Category Archives: Event

One Bank Flagship Seminar by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Tail Risk Measurement Heuristics

Date: Thursday 18 February 2016
Time:  4.15-6pm
Venue: Moorgate Auditorium, 20 Moorgate
Speaker: Professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The first part of this talk – The Law of Large Numbers in the Real World – presents fat tails, defines them, and shows how the conventional statistics fail to operate in the real world, particularly with econometric variables, for two main reasons: 1) we need a lot, a lot more data for fat tails;  and 2) we are going about estimators the wrong way. The second part – Detecting Fragility – presents heuristics to detect fragility in portfolios. Fragility is shown to be ‘anything that is harmed by volatility’. The good news is that while (tail) risk is not measurable, fragility is.
This event is free though places are limited. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.  To apply for a place, or for any queries about this event, please contact the One Bank Research Seminar Team.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #BoETaleb

Sam Harris Responds

Probably you find yourself as am I, baffled by the recent spat of Twitter hate emanating from NNT towards @SamHarris, @sapinker and many others. The Steven Pinker spat goes back to a 2009 NYT book review by Pinker of Malcolm Gladwell’s “What the Dog Saw”, where Pinker beats up on Gladwell (see also). Taleb, featured in the book, by then a friend of Gladwell, comes to the rescue. Pinker is surprised, Taleb doubles down. From Maclean’s 12/10/2012:

So, when the renowned Canadian-born Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker penned a critical review in The New York Times of fellow Canadian Malcolm Gladwell’s novel, What the Dog Saw, Taleb rushed to Gladwell’s defense. “I got furious. I feel loyalty for someone who does something nice for you, when you are nobody.” Taleb wrote a scathing critique of Pinker’s research in The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined. In his critique, titled “The Pinker problem,” Taleb claims Pinker’s book is riddled with errors in sampling and doesn’t “recognize the difference between rigorous empiricism and anecdotal statements.” Pinker responded with his own paper in which he writes, “Taleb shows no signs of having read Better Angels.”

NNT’s beef with Sam Harris is a little harder to track.


The debate Harris talks about, which seems to be the nexus of NNT’s beef with him, happened in 2009.
In a recent podcast, Sam Harris responded to NNT’s Tweets and shared some context.
Listen to the relevant section of the podcast

The entire debate, from La Ciudad de las Ideas 2009, full and unedited, can be found here. What follows are relevant clips from NNT and then Sam Harris.

The neuroscience papers Sam Harris refers to are:
Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief
Functional Neuroimaging of Belief, Disbelief, and Uncertainty (pdf)

Antifragility | NECSI

The program will include lessons from Taleb’s current research and his New York Times bestseller Antifragile, including:
How to spot fragility
What antifragility is
Why it is better to be antifragile than smart
How not to mistake a cat for a washing machine
Heuristics and rules to simplify life and decision making
These will be paired with insights from Yaneer Bar-Yam’s current research and book Making Things Work, drawing upon case studies from financial markets, healthcare, systems engineering, the military, and other topics. Lessons include:
What complexity is Ways to recognize and use important patterns in a complex world How to harness the power of self-organization to be naturally antifragile
How to assess the metaview
Global risks, cascading crises, and the “new normal”Participants will be part of an open discussion and will leave with tools relevant to their organizations.

Source: Antifragility | NECSI

NECSI Executive Education: Antifragility | NECSI

NECSI Executive Education: Antifragility
Antifragility: A User’s Manual
Learn to flourish in a volatile and complex world by creating “antifragile” organizations that thrive on stress and disorder. A two-day program for senior management January 21st and 22nd, 2016 Cambridge, MA
Speakers:Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Former trader,author of The Black Swan and AntifragileYaneer Bar-Yam, President and Professor,New England Complex Systems Institute
Frame:When strong winds blow, don’t build walls, but rather windmills: there is a way to turn every bit of adversity into fuel for improvement.This course introduces the principles of antifragility and complex systems science to explain how organizations and markets respond to volatility. Participants will learn which organizations can be considered fragile or antifragile, why certain patterns and trends matter while others are just noise, and how to create organizations that use volatility, variability, stress and disorder as information for making better decisions. This program does not require a math background.

Source: NECSI Executive Education: Antifragility | NECSI