: “n” shd be inside not outside moments. Permalink 6:37 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Student T is much much more civilized than the Lognormal Permalink 6:32 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Paper: “preasymptotics of sums of random variables in the subexponential class”, first presented at @DrCirillo’s conference @John1ODea Permalink 6:15 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Et voila! The Lognormal is very very stubborn but the solution was simple: here it gave-in thanks to Permalink 6:11 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Sums of “weird” r. variables that converge slowly [LogNormal] can be ONLY be treated preasymptotically as Pearson Permalink 5:58 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb A remark: Jay Ulfedler’s @dtchimp “mathematical model” to predict exudes, smells, reeks, of bullshit.   Permalink 5:32 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Leibnitz who (co)invented calculus knew only basic math bef. age of 26. Permalink 4:32 AM – 17 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The weird thing about #Turkey: pro-democracy pple worldwide against coup; all Salafis pro-Isis pro-Jihad worldwide also cheering. NonKapish! Permalink 4:06 PM – 16 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Chap 1: In a dialogue with Fat Tony, he asks me: – Why did you kill me? – Just business, your FatToniness. Only bizness, nothing personal. Permalink 1:28 PM – 16 Jul 2016

@nntaleb They want to hide something. Or they look like they are hiding something. And insult the intelligence of the public   Permalink 11:58 AM – 16 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Yesterday tried to work on SkinInTheGame. But Nice in the AM 28 Pages in PM Turkey in Eve. Only wrote chapter title: “Republic of Tawk”. Permalink 10:55 AM – 16 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The great sucker problem: blame the people in Soviet Russia for not being up to par, do not blame the regime.   Permalink 8:08 AM – 16 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The moral: When doing a coup in 2016 anywhere on the planet, fughedaboud local TV, occupy Twitter and Facebook headquarters in San Francisco Permalink 7:47 AM – 16 Jul 2016

@nntaleb These EU empty suits just tawk. Words words words they never had a real job & think their job is a real job.   Permalink 5:28 AM – 16 Jul 2016

@TalebBot Most mistakes get worse when you try to correct them. Permalink 8:33 PM – 14 Jul 2016

@TalebBot The main reason to go to school is to learn *how not* to think like a professor. Permalink 8:33 PM – 15 Jul 2016

@TalebBot It is a very powerful manipulation to let others win the small battles. Permalink 2:33 AM – 16 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Articles with words but no information have sentences s.a.”but whoever comes out on top, democracy is sure to lose”   Permalink 6:31 PM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Spreading this warning. This is common with the Syrian war.   Permalink 4:23 PM – 15 Jul 2016

@karimbitar The correct Lenin quote is: “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”   Permalink 1:45 PM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb On my list of things to crumble: + Saudi Barbaria [STARTED] + Bureaucristan/econ “elites” IYIs [STARTED] + Monsanto   Permalink 12:23 PM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb My impression reading the #28pages is that had the info been public, we would have heard calls to invade Saudi Barbaria instead of Iraq. Permalink 11:44 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb How about those who love *either* logic or *both* mathematics *and* deadlifting?   Permalink 11:00 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb I deleted the tweet about Paris torture because the info was denied by the “Procureur General.”(chief prosecutor) Permalink 10:49 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb How PsychoBS Hedgehog-fox fails: @Ptetlock “Pilot of the plane is hedgehog he is too focused on preventing crash”.   Permalink 7:11 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb People don’t know what they are talking about when they say “religion” Permalink 6:31 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The danger of Salafism is in its treatment of religion as LAW & political system. Violence is the result.   Permalink 6:24 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Designation “Islam” is absurd; there are 3 religions. -Shia -Sunni secular, Ottoman, Sufi, urban… -Salafi/Wahabi (ISIS, Saudi Barbaria) Permalink 6:13 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb As predicted from minority rule: GMOs going extinct, sales contracting. Paying Farmers to Go Organic In   Permalink 6:05 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Problem is religions are not banned. If Nazism is banned, Salafism/Wahabism must be banned. Shut down Saudi Arabia.   Permalink 5:48 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Anyone proGMOs on “scientific” grounds is 50y behind,ignorant of complexity, or just stupid Permalink 5:43 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@Konstant_V @nntaleb next time anyone asks why #Nice happened I will show him this:   Permalink 5:36 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Salafi Mosques are the root. Since 2001 the idiotic West let Saudi “allies” keep spreading Salafism. Destroy Riad.   Permalink 4:56 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Revisiting Popper’s (Goedel’s) paradox: Why Salafis should be confined just for being Salafis. Delenda Saudi Permalink 4:50 AM – 15 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Salafi is Salafi is Salafi, no nuance. Salafi is inherently violent terrorism. Those who promote Salafism are guilty   Permalink 4:20 AM – 15 Jul 2016

GMOs, Monsanto, Ramanujan, Philip Tetlock, Max Abrahms, Golden Rice, Blair, Preasymtotics, John Gray, Brexit

@EcoWatch #Obama Expected to Sign Industry-Backed #GMO Label Bill Into Law   @nongmoreport @foodandwater @OrganicConsumer @EWG Permalink 8:45 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@mjd1735 @ziadaboujamra @nntaleb @herrlichmann @AmbJohnBolton @zbig @SonyKapoor @EliLake @ishaantharoor Probability Permalink 4:41 PM – 14 Jul 2016

