Tag Archives: Frank Knight

Genealogy of the Ideas in The Black Swan


Making clear the genealogy of the ideas in The Black Swan (and the INCERTO) and earlier research, philosophical and mathematical traditions: for instance, there is NO link between the philosophical idea of skepticism and the mathematics of fat tails (or even the concept of fat tails as seen in consequence space).Because of lack of erudition (typical of economists), and an overriding desire to simplify, some say about the INCERTO “nothing new, Hume did that” (not only wrong, but Hume was rephrasing Bayle’s ideas), other imbeciles say this is just “Mandelbrot” (not realizing fat tails originate with Pareto and Mandelbrot was “gray swans” not black ones), others attribute the idea to “Frank Knight” (who missed both fat tails and skeptical philosophy), others “Kahneman-Tversky” (limited, according to Daniel Kahneman to thin tails), etc. This chart makes it clear. Incidentally people who know little tend to make statements overestimating similarities and eradicating differentiation: “Tolstoy? Nothing special. Just a novel in Russian. Dostoevsky did that”.For comments as there may be connections to improve.

via Timeline Photos – Nassim Nicholas Taleb.