The Intellectual Yet Idiot

Matrick's picture
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Must read article by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (link below):

The Intellectual Yet Idiot

What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking "clerks" and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think... and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the "intelligentsia" can't find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren't intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities -- but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren't even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They cant tell science from scientism -- in fact in their eyes scientism looks more scientific than real science. (For instance it is trivial to show the following: much of what the Cass-Sunstein-Richard Thaler types -- those who want to "nudge" us into some behavior -- much of what they would classify as "rational" or "irrational" (or some such categories indicating deviation from a desired or prescribed protocol) comes from their misunderstanding of probability theory and cosmetic use of first-order models.) They are also prone to mistake the ensemble for the linear aggregation of its components as we saw in the chapter extending the minority rule.
The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government's role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities -- most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry.

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn't understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are "red necks" or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term "uneducated". What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: "democracy" when it fits the IYI, and "populism" when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. While rich people believe in one tax dollar one vote, more humanistic ones in one man one vote, Monsanto in one lobbyist one vote, the IYI believes in one Ivy League degree one-vote, with some equivalence for foreign elite schools and PhDs as these are needed in the club.

More socially, the IYI subscribes to The New Yorker. He never curses on twitter. He speaks of "equality of races" and "economic equality" but never went out drinking with a minority cab driver (again, no real skin in the game as the concept is foreign to the IYI). Those in the U.K. have been taken for a ride by Tony Blair. The modern IYI has attended more than one TEDx talks in person or watched more than two TED talks on Youtube. Not only did he vote for Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison because she seems electable and some such circular reasoning, but holds that anyone who doesn't do so is mentally ill.

The IYI has a copy of the first hardback edition of The Black Swan on his shelves, but mistakes absence of evidence for evidence of absence. He believes that GMOs are "science", that the "technology" is not different from conventional breeding as a result of his readiness to confuse science with scientism.

Typically, the IYI get the first order logic right, but not second-order (or higher) effects making him totally incompetent in complex domains. In the comfort of his suburban home with 2-car garage, he advocated the "removal" of Gadhafi because he was "a dictator", not realizing that removals have consequences (recall that he has no skin in the game and doesn't pay for results).

The IYI has been wrong, historically, on Stalinism, Maoism, GMOs, Iraq, Libya, Syria, lobotomies, urban planning, low carbohydrate diets, gym machines, behaviorism, transfats, freudianism, portfolio theory, linear regression, Gaussianism, Salafism, dynamic stochastic equilibrium modeling, housing projects, selfish gene, election forecasting models, Bernie Madoff (pre-blowup) and p-values. But he is convinced that his current position is right.

The IYI is member of a club to get traveling privileges; if social scientist he uses statistics without knowing how they are derived (like Steven Pinker and psycholophasters in general); when in the UK, he goes to literary festivals; he drinks red wine with steak (never white); he used to believe that fat was harmful and has now completely reversed; he takes statins because his doctor told him to do so; he fails to understand ergodicity and when explained to him, he forgets about it soon later; he doesn't use Yiddish words even when talking business; he studies grammar before speaking a language; he has a cousin who worked with someone who knows the Queen; he has never read Frederic Dard, Libanius Antiochus, Michael Oakeshot, John Gray, Amianus Marcellinus, Ibn Battuta, Saadiah Gaon, or Joseph De Maistre; he has never gotten drunk with Russians; he never drank to the point when one starts breaking glasses (or, preferably, chairs); he doesn't even know the difference between Hecate and Hecuba (which in Brooklynese is "can't tell sh**t from shinola"); he doesn't know that there is no difference between "pseudointellectual" and "intellectual" in the absence of skin in the game; has mentioned quantum mechanics at least twice in the past five years in conversations that had nothing to do with physics.

He knows at any point in time what his words or actions are doing to his reputation.

But a much easier marker: he doesn't even deadlift.

So, how many of you deadlift?

https://medium.com/@nntaleb/the-intellectual-yet-i...

Comments (101)

Nov 20, 2016
Matrick:

So, how many of you deadlift?

I don't lift. I box.

Swole ain't worth shit if you burst into tears the first time someone punches you in the face.