@yaneerbaryam Regulatory capture overriding Vermont GMO labeling bill: Why Activists Are Unhappy With New GMO Labeling Legislation   Permalink 12:32 PM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Moving stuff to   The Skin In The Game Heuristic for Protection Against Tail Events   Permalink 11:55 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@rahul_goa @nntaleb @vivakermani @normonics @yaneerbaryam Have annotated your image to show the ‘fundamental difference’ Permalink 8:48 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Monsanto pulled no stop trying to discredit me: 1000 mails to Univ (!),>1000 shill posts. Nada. F***you money works.   Permalink 6:44 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Compare shrinking sales of Monsanto GMOs to organic. Explains the HUGE lobby effort/shilling for Permalink 6:10 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb GMO issue is ignorance of the properties of complex systems/fattails (Monsanto’s 107 Nobels, 80y.o. are 50 y behind)   Permalink 6:04 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Some new proofs for preasymptotic behavior of exponential distribution and subexponential Permalink 5:43 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb For an idea of what’s expected frm technology/”growth” biz, look at AMZN vs MON. GMOs are in decline,organic Permalink 4:53 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Good news re GMOs: I’ve never seen a real technology SHRINK yet survive, in spite of intense lobbying/shilling. Why Monsanto needs buyer. Permalink 4:39 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Bottom:Monsanto is a sick company,sales <2010,hence active GMO shilling w/Henry I Miller etc Permalink 4:32 AM – 14 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Point: except for Mishnah Torah Maimonides wrote his major work in Arabic aiming at Islamic/Abrahamic readers @yzilber @HannahHedgehog Permalink 7:10 PM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb If OBD- Y… Or explicit Abd-Allah is so common in Semitic & preIslamic cultures it has to hark back to OVD-EL @amaatouq @kaplanfat Permalink 7:06 PM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Also Abdallah was translated into latin as Amadeus and Gr as Theophilos @amaatouq @kaplanfat Permalink 6:51 PM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb .@amaatouq @kaplanfat I read Islamic commentaries of Dalat al Ha2rin (perplexed) he was allowed to make pronouncements on Islamic law. Permalink 6:43 PM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Abdallah is a pre-Islamic name. Evidence is easy: guess.   Permalink 6:21 PM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Abdallah was common among Iraqi Jews it is Obadiah @HannahHedgehog Permalink 6:10 PM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Was surprised to see Ibn Abdallah in Maimonides name   Permalink 5:30 PM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Maimonides name is Ibn Abdallah. Permalink 5:25 PM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The tiniest accolade from a classicist & erudite like @ArmandDAngour is worth >>> any compliment/prize/praisebyjourno etc. Permalink 5:30 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The strategy for meal-debates is to order mezze style so you can eat other’s food (frog legs) as they are fighting.   Permalink 5:24 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 1) Do not read books on time management/MBAbullshit 2) Do nothing that bores you & stop before something gets dull   Permalink 5:05 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb And sources for dabbaq in Arabic are scant; suspected Syriac origin  دبق Permalink 4:55 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Extension: dabba2, “sticky fingers” prob. comes from same root DBS, with corruption of SH =>Aleph Permalink 4:48 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Syrup itself in English, like “sorbet” coming probably from “SRB” to drink (Shurba) [an iced fruit cocoction] @ArmandDAngour Permalink 4:45 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb In other words DBS= glue, applies to both syrup and honey @ArmandDAngour Permalink 4:44 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Levantine roots du jour: 3asal=honey from Arabic 3asal, debs=syrup from Aramaic honey & syrup. (in Heb honey=DBSH) Permalink 4:43 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb How GMOs are a fundamentally different process than other modifications, no track record. @normonics Permalink 4:07 AM – 13 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Continued: “For Ramanujan proofs were some strange European custom…” Permalink 6:30 PM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 2/2 Great book; Ramanujan is a “mathematical tinkerer” vs Hardy who worked from rulebook. Invites tinkering on Mathematica @stephen_wolfram Permalink 6:20 PM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Excellent! Only read on mathematicians by insiders.”Math=Youth”disappears when adjtd by life expect Permalink 6:11 PM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The dialogue worked as when we switched to the solution, everyone was in agreement:decentralization @MaxAbrahms @Confusezeus @yaneerbaryam Permalink 5:54 PM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb For the record, for personal ethics, I do not comment abt @PTetlock’s works, etc; I only respond to psychobullshit about my own work. Permalink 3:10 PM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Here is paper, MrTetlock stop your psyshoBS show where explicit before Peters/Gell-mann   Permalink 2:58 PM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Stop the bullshit: These are NOT counterexamples. Show me a SINGLE social paper that accounts for time prob problem.   Permalink 2:55 PM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Nice convergence of ideas on decentralization! Dialogue works! @MaxAbrahms @Confusezeus @yaneerbaryam Permalink 8:44 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Evidence that @Confusezeus is getting Salafi funding!   Permalink 7:52 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The Cambridge Debate @MaxAbrahms @Confusezeus Permalink 7:42 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb I am witnessing a bitter fight between @MaxAbrahms @Confusezeus over ISIS/IRGC on a cafe terrace in Cambridge with @yaneerbaryam laughing. Permalink 7:35 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@MaxAbrahms @nntaleb @Confusezeus Apologists want people to think ISIS is defensive, not predatory. But ISIS wants to strike every country in the world. Permalink 5:44 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb ISIS apologists are never explicit; they say” ISIS is bad.. but” & offer some comparison @Confusezeus @MaxAbrahms Permalink 5:13 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Outside of Kelly criterion (still implicit) finance profs make ergodicity mistake. @yzilber @PTetlock @LionsWatson @pale_blue_dot__ Permalink 5:09 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb ISIS apologists keep pouding “comparative” arguments (Crusades, IRGC, Pilgrims, Assad) –typically as here, lame. @Confusezeus @MaxAbrahms Permalink 5:08 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb This is to debunk the BS: ALL social science/decision theory is missing the point.   @PTetlock Permalink 4:45 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The point is that you cannot naively use probability for gambles @ardalby @PTetlock Permalink 4:44 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb And here is our revision to reflect Peters & Gell-Mann   @a_random_otter @PTetlock Permalink 4:43 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Not at all. First result (Other than ours) was shown in Gell-Mann Peters   @a_random_otter @PTetlock Permalink 4:40 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Show ONE paper in social science identifying ergodicity. ONE. @PTetlock Permalink 4:34 AM – 12 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The #DNDL category is just a fuzzy marker. But deadlifting is a state of mind.   Permalink 6:14 PM – 11 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The Séralini case is an interesting way to learn about smear campaign. Meanwhile we are finishing the PP paper.   Permalink 3:12 PM – 11 Jul 2016

