Monthly Archives: November 2016

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Syria and the Statistics of War | Medium


Trust none of what you hear, some of what you read, half of what you see goes an old trader adage. As a trader and quant/mathematical statistician, I have been taught to take data seriously, trust nobody’s numbers, and avoid people naive enough to engage in policy based on lurid but questionable pictures of destruction: the fake picture of a dying child is something nobody can question without appearing to be an asshole. As a citizen, I require that the designation “murderer” be determined in a court of law, not by Saudi-funded outlets — once someone is called a murderer or butcher, all bets are off. I cannot believe governments and bureaucrats could be so stupid. But they are.

Full article: Syria and the Statistics of War

Syria, Shias, Monsanto, Putin, Obama, Arab Bullshit, Thaler |Twitter

@nntaleb 2/ Sharmine Narwani @snarwani has done some work on Syria. Hama casualties <5% of what was reported. More soon   Permalink 1:58 PM – 22 Nov 2016

@RiskMinds Watch @nntaleb live on 7th Dec for FREE! “Your grandmother’s intuitions abt #tailrisk is right”. Register here   ” target=”_blank”>”> Permalink 12:00 PM – 22 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Trust none of what you hear, half of what you read, most of what you see.   Permalink 6:58 AM – 22 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Levantine Philology du Jour: Possi cenam stabis aut passus mille meabis => تغدا و تمدا ، تعشا و تمشا Permalink 4:57 AM – 22 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I just published “Syria and the Statistics of War”   Permalink 4:15 AM – 22 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 4) Since Obama took office # of Christians in Syria/Mesopotamia down by 60-80%. Many still speak the lang of Christ, ethnically cleansed. Permalink 3:26 PM – 21 Nov 2016

@nntaleb For those who still don’t know that Pinker’s theory on drop in violence is BS.   @BlueAnt2014 Permalink 3:10 PM – 21 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Cognitive biases are psycholobullshit, unless mentioned in ancient lit #lindyeffect @CAM_SMlTH @Alex_Walshy @seanmcarroll @ValaAfshar Permalink 2:45 PM – 21 Nov 2016

@nntaleb It is called fooled by randomness. This is *exactly* mistaking probability for certainty. @Alex_Walshy @seanmcarroll @ValaAfshar Permalink 2:35 PM – 21 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Shias share with (Orthodox) Christians the notion of self sacrifice in pilgrimage. #skininthegame no cheap signaling   Permalink 11:38 AM – 21 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I can vouch: Monsanto tried to make life miserable but they hired PR imbeciles who didn’t know I was independent.   Permalink 8:46 AM – 21 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 2021 @filipeteles Permalink 6:12 AM – 21 Nov 2016

