Tag Archives: David Cameron

The Facts are True, the News is Fake | Medium

The Facts are True, the News is Fake
How to Disagree with Yourself

The Ethics of Disagreement

Now let us get deeper into the application of the Silver Rule in intellectual debates. You can criticize either what a person said or what the person meant. The former is more sensational, hence lends itself more readily to dissemination. The mark of a charlatan –say the journalist Sam Harris –is to defend his position or attack a critic by focusing on some of his/her specific statement (“look at what he said”) rather than blasting his exact position (“look at what he means” or, more broadly, “look at what he stands for”), the latter of which requires an extensive grasp of the proposed idea. Note that the same applies to the interpretation of religious texts, often extracted from their broader circumstances.

(David Cameron discussion, 2009)

Nassim Taleb BBC 4 Analysis

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Downing Street guru

Episode image for Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Downing Street guru

Downing Street’s favourite intellectual is Nassim Nicolas Taleb, author of the best selling book The Black Swan.
Janan Ganesh of The Economist investigates his appeal.
Mon, 12 Mar 12
Download: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/analysis/analysis_20120312-2100a.mp3
Podcast home: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/analysis

Flight of the black swan | The Spectator

When Taleb held a public discussion with Cameron about debt two years ago, the admiration was mutual. Taleb described the then opposition leader as ‘the best thing we have left on this planet’. Even now he stands by that assessment. ‘I saw in him, then, someone who wants to rebuild society along the right model. Cameron was the first leader to grasp that deficits are dangerous.’ But this was two years ago. Our conversation moves on to what has happened since.

British economic output is forecast to grow by £100 billion over the next four years, I put it to him, but with a corresponding increase in the national debt of £360 billion. The analogy Taleb reaches for is not flattering. ‘In any Ponzi scheme, there is great growth initially,’ he says. ‘Then you have to pay it back.

’But he’s quick to add that Cameron had limited choices. ‘Debt may be necessary for a while, you don’t want to create great social disruption.’ He can talk about the economic danger of high debt, but recognises there is also political danger in austerity. ‘I try to stay outside immediate debates. I talk about structure that we should arrive at, not what should be done tomorrow morning.’

via Flight of the black swan | The Spectator.

Nassim Taleb Bloomberg 05/13/10

HatTip to EG!


NNT was also on CNBC yesterday. The interviewers get in the way somewhat but it’s worth watching.