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Nov 20, 2016
SSits:

Matrick:So, how many of you deadlift?

I don't lift. I box.

Swole ain't worth shit if you burst into tears the first time someone punches you in the face.

I guess you're confusing strength training and bodybuilding. While one can actually help you make more people cry quicker, the other may be considered counterproductive.

Nov 21, 2016

Neck-less behemoths who body shame me for not having abs and strong people who tell me I am a (*) because I don't enough, both make me cry.

Now that we are on the topic, this article is the equivalent a bodybuilder writing an article on strength lifters, and SL's writing an article on BB's.

*cant curse on wso, am an IYI.

How is my grammar? Drop me a note with any errors you see!

Best Response
Nov 20, 2016

What heaping pile of shit. Nothing more than a baseless appeal to an emotional truth held by the author's target audience. The same audience that's moved by that tendentious bullshit is the same audience that will always be behind for simply not taking ownership of their own failures or trying to seek out an answer. They just want to feel vindicated. I'm skeptical of anyone actually moved by such self-serving confirmation bias, which amounts to mental masturbation.

Nov 20, 2016
ArcherVice:

What heaping pile of shit. Nothing more than a baseless appeal to an emotional truth held by the author's target audience. The same audience that's moved by that tendentious bullshit is the same audience that will always be behind for simply not taking ownership of their own failures or trying to seek out an answer. They just want to feel vindicated. I'm skeptical of anyone actually moved by such self-serving confirmation bias, which amounts to mental masturbation.

Why so mad?

Out of curiosity: what emotional truth of the author's target audience is this appealing to? That satirical pieces are a great way of weeding out the people who find themselves in what is being described and hence get mad?

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn't understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited.

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Nov 20, 2016

I did not know there was such thing as an emotional truth. then again, it might be my understanding which is limited

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Nov 21, 2016

It's just a bunch of disconnected sweeping generalizations that amount to little more than gibberish. I can just imagine him foaming at the mouth

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Nov 6, 2019
Going Concern:

It's just a bunch of disconnected sweeping generalizations that amount to little more than gibberish. I can just imagine him foaming at the mouth

it's cool bro you can use the hex bar

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Nov 22, 2016
ArcherVice:

What heaping pile of shit. Nothing more than a baseless appeal to an emotional truth held by the author's target audience. The same audience that's moved by that tendentious bullshit is the same audience that will always be behind for simply not taking ownership of their own failures or trying to seek out an answer. They just want to feel vindicated. I'm skeptical of anyone actually moved by such self-serving confirmation bias, which amounts to mental masturbation.

Ahah, Taleb's target audience are mostly academics or intellectual wannabes.
He's a statistician and writes mostly about that and I doubt the average Joe can understand any of it.

As for ''own failures'', well not everyone was spoonfed by rich parents into elite schools, target universities, internships and similar just to brag about deserving it all, when in reality they were given a free ride in life.

Nov 22, 2016

Are top schools and working at stereotype brothers LLC your measure of success? Please, say no.

I started out as an enlisted servicemember and that was after a few setbacks. Play the hand your dealt.

Nov 6, 2019

FUCK MALCOLM GLADWELL

Nov 20, 2016

The modern IYI has attended more than one TEDx talks in person or watched more than two TED talks on Youtube. actually had to laugh out loud at this

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Nov 20, 2016

I follow Nassim's work as he has a good amount of influential work & comes from my home country.

However I am also very careful when reading his articles/books as I noticed he tends to subscribe to the zerohedge conspiracy theories, "the world has already ended and only quantitative easing is keeping continents from collapsing"

I also noticed that he is troubled because of the civil war that he lived with his family when he was young in Lebanon. Those events seem to have left severe psychological scars that will never heal. You can see him on twitter debating stupid topics like Muslim and Christian groups and their antecessors/what led to their division and tries to forecast their actions in the future and throws blame all over the place for events that no one could control, including him when he ran away to Paris. He could have simply stayed there and fought for his beliefs instead of coming back 40 years later on Twitter.

He still is an intelligent man and developed some interesting concepts like the black swan and anti-fragility, but man he has some really stupid actions like saying "all economists are useless", gtfo.