@caitlinrgreen Thanet, Tanit & the Phoenicians: Names, Archaeology & Pre-Roman Trading Settlements in Kent? Permalink 2:17 AM – 21 Apr 2015

@nntaleb Never argue with people in private (you will not convince them); argue in public to convince others. Permalink 10:31 AM – 11 Jul 2016

@MohsenGTW @Confusezeus does IRGC consider Sunnis apostates or enslave people? Do you read Persian? Do you have a brain? @nntaleb @MaxAbrahms Permalink 6:42 AM – 11 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Max’s argument: whatever detractors call a “Shia threat” is 100% local. Salafis have global aims (NY, Paris…) @MaxAbrahms @Confusezeus Permalink 6:40 AM – 11 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Nadim is v. open to both discussions & frog legs. 2 more trips to Boston Max & I will change his position @MaxAbrahms @Confusezeus Permalink 5:42 AM – 11 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Nadim, a Christian Lebanese & Saudi Barbaria apologist, has the Stockholm syndrome common to many Lebs in policy. @MaxAbrahms @Confusezeus Permalink 6:30 PM – 10 Jul 2016

@nntaleb So far Nadim has not been able to bring any logical or empirical argument against Max. I am just eating frog legs. @MaxAbrahms @Confusezeus Permalink 6:24 PM – 10 Jul 2016

@nntaleb With @MaxAbrahms in a heated debate with Nadim Shehadi @Confusezeus who sides with Saudi Barbaria. (Frog legs) Permalink 6:02 PM – 10 Jul 2016

@nntaleb With @MaxAbrahms in a heated debate with Nadim Shehadi @Confusezeus who sides with Saudi Barbaria. (Frog legs) Permalink 6:02 PM – 10 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Finally, instead of driving to Boston, forgot about time, and proved the Lognormal convergence theorems! Permalink 7:15 AM – 10 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Try the Inequalities cheat cheat @neilchriss   Permalink 4:18 AM – 10 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Inverse Touring Test: The more you can be computerized, the less human you are.   Permalink 3:55 AM – 10 Jul 2016

@kylef 500kg deadlift. Eddie Hall trying to Make Britain Great Again   Permalink 5:27 PM – 9 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Semiticology dujour: Semitic lang,unlike most Indo-Euro, have “day” (YWM) for 24 h &different “day” for the Permalink 7:00 AM – 9 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Define “nitpicking”   Permalink 6:44 AM – 9 Jul 2016

@nntaleb A “nice person” is someone principally nice to those he/she doesn’t need to be nice to. #DailyEthics #Shillary Permalink 6:36 AM – 9 Jul 2016

@nntaleb At the core, with EU, people conflated 1) coordination of common (local) interests with 2) subjugation to a central authority Permalink 4:58 AM – 9 Jul 2016

@nntaleb More on Influences of Semitic roots in Egyptian language; pre-Islamic pre-Arabic   @lameensouag Permalink 4:50 AM – 9 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Hawn   Permalink 2:49 PM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb “Sakker shebbak w’ttala3 la barra” Levantine &~Aramaic. “Iqful el nafizah wa inthur ilal 5arij” Arabic. Rquires a mental defect to not see. Permalink 12:29 PM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The plot thickens. As***le. [2 words] “Bu5sh Tizo” Levantine “Bu5sh Tizo” Aramaic “Thaqb Iliatihi” Permalink 12:20 PM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb “Zammar 3a l’kou3” Levantine “Zammar 3a l’kou3” Aramaic “Inshud 3al mun3atif” Arabic One has to be blind to not Permalink 12:11 PM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Public sector work should not be an investment strategy. Permalink 12:08 PM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Single most potent arg. agst Centralized EU bureaucratistan: will be eventually owned by Goldman Sacks & Monsanto.   Permalink 11:36 AM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb It reeks of something all across. Read the paper [ASSUMING YOU TRUST RESULTS], read my p-value paper, let’s talk. @ryanbriggs Permalink 8:38 AM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The problem of Golden rice is side effects on system. Never take risks you don’t understand if you can do as well w/those you do. @raphaels7 Permalink 8:09 AM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Hahahaha! “β-Carotene in Golden Rice is as good as β-carotene in oil at providing vitamin A to children” RETRACTED   Permalink 7:41 AM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb In Antifragile & ALL socsci misses ergodicity/tails   @LionsWatson @pale_blue_dot__ Permalink 5:35 AM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Adding tutorials to lectures: Probability & Integral Transforms. Sense the shape of the distribution from its Permalink 4:56 AM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 62 out of 63 finance/econ academics who traded engaged in tail selling strategies (a la LTCM )>> practitioners. @pale_blue_dot__ @PTetlock Permalink 4:07 AM – 8 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The IYI (Intellectual Yet Idiot) post has been read by 1.6 mil across social media. Bypass established IYI media!   Permalink 4:13 PM – 7 Jul 2016

