Category Archives: John

Taleb the Philosopher |

By this point, Taleb has come to view all three works as composing a unified project, which he calls Incerto, about “decision making under uncertainty.” The central idea of Antifragile is that risk, volatility, or turbulence is in many cases not to be feared and avoided, but desired and sought. Taleb claims to have identified a new concept: Whereas fragile things are harmed by shocks, and robust things are resilient or unharmed, what is antifragile actually benefits from shocks. A related concept and characteristic Talebism: What is “Lindy” is likely to survive a long time because it has already survived a long time—named after a ­Manhattan restaurant where actors observed the phenomenon in ­Broadway runs.
Hattip Dave Lull

The Summers or Geithner nightmare: James Saft | Reuters

Maybe it is time for an outsider, and Paddypower has duly supplied one, putting iconoclast Nassim Nicholas Taleb as a 1000-1 shot in a field of a dozen potential candidates. Taleb, best known for the concept of the black swan, the big-impact, hard-to-predict outlier, is tough-minded, understands risk and, unlike most of the competition, wants bankers to truly have skin in the game.

via The Summers or Geithner nightmare: James Saft | Reuters.

Jim Lewis: Nassim Taleb is wrong about the financial crisis and black swans « InvestmentWatch

This strikes me as another case of ‘Black Swan Coattail Riding’. I can’t recall NNT describing the financial crisis as anything more than a grey swan at best. Can you?

Black Swans And Complexity
Submitted by Jim Lewis
Nassim Taleb is wrong about the financial crisis and black swans.

The ongoing financial crisis is not the result of a perplexing phenomenon of complexity. It is the beginning of a train wreck we have seen for decades. We are not wandering into a surprise or horrified by the dark specter of a Black Swan rearing its long tailed head; this macro crisis appeared on the horizon long ago, easily calculated by any actuary armed with the knowledge that governments were not investing tax streams, but stealing them for current consumption.

via Jim Lewis: Nassim Taleb is wrong about the financial crisis and black swans « InvestmentWatch. HatTip to Dave Lull.

It’s Here! RSA – The Predictability of Unpredictability

The Predictability of Unpredictability

1st Dec 2011; 18:00

Listen to the audio (full recording including audience Q&A)

Please right-click link and choose “Save Link As…” to download audio file onto your computer.

Download Nassim Taleb’s presentation (pdf)

RSA Keynote

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the brilliant and controversial author of The Black Swan, described in the Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War 2. He came to wider public attention as one of the few prominent academics to correctly warn of catastrophe in the financial system ahead of the credit crunch.

Despite his skills as economist and aphorist, it is Taleb’s theory of knowledge which has made him required reading in 10 and 11 Downing Street. By emphasising the inherent uncertainty and complexity of reality he argues against top down planning and research arguing instead for small scale experimentation and observation. Cameron Conservatives quote Taleb in making the case against central state control and planning and in favour of localism and testing by doing.

Join renowned academic and author Nassim Nicholas Taleb as he discusses his groundbreaking ideas and their relevance to the current economic crisis, national policy making and other topics with Rohan Silva, senior policy advisor to the Prime Minister.

Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA.

via RSA – The Predictability of Unpredictability.