Nov 20, 2016

"The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn't understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited"

It's very odd of you to take issue with Taleb debating Muslim and Christian identity in Lebanon. This is a very important topic in that part of the world. A Lebanese person might consider it bizzare that we still talk about slavery and Jim Crow.

Nov 21, 2016

lol dude, the last thing "that part of the world" needs, aka my home country where I lived more than Nassim who went to Paris then went on to get his American citizenship, are people like him who come back after their adventures to promote discrimination.

Please dont come randomly telling me what my home country needs except if you lived there for at least 5 years, only then you know what you're talking about

Nov 20, 2016
NassLaMenace:

I follow Nassim's work as he has a good amount of influential work & comes from my home country.

However I am also very careful when reading his articles/books as I noticed he tends to subscribe to the zerohedge conspiracy theories, "the world has already ended and only quantitative easing is keeping continents from collapsing"

I also noticed that he is troubled because of the civil war that he lived with his family when he was young in Lebanon. Those events seem to have left severe psychological scars that will never heal. You can see him on twitter debating stupid topics like Muslim and Christian groups and their antecessors/what led to their division and tries to forecast their actions in the future and throws blame all over the place for events that no one could control, including him when he ran away to Paris. He could have simply stayed there and fought for his beliefs instead of coming back 40 years later on Twitter.

He still is an intelligent man and developed some interesting concepts like the black swan and anti-fragility, but man he has some really stupid actions like saying "all economists are useless", gtfo.

I have to agree on the twitter comment. He just goes berserk on there.

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Nov 6, 2019
NassLaMenace:

I follow Nassim's work as he has a good amount of influential work & comes from my home country.

However I am also very careful when reading his articles/books as I noticed he tends to subscribe to the zerohedge conspiracy theories, "the world has already ended and only quantitative easing is keeping continents from collapsing"

I also noticed that he is troubled because of the civil war that he lived with his family when he was young in Lebanon. Those events seem to have left severe psychological scars that will never heal. You can see him on twitter debating stupid topics like Muslim and Christian groups and their antecessors/what led to their division and tries to forecast their actions in the future and throws blame all over the place for events that no one could control, including him when he ran away to Paris. He could have simply stayed there and fought for his beliefs instead of coming back 40 years later on Twitter.

He still is an intelligent man and developed some interesting concepts like the black swan and anti-fragility, but man he has some really stupid actions like saying "all economists are useless", gtfo.

He's a big proponent against (opponent to?) QE.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Nov 20, 2016

Nice read thanks. I live in the wealthiest suburb of my east coast city and this piece sounds alot like the limousine liberals I encounter 24/7. They love Hillary because she's "presidential","electable", "very qualified", and a "good person", haha

This IYI piece reminded me of the "I am a frat guy" piece someone wrote like 15 years ago. I was greek and the author is obviously a big time hater but it's still an amusing read:

I am a FRAT GUY. I live in a frat house. I go to frat parties. I fight. I especially like to fight GDIs. I think if GDIs were cool that they would have pledged a frat in the first place. I know that GDIs are jealous of my social life. I believe that I am more fun and can party harder than any GDI. I am exclusive. I run dances. I am the brains behind Spring Break. I am the reason road trips exist. I hope you enjoyed my party last Friday. I can recite the Greek alphabet before the fire of a match burns out. I can rattle off all of my founding fathers as well as my fraternity obligations, but I don't know the words to my school song or my accounting professor's last name. I don't go to class. I never study. I devise elaborate schemes to cheat on my exams. I don't buy books. I have a low GPA. I have an endless supply of doctor notes from Goddard. I am thankful that my frat buddies will get me a job after graduation because I know that I can't get one on my own. I give more than $1,000 of my parents' money in social dues each year to promote my frat's alcoholism problem. I drink because I am cool. I drink a lot because I am cooler than you. I serve alcohol to minors. I urinate in public. I do keg stands and have keg parties. I am the master at drinking games. I own you in quarters. I have never not drank in the game "I never". If I can't find my beer bong I know I can find one next door. I don't binge drink-I continually drink. I have a pre-party for the "pre-party". I can dance. I wear my letters. I billboard my frat on sweatshirts. Most of my T-shirts are frat T's from frat parties. I wear long sleeved T-shirts under short sleeved T's. I own many plaid button-downs. I tuck in the front and let the back hang out. I own one baseball hat. I live in my khakis. I wear Timberlands in the winter and sandals in the summer. Sometimes I wear sandals in the winter because I can. I drive a sport utility vehicle my dad paid for. I play with my dog in the front lawn. My hair is a mess yet totally in style. I sometimes don't shave for weeks at a time. I am vogue. Ladies love me, but more importantly, I know ladies love me. I will never commit to just one girl. I am shady. I don't care about what girls have to say. I only care about me. I am a player. I am loud and obnoxious wherever I go in public. I live in filth. I enjoy the smell of old beer in carpet. I prefer a dingy frat house to a clean apartment. I think living among rodents builds character. I leave the seat up. I can't clean up after myself. I put on a great front for parent's weekend. No one can see through me. I know every word to every song by Willie Nelson, David Alan Coe, and the Grateful Dead. I will sing them for you if I haven't picked up by nights end. I can't remember my parent's home phone number, but I do know every digit to their calling card number. I haze my pledges. I make them eat and drink things you would not imagine. I make them clean my house. I emotionally scar them for life. I abuse them physically. I make them cry. I then call them wimps. I later call them my brother if they don't de-pledge along the way. I know hell week. I am everything that is wrong in America. I am everything you wish you could be. I am a FRAT GUY.

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Nov 20, 2016

Nice!

Nov 21, 2016

TFTC

Who do you know here?

Array

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Nov 20, 2016

great post

Nov 20, 2016
belonik:

great post

Thanks

Nov 20, 2016

"They cant tell science from scientism "

"has mentioned quantum mechanics at least twice in the past five years in conversations that had nothing to do with physics."

"Why? Simply, in most countries, the government's role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities "

This. Great post!

Nov 20, 2016
iBankedUp:

"They cant tell science from scientism "

"has mentioned quantum mechanics at least twice in the past five years in conversations that had nothing to do with physics."

"Why? Simply, in most countries, the government's role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities "

This. Great post!

Thanks

Nov 20, 2016

He's obviously a smart guy, but I find his arrogance extremely overbearing. Aside from the quite blatant condescending remarks and name calling, the writing style is VERY pseudo-intellectual. He has a core point that is relatively simple, but it's dressed up in this disgustingly conceited manner. The funny thing is, I actually enjoy some of his work, but he makes it difficult for me.

I would second the above thought though that he represents a ZeroHedge like negativity. Still interesting, but can be a dangerously negative influence if not taken with this in mind.

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Nov 21, 2016

Yeah stupid person's idea of a genius.

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Nov 21, 2016
coreytrevor:

Yeah stupid person's idea of a genius.

Who genuinely thinks he is a genius?

Nov 21, 2016

this piece was designed to be inflammatory, people. I'm curious about his juxtaposition of things like GMOs, Gadhafi, Hillary, Dick Thaler, lifting, low carb diets, etc etc etc. that was a bit odd to me.

I must say that drinking with a minority cab driver and drinking with russians are both fun experiences (done em both, will do it again), but I have no idea why that might give you NNT street cred.

if it's purely entertainment, fine, power to him, but if this is an assault at pseudo-intellectualism, then maybe he ought to back it up with some empirical research, or at the very least, some anecdotes.

  1. why was removing Gadhafi a bad thing?
  2. why do you hate GMOs (or did I read that wrong and you're just using controversial topics to rile up readers)?
  3. what is misunderstood about Stalinism?
  4. why does it matter that someone hasn't read Frederic Dard?

I found myself laughing at some parts, shaking my head at others. the part about how IYIs look down upon populists, thinking they're uneducated rednecks had me laughing, the Dick Thaler criticism had me shaking my head.

and the part about deadlifting? I agree, great lift, but I hate it when powerlifters/crossfitters/bodybuilders/fucking anyone who posts about exercise on social media (save message boards where people are legitimately curious) have this holierthanthou attitude towards anyone who doesn't believe in their exercise program, get the fuck over yourself. go to the gym and then shut the fuck up about it like people used to do before social media & camera phones. unless you're training for a legitimate competition or are dropping major poundage, no one gives a fuck.

for anyone interested, here's NNT with what looks like a 305lb pull (https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5683368a0f8a...).
NNT, I'm sure the IYI would tell you all of the things wrong with your form, but that wouldn't further your agenda, now would it?

point made Bro Chih Minh, but I can't help but think this would've been better if the argument was coherent instead of a rant.