@PaleoPhil @catsdad101 @nntaleb “Some people invoke “the naturalistic fallacy,” a philosophical concept that is limited to the moral domain.” -NNT 2014 Permalink 3:06 PM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Next week in Boston w/@yaneerbaryam revising PP, adding computational complexity /NP. Permalink 12:26 PM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Someone wrote a more polite critique of that ignorant #neiltyson idea of Rationalia.   Permalink 12:13 PM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The InverseExpert is part of SKIN IN THE GAME. The problem is that, without SITG, inverse experts dominate.   Permalink 10:34 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Food Corp. (incl. Evil Monsanto) are scared of the minority rule. But they’ve lost anyway.   Permalink 10:32 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Expert: knows stuff NonExpert: me on Turkish grammar InverseExpert: Do oppositel; Brusselcrats, Sunstein,Stiglitz,Thaler,Merton,Scholes,etc. Permalink 10:27 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Those who think Levantine is a “dialect”of Arabic don’t know Aramaic/Semitic lang   @HouariBdz @abisinello @LinaArabii Permalink 9:50 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb عيد فطر مبارك. ينعاد عليكم بدوام الصحة و العافية. Permalink 9:17 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@abisinello Lebanese risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs Garry Kasparov on military interventions in the Middle Permalink 1:57 PM – 28 Jun 2016

@nntaleb Another explanation of Scale Dependent Properties: Some may believe *armies create wars* but nobody sane believes *police create robberies*. Permalink 8:20 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb “Scientism of the idiot” (GMO #neiltyson): belief that one should replace a natural hand with an artificial one to satisfy “sc. progress” Permalink 7:31 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Pinker’s book relies on a lot of words that hide absence of a CENTRAL detail. @DrCirillo Permalink 6:23 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Statistical science (via prob theo) sets naturally the limits of statistical science.   @psybertron @JonathanWaxman1 Permalink 5:51 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Problem with Pinker boy is that he made statistical claims without knowing what he is talking about. @JonathanWaxman1 Permalink 5:44 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb All cheap tawk. Blair should be forced to live the rest of his life in Bagdad/Mosul, or Raqqah. #skininthegame   Permalink 5:42 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb What are the odds that someone expressing distress at the “choice” w/ the two presidential candidates (who will vote) would vote Trump? Permalink 5:40 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Economics/philosopy prof does not count as “proper job”. Actually, reverse. Kapish? @miamoisio @JonathanWaxman1 @_Foolosophy_ @Nigel_Farage Permalink 5:33 AM – 7 Jul 2016

@food_democracy These brave Senators stood w/ the American public over backroom deals to label GMOs! Permalink 7:16 PM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Delenda est Monsanto; […] Ceterum, censeo … Delenda Monsanto est   Permalink 2:37 PM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb When I saw @Nigel_Farage telling the empty suits in Brussels “none of you had a proper job”, I knew he had been a trader. Turned out he was. Permalink 2:19 PM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Similarly: Nobody should ever hold office unless he/she had a “proper job” (outside politics/tawking) for at least 10 years and 3 months. Permalink 2:13 PM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb With funding cuts as w/fall of Soviet Union, academics are laid off. What will an academic economist be used for? Permalink 12:23 PM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Q: How many of the IYI who think Brexit is “irrational” + Thought Iraq was a good idea + Think GMOs are safe, “science” not scientism Permalink 10:52 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb So you think you understand enough of the workings of the world to pronounce pro-Brexit as “stupid”? I hold the exact opposite. @ianbremmer Permalink 10:27 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb How to purify academic research from BS, remove the ritualistic game, make it real. Permalink 7:19 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Son grand theme est le déclin de l’universitaire médiéval au profit de l’intellectuel humaniste. @OHSAISONS @AlexDroite Permalink 5:36 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb For researchers, a day job should be mandatory: Patent clerc Lensmaker Rentier Country priest Postman Mafia operative Trader @AlexDroite Permalink 4:54 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb In Academia, abt everyone, individually,knows 99% of research are substance-free ritualistic BS but,collectively,behaves as if it weren’t so Permalink 4:51 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Le Goff despised academia; praised research by nonteachers. Permalink 4:36 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Uploaded ‘The Decline of Violent Conflicts: What Do The Data Really Say’ [debunking Pinker BS]   Permalink 4:31 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@jeorgen Taleb keeps bringing down the modernist project. The high priests of scientism (not real science) need to be exposed   Permalink 1:44 AM – 6 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The answer is: no.   Permalink 7:52 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb I worked 21y full-time in a highly stressful job, researched, studied & wrote 3 books at night. I have NO sympathy for entitlement-academia. Permalink 6:26 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Brilliant, citable: “a set of fixed rituals around grant proposals” Saifedean Ammous @saifedean Permalink 6:20 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb If you have to be told how to do research, don’t do research. @BeOpsguy Permalink 6:06 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The results that came from industry yet misappropriated by academic PR machine “lecturing birds how to fly” Permalink 5:38 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The main result of Borel was published in obscure “Palermo math circle” “Rendiconti del Circolo Matematico di Palermo” @neilchriss Permalink 5:30 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@_jmgomez_ @pasku1 I prefer the other one from @nntaleb,”Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love;the surface but,to the nonsucker,not…” Permalink 5:14 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@habibh Lebanese Entrepreneurs Are Coming Home, and Bringing Billions   via @ozy Permalink 4:51 AM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb No. 2 chapters in #Antifragile. Academ produced << than industry/freelance in spite of resources; good PR machine.   Permalink 3:20 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb I know a few people who published several hundred papers without saying anything. Academia shd focus on education; decommoditize research. Permalink 1:32 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb You “need” academia to do research about as much as you “need” a tractor to tour New York Permalink 12:46 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Ad Hominem is legit if the record links to the opinion (SITG). Don’t ask a blown up trader to evaluate tail risk.   Permalink 12:05 PM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The only reason we don’t see the difficulties of the Lognormal is because finance pple work w/daily sig=.005-.01; things blow up at sig >1. Permalink 10:43 AM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Joining Academia to do research is like joining the mafia to learn Italian. Permalink 9:16 AM – 5 Jul 2016