@nntaleb You will never convince someone that he is wrong. Survival does. Prologue of #SkinintheGame Permalink 5:59 AM – 21 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Nassim ‘Black Swan’ Taleb Sums Up Obama’s Legacy In 3 Painfully “Real” Tweets | Zero Hedge   Permalink 3:41 PM – 20 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Saif leave that poor Thaler boy to his mourning. He won’t be able to control others for a while, may this lifetime. @saifedean @R_Thaler Permalink 10:46 AM – 20 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Well, I don’t trust Syria numbers, particularly after this story of the “hospitals” in E. Aleppo. Permalink 8:54 AM – 20 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The same imbeciles who calculated scientifically that Trump had <2-10% chance chance of winning think GMOs are safe.   Permalink 8:16 AM – 20 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Spending additional 1 T on infrastructure may get us something other than novacaine to show for it. Obama spent it on salaries @MudsharkOX Permalink 4:01 AM – 20 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 3) Don’t fughet Obama is leaving us a Ponzi scheme, added ~8 trillions in debt with rates at 0. If they rise, costs of deficit explode… Permalink 3:32 AM – 20 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Idiotic (IYI) journos are trying to make us believe Putin is fighting Mother Theresa in Syria, not the AlQaeda of Sept 11. @BenteScheller Permalink 3:28 AM – 20 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The conflation of science and scientism.   Permalink 3:16 AM – 20 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 2) (Cont) But in the end what Obama did that is unforgivable is increasing centralization in a complex system. Permalink 3:50 PM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Obama: Protected banksters (largest bonus pool in 2010) “Helped” Libya Served AlQaeda/SaudiBarbaria(Syria & Yemen)   Permalink 3:33 PM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb For anyone who needs to know. @charles_lister is a paid Salafi apologist/propagandist at @MiddleEastInst and AlQaeda promoter.   Permalink 11:50 AM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Libertarianism and Julian the Apostate. Permalink 10:54 AM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The only way to understand Aleppo is to call someone in North Syria. All the rest is suspicious Salafi propaganda.   Permalink 8:31 AM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb No, it is not “racist” to resist intolerant minorities, no, no, no!   Permalink 7:27 AM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb .@ashuduttmarkets Fucking idiot, why don’t you unfollow and find someone else who wants your instruction on what to write about? Permalink 6:55 AM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Tragedy of Syrian Christians: promoted Arabism to secularize away from Islam, instead of Greco-Roman-Aramaic past. Permalink 6:47 AM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb How Fat Tony got rich betting against charlatans like @JustinWolfers (Green Lumber Fallacy chapter in #Antifragile) Permalink 5:46 AM – 19 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Funny pple don’t realize @loveconcursall “Lara Stuart-Müller” frm Zurich is in fact a fat male bearded ISIS operative @ThePorcie @wootwoo3 Permalink 6:08 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb .@loveconcursall Please explain the “lie” in a historical fact. They don’t have someone smarter to represent the Syrian opposition? Permalink 3:40 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Pple in the BS-vending business BS even more when it becomes too obvious they’re in the BS business #noskininthegame   Permalink 3:18 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The Russians rang the bells of the Mar Georgios Greek Orthodox Cathedral. People remember.   Permalink 2:50 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb First time church bells were heard in Beirut under Ottomans was in 1773 when the Russian fleet came. To understand Putin in Syria & support. Permalink 2:40 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Medawar (round in Levantine) seems to come from Aramaic (Arabic: mustadir). @zaliin Permalink 2:14 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I can’t wear a cross in Saudi Arabia. Apostates are executed. I am not going to cry for you yet. @Quran_Chart @asadabukhalil Permalink 1:42 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb “Bigotry” against Arab states when they treat non-Sunnis like deviants? This is called “Arab Bullshit” @tomazy_m @leithfadel @asadabukhalil Permalink 1:20 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb .@sterndavidi 2000 out of 1.3 million Moroccan Jews! Permalink 1:19 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb US State dept estimate of Jews in Iran is ~ 20-25K @EliCash22 @asadabukhalil   Permalink 1:09 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb This is true. Note Iran still has 25,000 Jews. Arab countries have practically none left.   Permalink 1:05 PM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Presenting Medical summary paper on Antifragility Nov 28 at the U of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Paper:   Permalink 11:31 AM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Cannot hide my Schadenfreude watching @R_Thaler panic attacks -& nudgers who banked on Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison to manipulate citizens.   Permalink 9:19 AM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb UK universities ban newspapers on campus,yet allow Salafi propaganda. Anyone ag. Salafis becomes “Islamophobe”. Boycott UK universities? Permalink 5:04 AM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb x=y != z in the right side corridor @CutTheKnotMath @mikeandallie Permalink 2:45 AM – 18 Nov 2016

@nntaleb After last nomination I feel that my dream of seeing Saudi/Qatari royals in Guantanamo getting close…All my betes noires are falling now! Permalink 6:25 PM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Aramaic du jour: Kfar (kafr) and Dar (dor) relate to “round”. Dar also village/house. Dar & Medawar => same root. Permalink 5:56 PM – 17 Nov 2016

@mikeandallie @CutTheKnotMath @nntaleb was able to print the shape and will use it for a project with my kids tonight. Thanks for sharing your work. Permalink 5:05 PM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb A clear explanation of my problem with 538 probabilities.   Permalink 2:54 PM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb John Bolton needs to be put in a psychiatric asylum. The very problem of Iran w/West is a regime change (Mosadegh).   Permalink 2:51 PM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb One leg of the octopus @CutTheKnotMath Permalink 12:42 PM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb After the fact some people think they got it.   Permalink 12:28 PM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb A better perspective on a Mandelbrotian Octopus @CutTheKnotMath Permalink 10:38 AM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The first idiot to fire from the State Department. But from my experience replacing all the staff is necessary.   Permalink 10:06 AM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb You get a beautiful Mandelbrotian mathematical object at the “nugget”, worth exploring. @CutTheKnotMath Permalink 9:14 AM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The IYI Class slowing realizing that everything they know turned out to be fiction, as in Candid Camera. Permalink 4:44 AM – 17 Nov 2016

@byzantinepower The more you learn about Byzantium the more you learn how acutely the Syriac genius inflected its character. The West lost that spark. Permalink 4:24 AM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 8 days after about everything the IYI class (forecasters, journos, pol “scientists”, Pinker) knows fell apart; starting to realize what… Permalink 4:23 AM – 17 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Donaldo considering Nikki Haley, an Indian Sikh woman is a stroke of genius! @realDonaldTrump Permalink 3:21 PM – 16 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The saying “silence is gold” applies only to fools. Permalink 1:29 PM – 16 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Gibbon on Syrian (Greeks) fashion-obsessions & “contempt for female modesty”. Fashion week in Laodicea(Latakia) now! Permalink 12:58 PM – 16 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Sweet vindication: publisher said sales of electronics books down 17-30% pending on genre vs real books. #lindyeffect at work Permalink 11:37 AM – 16 Nov 2016