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Nov 21, 2016

I think it was mainly inflammatory to counter the alt-left, because what does quantum mechanics have to do with anything outside of physics?

Nov 21, 2016

Wait. Why was removing Gaddafi a bad thing?

Because it increased randomness. It destabilized a dangerous area and removed the only counter balance to radical Islam. Same reason why removing Saddam was bad.

NNT's last book was his best, IMO. The whole premise is incredibly simple and goes right back to what I was saying with Socrates.

1) We are all dumb
2) We don't know what we don't know
3) Mother nature and time are infinitely more wise than we are

GMO's are bad because it hasn't been proven by thousands of years. One only has to look at the flip flop in the past 50 years on what is healthy, what isn't, etc. Hence his edict on drinking things at least 1,000 years old (approximately) - coffee, tea, wine, water.

Complexity increases randomness and can increase negativity. Same reason why human efforts to reduce forest fires only increases their severity. Why the creation of the Fed, to mitigate and minimize financial swings has only magnified them.

I'll say this and leave it be. NNT has essentially devoted his life to the erudite tradition. He fully grasps and embraces the basic fact that we are all ignorant and we don't know everything. Try telling someone who is supposedly smart (i.e. went to the right schools, speaks in the right manner) that they aren't really that smart and you'll quickly understand why people hate NNT. Also why Socrates was put to death.

Nov 21, 2016

thanks for this, TNA. I've heard that argument about removing dictators, and I guess I agree that it's healthy to question the other side of things and instead of just furthering what our agenda is.

the thing about only consuming things 1,000 years old, I guess that can't really be proven because no human lives 1,000 years, but I can see why he doesn't want to try things just out of fear of negative consequences.

thanks for clarifying, perhaps I'll read his book.

Nov 21, 2016

Yeah, no worries. He talks a lot about the wisdom of grandparents an how our fetish for new leaves us vulnerable. He also has a thing about not reading anything new (not 100 years old) ha ha.

Real interesting points of view. I get why people get real upset with him, but he strikes me as someone who really hates pompous assholes who think they are smart.

NNT also really liked Trump, btw.

Nov 21, 2016
  • The creation of the fed has magnified financial swings? Prove it.
  • Can you imagine if we waited 1000 years of trial before approving medications? Asinine argument. Not saying GMOs are good or otherwise, just saying this is an awful method of proving it either way.
  • Agreed about the instability in the region but if it leads to a more sustainable model than the "oppressive despot" (of course one hopes that model is not radical Islamic theocracy) in the future then it is well worth it to take this short term pain, the key to remember is we are in the very early stages of this whole "Arab spring" thing.
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Nov 21, 2016

1) The Fed kept rates artificially low for too long and directly caused the housing bubble and subsequent collapse. This has happened in the past as well and the seeds of the next calamity have been sown by current Fed intervention. It is now thought that government intervention during the great depression actually elongated it.

2) You are reading things too literally. NNT's point is that he trusts time and nature infinitely more than human intelligence. He is not saying we need to wait 1,000 years for GMO's to be proven. He is saying that manipulating nature, something that has been proven over time, can increase randomness and potential negative outcomes.

3) You are correct and you are wrong. The point isn't that Gaddafi = good. Or that totalitarian = good. The point is that you allow nature to take its course. Instead, we inject chaos into the region instead of letting time take its course.

NNT's whole thing is a simple premise, that we cannot control something as complex as the world and economy and we should focus on as little intervention is possible, while working to make the system benefit from stress instead of becoming more fragile. Hence why TBTF is bad and why removing a dictator before his natural time comes back to bite us.