@FrankQuattrone Says the man who once indicted me over a 23-word email that encouraged my team to save subpoenaed documents   Permalink 8:31 AM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb It IS ad hominem: Nobelled supporting GMOs w/sole backup their “credibility”, not derivations. Hence EXPERTISE is fair game @ademarcisnegro Permalink 8:51 AM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Nobel laureate GMO promoter presided over firm that lost billions   Permalink 8:19 AM – 5 Jul 2016

@tparsi Stunning piece on how Saudi/Qatari funded mosques are spreading Salafism and secterianism in Swedish (!) suburbs…   Permalink 10:09 PM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Lognormal is hardest of distributions in preasymtotics: sums behave erratically; no MGF/CHF. Back to stand up Permalink 6:50 AM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The last step in the 3000 year Semitic convergence to pure, abstract, obsessive & uncompromising monotheism.   Permalink 6:17 AM – 5 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison, warmonger WikiLeaks Releases Over 1,000 Clinton Iraq War Emails – Breitbart   Permalink 6:52 PM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb QUESTION 1:What are the animals that don’t appear to age & what is their life expectancy? QUESTION 2:Are there human organs that don’t age? Permalink 1:07 PM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb ANSWER: Life expect. wld be, at 0,50,100, 1000 ~1/p ( p is fatal accident rate). (But human race wd go extinct, as no evol. if env. changes) Permalink 12:10 PM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Capicoli pronounced “Gabagool” @pwalnuts1156 @CGasparino @EmanuelDerman @mndl_nyc Permalink 7:20 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Fucking idiot, “criticism” is something specific (e.g. “Theorem x is wrong”) or backed-up not drunken BS spouted in a bar. @PieterDuboisFI Permalink 7:17 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 2/2 Sicilian is so different from Tuscan that for a long time Cavour thought that Sicilians were still speaking Arabic. @EmanuelDerman Permalink 7:12 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb 1/2 Not “Italian”: Sicilian & Calabrese (“Kalabez”), don’t pronounce the last vowel a la Tuscan. Also “Gabish”. @EmanuelDerman @mndl_nyc Permalink 7:09 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb People think in sub-log scale. For the crowds, 350 billion and 350 millions aren’t too different. @diomavro @vaLondon @kateantiquity Permalink 6:32 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb There is a minority of trolls on the web (<1% trolling 95%). Shut them down & life gets much much better   @mndl_nyc Permalink 6:25 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb You are not Kapishing the problem. There are disagreements, & there is trolling. Latter is unconditional to content. @mndl_nyc Permalink 6:23 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb You need to shut down EU (made in linear 50s-70s) & rebuild a la CHF in accordance w/logic of complex systems. @kateantiquity @James_Raynard Permalink 6:19 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Methodology with twitter: Typical troll by BS-vendors (doesn’t show *where* wrong). Block him and ALL his Permalink 6:04 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Don’t look for proximate cause: You can’t have 1)voting rights, 2)social media, and 3)patronizing elite at once @kateantiquity Permalink 5:22 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb P-VALUES: Added a paper on   : why p-values are BS/cannot be used for risk analyses.   Permalink 5:15 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The Great John Gray on Permalink 4:57 AM – 4 Jul 2016