@RandPaul “I can’t support anybody to be our secretary of state who didn’t learn the lesson of the Iraq War,”   Permalink 6:08 AM – 16 Nov 2016

@nntaleb How to get rid of intruders who bug you for selfies. Permalink 5:46 AM – 16 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 2) Turned out that @yaneerbaryam has used a version of Simpson’s Paradox to debunk math of the Selfish Gene by entertainer @RichardDawkins Permalink 4:33 AM – 16 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The same people who complain that we only had 2 “bad” choices in election also complained abt my ethics of voting for 3rd party. #IYI Permalink 4:04 AM – 16 Nov 2016

@nntaleb After Pinker gets elementary statistical significance (if),we’ll teach him Simpson’s Paradox   Permalink 2:33 PM – 15 Nov 2016

@RomKoziol @nntaleb You reach a point when you have had enough of the BS, the hype, the gurus, the new age stuff, etc. and you say it like it is. Permalink 2:25 PM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Doesn’t look good. @TimHarford @obradovits1 Permalink 11:27 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Paula, @schmittpaula Nice surprise to get this in my feed. I will order them immediately! Permalink 7:56 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Did you read Antifragile, Yes/No? @TimHarford @obradovits1 Permalink 7:11 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Also a lot of people in NY who voted Johnson would have voted Trump. @neilchriss Permalink 5:57 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb After that, sign the petition to allow S. Pinker’s to wave statistical significance in work on drop in violence.   Permalink 5:50 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Ask @TimHarford. In my copy, he did not acknowledge anything. @malikbarak Permalink 5:34 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Well… as it turned out I’ve taken a look at the former. @limawort @PoliticsProse @TimHarford @FearNoTrieb Permalink 5:22 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Hence the “populist” dislike of IYI is ingrained is about all languages. @MarcosCarreira @stan_yurin Permalink 5:21 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Any idea of diff betw “The Power of Disorder to Transform our Lives”& “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder”?   Permalink 5:18 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Friends, looking for info on how many read an Op-Ed in NYT if total circulation is, say 1mil. 90k? What’s typical hits of OpE on Bloomberg? Permalink 4:32 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb To whoever translated this: “fatphobia” is fear of dietary fat, not “gordofobia” (overweight)! #traduttoretradittore   Permalink 3:13 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 3) This, given the presumption Aristotle was translated into Arabic not from the Greek, but from the Aramaic-Syriac. [Evidence for Galen] Permalink 2:59 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 2) Is Levantine is the only language in which the term “philosopher” is derogatory? To bullshit (produce non solid verbiage) = “tfalsaf” Permalink 2:56 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Aramaic du Jour: Discovered that “Intellectual Yet Idiot” translates into Levantine as… “philosopher” (faylasouf!)   Permalink 2:54 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The Intellctual Yet Idiot (IYI) article is spreading into the languages IYIs speak.   Permalink 2:44 AM – 15 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I am not often angry (saliency), but why WTF do readers expect authors to write motivational messages on twitter?   Permalink 2:51 PM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The best so far! @robert_we   Permalink 12:31 PM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb 4- The Lesson of 2016 is that it took social media (not a “free” press) to take universal suffrage to its natural conclusion. Permalink 9:31 AM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Let’s model a random Congress composed of citizens. It shd best represent the population by LLN. See Pluchino etal. @normonics @yaneerbaryam Permalink 8:17 AM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb In Complex Systems Terms: Populism: bottom-up spontaneous-order participation NonPopulism “democracy”: hierarchical & constrained choices Permalink 7:58 AM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Finally converging to becoming the author of a single book: the INCERTO is out tomorrow.   Permalink 6:13 AM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb When you risk other people’s lives for “ideas” w/o paying the price & w/o being apologetic, #skininthegame. Kapish? @geor97 @BillKristol Permalink 6:02 AM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I hope this scum @BillKristol is forced to settle in Iraq, & risks beheading by ISIS. Scum, scum, scum.   Permalink 5:46 AM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Populism: democratic participation by the uneducated population when conflicts w/that of the miseducated one. Works?   Permalink 2:29 AM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Thank you @kilkenomics !!!   Permalink 12:39 AM – 14 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Fucking idiot I said “rigorous” not political science. @dandrezner Permalink 5:04 PM – 13 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I am still looking for someone to give a rigorous explanation/explanation of difference between populism & democracy. Nothing yet. Permalink 4:47 PM – 13 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Graphical view of the problem: >1 except in a tiny nugget around {0,0,0} Permalink 3:48 PM – 13 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Graphical view of the problem: >1 except in a tiny nugget around {0,0,0} @CutTheKnotMath Permalink 3:48 PM – 13 Nov 2016