And in conclusion, a discussion doesn't benefit from "prove it". If you disagree with me, prove me wrong or at least provide me some counter arguments so I can see the other side and possible change my position. Or pick up NNT's books and read them for yourself. He goes out of his way to cite his material and include additional readings to further support his stances. This guy isn't spouting off shit without backing it up.

Nov 21, 2016

replace "creation of" with "heavy intervention in markets by" and I'm in agreement with him.

the trouble Bob is western capital markets were largely unsophisticated before the Fed, so NNT is just making a statement that can't be proven or disproven. what I wholeheartedly agree with, however, is that QE has artificially lowered volatility.

I definitely agree that the Fed should have a more laissez faire attitude towards markets, but they're deathly afraid of a recession, and because of this, they've artificially propped up asset prices and now allowed a recession or really any volatility. it makes me worry as an investor that the inevitable downturn will only be more violent.

don't believe everything they tell you about monetary policy. all things must excrete or die (as drucker once put it), that includes business, markets, etc., if things are not allowed to crash and burn, all hell breaks loose.

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Nov 21, 2016

Sometimes I want to sleep with you, and I'm a heterosexual male.

Nov 21, 2016

I'm a huge fan of Taleb, especially his writings on risk, but he just lost about 500 cool points with this asinine rant.

Sneers at the "class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education," but himself has two Sorbonne degrees, a Wharton MBA, and a Ph.D. from Dauphine. Sneers at people who haven't read obscure writers Michael Oakeshott and Ammianus Marcellinus, but misspells both their names. Sets the bar for true intellectual distinction so high, he considers Cass Sunstein (Harvard Law, leading U.S. legal scholar by number of citations) and Richard Thaler (distinguished behavioral economist at Booth) both idiots.

Why the contempt for people who don't drink white wine with steak? Anyway, the diss is on him for not knowing the correct beverage for steak is beer.

Much of the article is outright gibberish. To be sure, rants like this are somewhat common, and always, always written by a Frenchman or someone who got his education in Paris.

I think I'll skip buying Taleb's new book.

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Nov 21, 2016
ErnstBlofeld:

not knowing the correct beverage for steak is beer.

haha "correct"?? wtf...

Nov 21, 2016
adapt or die:

ErnstBlofeld:not knowing the correct beverage for steak is beer.

haha "correct"?? wtf...

Yeah I was a bit baffled by that, too. @ErnstBlofeld" - you mean the correct one for you?

Nov 21, 2016

In other news....what happened to your Rolex avatar? Have you upgraded to AP? :)

Nov 21, 2016
Sil:

In other news....what happened to your Rolex avatar? Have you upgraded to AP? :)

Pic looked shitty after they updated to a new platform (at least I think they did, not an expert on this stuff). Like AP more by now, so took the opp to switch.

Nov 21, 2016

I appreciate AP for their contribution to the watch industry, but would take a Lange any day of the week. If you like watches and have not been, take a trip to Geneva sometimes. The Maison Vacheron Constantin is a must see. I was 17 at the time (obviously unable to afford a VC), but they still gave me a private tour, a (very thick) book of VC history, and some Swiss chocolates free of charge.

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Nov 21, 2016

This is now a watch thread.

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Nov 22, 2016
UBC1995:

This is now a watch thread.

What's wrong with that?

Nov 21, 2016

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an intellectual yet idiot

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Nov 22, 2016

I know nothing of this author; however, I share some of his broad sentiments. I'm amazed--utterly shocked--how some of the most intelligent, well-educated people I know are literally Marxists or something akin to neo-Marxists. My father would call these people "educated beyond common sense."

Anecdotally, I think the unifying factor among the highly intelligent, well-educated pseudo-intellectuals is, ironically, lack of education in history. America's founding fathers, for example, while incredibly imperfect men who agreed on little, derived their governing philosophies by looking to history, allowing them to carve out an enduring legacy. I think a lot of people today on the far left (let's be honest--that's who the author is mainly talking about), anecdotally, seem to have a bizarre hole in their knowledge when it comes to history, which is why I think worldviews that appear to those of us with common sense and historical perspective as washed up, discredited ideas get recycled into what young leftists see as inspiring new ideas. While being highly educated in math, science, economics, language arts, gender studies, et al serves a good purpose, the gross lack of historical perspective causes ivory tower intellectuals to hold rather absurd worldviews that contradict their otherwise robust education.