@nntaleb I thought I did with Antifragile and this paper   Permalink 4:31 PM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The view of a complex system from a complex system science vantage point is different. Learn fron @yaneerbaryam !   Permalink 2:24 PM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb QUIZ du jour: If humans didn’t age, how long would they live? What would their life expectancy be at 100 compared to that at 50? Permalink 11:44 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb In SILENT RISK:Anyone who utters expr. “Knightian Risk” or distinguishes betw “risk” & “uncertainty” is Permalink 10:36 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Changing SILENT RISK from 1 column book size to 2 columns 8 1/2 by Permalink 9:59 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@GhassanDahhan Sure! Just like those jihadis from France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, The Netherlands, Luxembourg & Finland.   Permalink 9:22 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Wittgenstein. He is the one who understood why religious beliefs should not be analyzed. @hamandcheese @ChrisSpoke @Chris_arnade Permalink 9:12 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Even more weirdness on the part of the Permalink 7:47 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Single account is easiest…But some people are annoyed by heavy math, others love it. Everyone loves beating on @JustinWolfers @mjd1735 Permalink 7:34 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Another way to check the weird fat-tailedness of the Permalink 7:30 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Twitter activities: + Busting BS vendors + Fighting evil firms (eg Monsanto) + Philology + Math/prob + Squid ink Permalink 7:09 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb NYU human resources, dean, secretary, everyone was swamped with emails. @mjd1735 @carolhoernlein @AndreaSaltelli @philipbstark Permalink 7:00 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Same Monsanto’s PR firm as the 107 Nobels send>1500 emails to NYU pathologizing my GMO stance @carolhoernlein @AndreaSaltelli @philipbstark Permalink 6:57 AM – 3 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Squid ink with wine from Puglia, the crypto-Byzantine region of Italy. Permalink 5:50 PM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The imbecile didn’t read proof that PROBABILISTIC cost/benefit fails under systemic ruin.   Permalink 2:32 PM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Another one who doesn’t deadlift.   Permalink 2:10 PM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Thing I learned today: Lognormal with high sigma (>=4) behaves in convergence ~ like Cauchy, slow for v. large Permalink 2:06 PM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Zaki is also Aramaic (“Bass” interesting bec. from Persian=>Hindi) All Expression Zaki Bass 7mar Aramaic. Permalink 1:40 PM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb IYI (Intellectual yet Idiot) from Levantine “Zaki bass 7mar” (“bass” is Aramaic from Md. Pers.);corresponds to Mod. Hebrew חמור נושא ספרים Permalink 12:15 PM – 2 Jul 2016

@tparsi This image by Saudi embassy needs to include data on the number of Salafi terrorists Saudi has funded & created…   Permalink 11:48 AM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb I’d take any minute the decision of an imbecile over that of an educated imbecile.   Permalink 8:29 AM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb My belief: “tawkers” are a bunch of nerds ignorant of complexity of systems, can’t find a coconut in Coconut island.   Permalink 8:12 AM – 2 Jul 2016

@DrCirillo If you kill variability, you kill selection. If you kill selection, you kill the markets. Permalink 6:05 AM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Wittgenstein’s ruler: Either “talkers”are smart & voters are indeed stupid, or Voters are smart & tawkers are stupid   Permalink 4:48 AM – 2 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Our GMO discussion: The Precautionary Principle page Permalink 4:44 AM – 2 Jul 2016

@SPWinterstein @nntaleb this boils down the problem in “John hit the ball” language that even I can understand. Elegant and true.   Permalink 7:36 PM – 1 Jul 2016

@nntaleb The #Brexit rebellion against “experts”: it is easier to macrobullshit than microbullshit. Permalink 5:47 PM – 1 Jul 2016

@nntaleb Trying   (Anti)Fragility and Convex Responses in Medicine   Permalink 5:10 PM – 1 Jul 2016

Macrobullshit, Monsanto, IYI, Metrification, VIOLENCE, GAWKER, The New Artisan | Facebook

The rebellion against the “experts” that we are witnessing can be simplified: experts in some domains like economics, political science, policymaking are not experts. But we know why:

PRINCIPLE: it is easier to macrobullshit than microbullshit.

So your car mechanic, sushi chef, house painter, espresso machine repairperson, plumber, barber, dentist, Apple genius bar attendant, sanitation engineer, translator of Greco-Aramaic texts, guitar player, …, these are, to some degree, experts.

Mixing this with the concept of skin-in-the-game and the idea of complexity, we can build political structures that are immune to expert problems. 7/1/16


So it looks like Monsanto and peers were behind getting 107 Nobels to sign a petition asking Greenpeace to stop blocking Golden Rice. Obviously, science doesn’t work by authority (particularly when one of them has a Nobel in literature, a few in peace, etc.)

But the problem is that it may be about authority–in reverse. The ONLY one of the august people who ever had anything to do with risk was Robert Merton from the blown up firm LTCM who deemed such risk to be in the order of 1 in many trillions (see my books for his description as perfectly Black Swan blind). They picked the wrong PR firm.

The broader problem is that a typical aged Nobel today is someone who had his formative work in the 60s, 70s, maybe 80s, and (unless he is Murray Gell-Mann) clueless about complexity and the difficulty in interractions. And not one has done a day’s work or engaged in real world activity to have the presence of mind to verify the track record of golden rice, or realize that hunger is a problem of DISTRIBUTION not technology –you don’t advocate risky brain surgery when a good night rest could do –primum non nocere. Likewise better give people rice + vitamin rather than open the Frankenbox to fatten the pockets of Biotech.

We throw away one third of our food. Find a Nobel Prize in food distribution. 7/1/16

107 Nobel Laureate Attack on Greenpeace Traced Back to Biotech PR Operators


What’s a IYI?

Intellectual Yet Idiot: semi-erudite bureaucrat who thinks he is an erudite; pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand not realizing it is his understanding that may be limited; imparts normative ideas to others: thinks people should act according to their best interests *and* he knows their interests, particularly if they are uneducated “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class.