@nntaleb No idiot the NYT gave legitimacy to the Iraq incasion @John_F_Donnelly @kilkenomics Permalink 1:41 PM – 13 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Let us not forget that the NYT was largely responsible for the Iraq mess. Includes pundits like Thomas Friedmam @kilkenomics Permalink 1:16 PM – 13 Nov 2016

@kilkenomics “A vote for #Brexit is a vote for complex systems” – @nntaleb Permalink 6:03 AM – 13 Nov 2016

@kilkenomics “A vote for #Brexit is a vote for complex systems” – @nntaleb #kilkenomics Permalink 6:03 AM – 13 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Rituals are the music of life. Permalink 1:43 PM – 12 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I told Politico to get lost for that “Black Swan” article. Permalink 10:07 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I told Politico to get lost for that “Black Swan” article. @SamWahlen Permalink 10:07 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The IYI didn’t get that censoring pple w/unfair tags “racist”,”sexist”,”schlongist” doesn’t work unless they also censor in the voting booth Permalink 8:42 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Reaction of @FiveThirtyEight same as cowardly traders who unexpectedly blow up, blame mkts, God, Mars… Accept bad probabilistic reasoning! Permalink 8:27 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Errors of @FiveThirtyEight et al. in “UPDATING” probabilities that shd be around .5/ noise Permalink 8:07 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Indeed Salibi is largely unreliable; Syria’s Islamization was very slow from minority rule.   Permalink 6:57 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Deirdre Mc and Rory S discussing skin in the game. How Hillary shd be ambassador to Lybia.   Permalink 5:15 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@CarolineKirrane .@rorysutherland delighted with his birthday cake! He got a rousing rendition of happy birthday from the crowd here at Permalink 5:01 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@CarolineKirrane .@rorysutherland delighted with his birthday cake! He got a rousing rendition of happy birthday from the crowd here at #kilkenomics Permalink 5:01 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@ThomBarry Nassim. Interesting that rulers in the past usually went into battle. A Roman emperor was captured and turned into a stool! Permalink 4:42 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@kilkenomics Deirdre @PrudentiaMag shares that she was born ‘Donald’ which, apparently in Irish means ‘world leader’. (Don’t tell Trump!) Permalink 4:27 AM – 12 Nov 2016

@nntaleb My point was that it was 50% @EconomicTimes Permalink 4:49 PM – 11 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Highly exaggerated Who called it right for Donald Trump? A professor, a filmmaker & Nassim Nicholas Taleb   Permalink 2:36 PM – 11 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The ricochet from demonizing Trump by Hillarists & idiotic media: all he has to do now is be half the monster they portrayed. #Antifragile Permalink 2:34 PM – 11 Nov 2016

@nntaleb The verdict is that @Charles_Lister from @MiddleEastInst should be tagged as a paid promoter of Jihadi terrorism. On his employer… later Permalink 6:09 AM – 11 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Excellent term, “sciolus”, ancien equivalent to “scientism”. Also philosophaster, bullshit artist, or just “Pinker”.   Permalink 3:04 AM – 11 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Why did Obama turn on AlQaeda now? Because Hillary is out of the way? Very strange.   Permalink 5:24 PM – 10 Nov 2016

@nntaleb It is hard to find a plumber, baker, janitor, dentist, surgeon who is an impostor. Nate Silver, St. Pinker, Sam Harris are total impostors.   Permalink 12:38 PM – 10 Nov 2016

@GhassanDahhan The guy on the left was just added on the US list of designated terrorists. The guy on the right was just awarded the Press Freedom Permalink 11:28 AM – 10 Nov 2016

@nntaleb I can’t stand impostors. Permalink 10:22 AM – 10 Nov 2016

@nntaleb “Intellectual” America: @sapinker who doesn’t know mean!= sample mean now arbiter of… probabilitistic reasoning! Permalink 9:25 AM – 10 Nov 2016

@Sartor1836 A Nobel Laureate* in Economics, ladies and gentlemen. cc: @nntaleb   Permalink 9:18 AM – 10 Nov 2016

@nntaleb After his reaction to my earlier criticism it is my opinion @NateSilver538 should leave the business.   Permalink 7:45 AM – 10 Nov 2016

@nntaleb What is alarming isn’t that they were wrong but that these idiots underestimated their error rate. Similar to p-val   Permalink 5:23 AM – 10 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Vienna Permalink 5:03 AM – 10 Nov 2016

@nntaleb Anyone taking conditional market forecasts frm someone (@justinwolfers) paid by charitable contributions has a pbm!   Permalink 11:52 PM – 9 Nov 2016