Tag Archives: Umberto Eco

Violence Under Fat Tails, Enemies of the Good, Real World Risk, Umberto Eco | Facebook

We finally summarized both our violence paper and our methodology for “Fooled by Randomness” under fat tails. We explain in the simplest possible terms what is noise and what is “significant” and why journos such as Pinker are fooled by “drops in violence”. (3/2/16)

The file is at:

Background: one economist, Michael Spagat, commented on us vs. Pinker in a journal called significance, making eggregious errors of significance. The mean NEEDS to include the tails.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's photo.


1) Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison (a la Tony Blair, used public office for subsequent enrichment; the reverse is far better; agent of the crony clepto-bureaucrato Washington order. Unlike overt corruption, this insidious form (legal not ethical) is the most morally damaging to our fabric).

2) The Wahabi regime of Saudi Barbaria and their friends.

3) Agrochemical and pharma shills.

4) People increasing rather than decreasing ruin problems while claiming to “help”, i.e., with enough pseudoknowledge of probability to cause damage (a la Cass Sunstein who find it irrational for people to worry about ruin)… (2/29/16)

Apparently we did OK with our inaugural Real World Risk Mini-Certificate. Five days of lecturing.

We managed to drill the essence of the problems with graphs only, with examples and concepts, no equations. And it worked! For instance, Zari Rachev who was the doctoral student of the great Kolmogorov was simpler than any lecturer I have ever seen on probability, could get points simple enough for school students.

I lectured a bit more than 6/10, but most other instructors were present in debates, with constant commentary from Robert Frey and teasing from Raphael Douady. At many times the discussions were like stand-up comedy.

I focused in my part in showing that almost all of probabilistic decision problems, convexity (antifragility) and all can be linked to a simple logical asymmetry that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and how the point gets lost as people become semi-sophisticated. From that you get almost everything in a tight systematic view.

This is the first time I’ve worked hard in 15 years. I realized the trick: had no coffee. It works.

The next seminar is June 6.


[NOTE We are assuming that given that these comments were on public sites (Twitter) we do not need the hassle of the permission/approval process. But if the author objects we would remove immediately.] (2/27/16)

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's photo.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb's photo.

Today a big chunk of erudition, curiosity, imagination, and intellectual playfulness has left the planet.
Rest in Peace, Umberto Eco. (2/20/16)

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's photo.

Umberto Eco, Yiddish Proverbs, Citi, John Gray, Popper, Hayek, Bryan Appleyard, Flaneuring | Twitter

@nntaleb RIP, Umberto Eco
Ad vitam aeternam Permalink 4:09 PM – 19 Feb 2016

@nntaleb The reason we decided to not respond to this idiot.
@nickgillespie pic.twitter.com/h4eIZfvpid Permalink 2:45 PM – 19 Feb 2016

@nntaleb The Qatari/Saudi-funded BS promoted by Obamistic bureaucrats we hear about the Syrian opposition:
http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/02/18/the-media-are-misleading-public-syria/8YB75otYirPzUCnlwaVtcK/story.html   Permalink 1:27 PM – 19 Feb 2016

@nntaleb كذب المنجمون ولو صدقوا https://twitter.com/YiddishProverbs/status/700791249624821762   Permalink 1:19 PM – 19 Feb 2016

@nntaleb Has the Market Crash Only Just Begun? http://bloom.bg/1XxEO0X   via markets Permalink 11:18 PM – 18 Feb 2016

@nntaleb Citi is a periodically bankrupt utility. #noskininthegame

Citigroup Increases Corbat’s Pay 27% to $16.5 Million http://bloom.bg/1mKMdws   Permalink 5:13 PM – 18 Feb 2016

@fjechandi One pager on #fragilitylogic by @nntaleb at the @bankofengland’s #onebank seminar launch. pic.twitter.com/pi25ILnTAX Permalink 11:01 AM – 18 Feb 2016

@BryanAppleyard John Gray and @nntaleb compose a tweet pic.twitter.com/KFZZRWJE1h Permalink 1:37 PM – 17 Feb 2016

@nntaleb John Gray knew Popper & Hayek: Popper got angry & Hayek was indifferent with criticism for same reason: they were both knew they were right Permalink 1:40 PM – 17 Feb 2016

@nntaleb john Gray and @BryanAppleyard will next explain why Guinness is better in UK and Ireland than U.S. pic.twitter.com/pkJ8uIKZnZ Permalink 12:52 PM – 17 Feb 2016

@nntaleb Philosopher John Gray & @BryanAppleyard fixated on a piece of lamb in anotherwise quite abstract discussion. pic.twitter.com/4X8RorlYLj Permalink 11:51 AM – 17 Feb 2016

@nntaleb Flaneuring in London, seeing the minority rule: stores organic or halal. GMOs are dead.
http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/minority.pdf   pic.twitter.com/w2paMA4zCh Permalink 7:53 AM – 17 Feb 2016

What unread books can teach us

‘The Unread books are where the action is. The writer Nassim Taleb approvingly calls such a collection an “antilibrary”; one’s shelves, he argues, should contain “as much of what you do not know” as finances allow. And don’t expect the proportion of unread books to fall, either. The more you read, the more the perimeter of your knowledge increases, and the more you’ll realise you don’t know. (Incidentally, Eco’s deadpan response to his visitors’ question is, “No, these are the ones I have to read by the end of the month. I keep the others in my office.”)

Source: What unread books can teach us
HatTip to Dave Lull