More socially: subscribes to the New Yorker; never curses on twitter; speaks of “equality of races” and “economic equality” but never went out drinking with a minority cab driver; has considered voting for Tony Blair; has attended more than 1 TEDx talks and watched more than 2 TED talks; will vote for Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison because she seems electable; has The Black Swan on his shelves but mistakes absence of evidence for evidence of absence; is member of a club to get traveling privileges; if social scientist uses statistics without knowing how they are derived; when in the UK goes to literary festivals; drinks red wine with steak (never white); used to believe that fat was harmful and has now completely reversed; takes statins because his doctor told him so; fails to understand ergodicity and when explained forgets about it soon later; doesn’t use Yiddish words; studies grammar before speaking a language; has a cousin who worked with someone who knows the Queen; has never read Frederic Dard, Michael Oakeshot, John Gray, or Joseph De Maistre; has never gotten drunk with Russians and went breaking glasses; doesn’t know the difference between Hecate and Hecuba; doesn’t know that there is no difference between “pseudointellectual” and “intellectual”; has mentioned quantum mechanics at least twice in the past 5 years; knows at any point in time what his words or actions are doing to his reputation.

But a much easier marker: doesn’t deadlift. 6/25/16


IN ANTIFRAGILE: On How Some IYI Intellectual-Yet-Imbecile in Brussels would try to regulate how people should “unify” metrics.
Warwick Cairns, a fellow similar to Jane Jacobs, has been fighting in courts to let market farmers in Britain keep selling bananas by the pound, and similar matters as they have resisted the use of the more “rational” kilogram. The idea of metrification was born out of the French Revolution, as part of the utopian mood, which includes changing the names of the winter months to Nivôse, Pluviôse, Ventôse, descriptive of weather, having decimal time, ten-day weeks, and similar naively rational matters. Luckily the project of changing time has failed. However, after re- peated failures, the metric system was implemented there—but the old system has remained refractory in the United States and England. The French writer Edmond About, who visited Greece in 1832, a dozen years after its independence, reports how peasants struggled with the metric system as it was completely unnatural to them and stuck to Ottoman standards instead. (Likewise, the “modernization” of the Arabic alpha- bet from the easy-to-memorize old Semitic sequence made to sound like words, ABJAD, HAWWAZ, to the logical sequence A-B-T-TH has cre- ated a generation of Arabic speakers without the ability to recite their alphabet.)

But few realize that naturally born weights have a logic to them: we use feet, miles, pounds, inches, furlongs, stones (in Britain) because these are remarkably intuitive and we can use them with a minimal expendi- ture of cognitive effort—and all cultures seem to have similar measure- ments with some physical correspondence to the everyday. A meter does not match anything; a foot does. I can imagine the meaning of “thirty feet” with minimal effort. A mile, from the Latin milia passum, is a thousand paces. Likewise a stone (14 pounds) corresponds to . . . well, a stone. An inch (or pouce) corresponds to a thumb. A furlong is the distance one can sprint before running out of breath. A pound, from libra, is what you can imagine holding in your hands. Recall from the story of Thales in Chapter 12 that we used thekel or shekel: these mean “weight” in Canaanite-Semitic languages, something with a physical connotation, similar to the pound. There is a certain nonrandomness to how these units came to be in an ancestral environment—and the digital system itself comes from the correspondence to the ten fingers.

As I am writing these lines, no doubt, some European Union official
of the type who eats 200 grams of well-cooked meat with 200 centiliters’ worth of red wine every day for dinner (the optimal quantity for his health benefits) is concocting plans to promote the “efficiency” of the metric system deep into the countryside of the member countries. 6/25/16

 Nassim Nicholas Taleb's photo.——————————————————————–


The Nobel Symposium is a 3d retreat that takes place in Norway every 2 years, for the President of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, the secretary of the Prize, a few out of the 5 committee members and 20 scholars. I presented the paper on violence (the translation into English of our technical paper). Bear Braumoeller presented another one similarly critical of Pinker. After our session, the audience was split into:
1) Those who thought that Pinker was wrong
2) Those who thought that Pinker was not even wrong (i.e. not worth discussing).
And the agreement was to not talk about his thesis any further. Further, the organizer was told by Pinker that he did not wish to rebut our papers.

Our Non-technical paper:

Pinker builds his thesis on works by Richardson in a way that is NOT compatible with the way Richardson [which is compatible with our result] and without showing the derivations. This it turned out is a CRITICAL flaw. Words and words and the central point is pulled out of nowhere.

In our paper: “As we also find out in our data analysis, consistent with Richardson (1960), there is no sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis of a homogenous Poisson process, which denies the presence of any trend in the belligerence of humanity. Nevertheless, Pinker refers to some yet-unspecified mathematical model that could also support such a decline in violence, what he calls a “nonstationary” process, even if data look the way they look.” 6/22/16

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's photo.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb's photo.


The marker of the character of a person, detectable from childhood, is whether they generalize from local disagreements to other traits when they get upset. Example from real life (told by a Colombian Jew): children are playing, a small dispute erupts over something, one turns antisemitic: “you are a Jew”, throwing all what he can at the other kid. The kid did not change ethnicity during the dispute; being a Jew was not bothersome to the Catholic kid before; it is just meant for the upset party to use all possible weapons. This is why lurking prejudice is bad because it doesn’t show up on sunny days –when scapegoats are needed.

And one doesn’t have to bring ethnicity; any trait such such as “it is well known that you have a reputation of…”, anything meant to demean the person, an information that was not brought up before, only brought during the dispute.

Which is why it is a good idea to upset people and see how they react before engaging in business (or getting socially dependent) — just to see whether they generalize. You would be surprised at the number of people who don’t. And observe what people tell you about others when they are upset with them.

It would not be ethical for me to call someone a charlatan if we engage in a fight unless I’ve called him a charlatan without a fight, or if the fight is about him being a charlatan. 6/13/16


Did violence really drop? It the thesis on drop in violence BS?
Translating our technical results into more common language.
Draft of our report to the Nobel Foundation, for comments before we submit it Monday morning. Thanks in advance. 6/4/16

The Decline of Violent Conflicts: What DoThe Data Really Say? (pdf)



Journalists –as any guild, care about their peers and their community more than the general public. Except that we cannot afford to have such a community engage in a conspiracy against the laymen since they represent our interests, us the lay crowd; they are supposed to stand for the general public against inner circles of power. Journalism arose from the need to expose falsehood, take risks in exposing matters detrimental to the public; in short, counter the agency problem of the powerful. But, it is turning out, the journalism model can also work in the opposite manner: members have been effective in escaping having skin in the game –only whistleblowers and war correspondents currently do.

So one can see how this severe agency problem can explode with the Gawker story. The English tabloid machine came to the U.S. in full force with Gawker, founded by a firm that specializes in dirt on the internet. By dirt I don’t mean a fraudulent transaction abetted by some power: no, the kind of dirt that takes place in bedrooms (and even in bathrooms).

They sell voyeurism, predator voyeurism.

In other words they want to harm citizens by disclosing their private information and posting their videos without their permission in the interest of selling information. And without being accountable for it.
Gawker having posted a video of a celebrity having sex without his permission incurred a monstrous judgment of $140 million. The suit will bankrupt Gawker. Most of all, the judgment revealed that such a predatory business model will not survive, not because it is immoral, but because it has tail risks. For America has tort laws and a legal mechanism by which people harmed by corporations can be compensated for it –a mechanism that flourished thanks to Ralph Nader. It, along with the First Amendment protect citizens by putting skin in the game of the corporations.

Gawker is trying to make a First Amendment argument and unfortunately journos appear to find this justified –while normal citizens are horrified. Liberty in the thoughts of the founding fathers was not about voyeurism, but about public matters.

Gawker argued that because the person committing sex on the video they posted was a public person, that it became a “public” matter exempted from privacy protection. People failed to see that should that argument be true, then next someone spying on any public figure should be allowed to post their bedroom activity (including Hillary Clinton, Obama, anyone)… (Gawker has ruined the lives of 21 year olds posting their sex tapes and their reaction was outrageous; in one instance their lawyer Gaby Darbyshire e-mailed the woman who was in a revenge sex tape, defending the video as “completely newsworthy” and scolding her about how “one’s actions can have unintended consequences.”)

Peter Thiel, a billionaire with a vendetta against Gawker funded a law suit. Revenge motives perhaps, but this is how the market works: Gawker tries to make money therefore they need to live with the risk of someone trying to make money from their demise.
(You make money from the demise of a 21 yo, someone will make money from yours. You make yourself a vehicle for revenge porn; you become the subject of someone’s revenge. You engage in bullying someone financially weaker than you; someone stronger will bully you. There is no reason Gawker should be the only one to use asymmetry given that their very business is asymmetry against weak people–and this is general as the media is asymmetrically strong against citizens, what is commonly called “bullying” ).
I would have personally shorted Gawker (if they were publicly listed) to make money from their collapse. And I am ready to fund lawsuits against journalists who break some intellectual rules and distort people’s positions (strawman arguments).

Any journalist who supports Gawker in the name of the First Amendments fails to understand that they as a community are committing suicide because they are trivializing the reasons behind the First Amendment –and they make it conflict with other fundamental rights. And a corporation trying to warp our sacred values should go bankrupt. And anyone, like Peter Thiel, who accelerates such bankruptcy, should be thanked. 5/31/16



DISCUSSION: The New Artisan.

Anything you do to optimize your work, cut some corners, squeeze more “efficiency” out of it (and out of your life) will eventually make you hate it.

So let us open the discussion: how do you inch closer to an artisan? First, a new definition of an artisan:
1) does things for existential reasons,
2) has some type of “art” in his/her profession, stays away from most aspects of industrialization, combines art and business in some manner (his decision-making is never fully economic),
3) has some soul in his/her work: would not sell something defective or even of compromised quality because what people think of his work matters more than how much he can make out of it,
4) has sacred taboos, things he would not do even if it markedly increased profitability.

From my side, It is easy to see that a writer is effectively an artisan: book sales are not the end motive, only a secondary target (even then). You preserve some sanctity of the product with taboos (Fay Weldon put ads for Bulgari in her books which led to disgust; we do not like advertisement inside the book). You would not hire a group of writers to enter the process and “help” (some have tried, say Jerzy Kosinsky, none has seen his work survive).

Academics are also artisans. Even those economists who claim that humans are here to maximize their income, express these ideas for free, not seeing the contradiction.

DISCUSSION – Will we revert to an artisan society? Which jobs can be made artisanal? Please comment. 5/25/16