I've maintained this for a while--if you understand finance and the principle of supply and demand, if you have a good grasp of history, if you reasonably keep up with current affairs, and if you have a pretty good grasp of Western theology (i.e. the Old and New Testament) then the world as it is, where it's been, and where it's going will be fairly illuminated. All the Ivy League degrees in the world and high intellectual horsepower can't make up for the lack of fundamental knowledge.

Nov 22, 2016

I smell an Ayn Randian coupe in the mix

Nov 22, 2016
soules9219:

I smell an Ayn Randian coupe in the mix

2 seater or 4 seater?

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Nov 22, 2016

lol

Nov 23, 2016

Coupes are either referred to as "2 seaters" or "2+2", not 4. But what am I talking about, a pleb like you would never understand. Anyway, back to listen to Tibetan psalms on Vevo with some wine.

Colourful TV, colourless Life.

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Nov 22, 2016

Found this article hilarious. I think that a lot of people miss the point; Taleb is just poking fun at people that pretend to know what they are talking about. How many times do you hear the word "Black Swan" tossed around, for example?

I don't think that this was meant to be taken seriously, the guy is attacking half of his own base. He's attacking people that read one article or watch one documentary, and instantly become "experts".

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Nov 22, 2016

100 points go to @zerojb34

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Dec 7, 2016

I deadlift 405 lbs for reps. NNT better start asking me for advice.

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Dec 9, 2016

Conventional or sumo?

Dec 9, 2016

Conventional.

Dec 9, 2016

only if your chalk is GMO free and your bumper plates are either Che, Stalin, Gaddafi, Saddam, or otherheadofstatewithgreatmustache

Dec 9, 2016

TL;DR

All I got was - people foaming over this read and then some senior member hijacked the thread to watches.

Dec 9, 2016

Btw if you ever read Taleb's Black Swan, you'll probably understand more of his line of reasoning.

He criticizes over-reliance on so called ''empirical evidence'' at the expense of lack of interest in the discovery of the unknown. Thus much of academic research is a monotonous tautology perpetrated by peer reviewing.

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Nov 5, 2019

Say what you want about Taleb, but the guy sure knows how to hand out some mean backhands.

Omnia facit Voluntas - Will alone suceeds

Nov 5, 2019

What I want to say about Taleb is that he's exactly the person he was describing in the originally quoted article. A pseudo-intellectual who had one good idea and has been riding it for years. His theories require no empirical evidence or rigorous examination and his support for them has been increasingly weak. The concept of a Black Swan event was a great insight, if a bit of a truism. Everything he's written since (or everything I've read, since I haven't read his entire corpus of published literature) has been anywhere on the spectrum from barely intelligible babble to dogshit.

Nov 6, 2019

what have you read by him since the black swan that's barely intelligible or bullshit? yes, he's an arrogant blowhard on twitter, but he's also rarely wrong.

his argument about empiricism is tough to grasp, I grant you, but stay with me here. empirical data can be disproven. is he wrong for questioning all empirical data? maybe, but in his way of thinking (see my below response to goldie) empirical data can be manipulated to tell a narrative, new data can completely disprove it so he'd rather hang back and watch the world play out, all while minimizing his risk of ruin.

also, in terms of his theories needing no empirical proof, mark spitznagel has a 4 part piece proving that his tail hedging theory actually does work, empirically. take a look: https://www.universa.net/riskmitigation.html
finally, no one is saying you have to agree with him, but to call him incorrect is just false.

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Nov 5, 2019

What is the "conservative" Charlie Kirk actually conserving?

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
Nov 6, 2019

i do a lot of vocab googling when i read taleb he has a good goatee. good goatee, good man

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Nov 6, 2019

I deadlift but not as much as I used to since I kinda messed up my back.

Nov 6, 2019

don't give up on it, I had a terrible QL muscle tear a few years back and am back better than ever. get your mobility right, focus more on form than poundage, and work back slower than you think is necessary, you'll be fine long term, just takes a LOT of time.

Nov 6, 2019

Thats good input. For me it's just getting over the hurdle of the first few weeks of doing it consistently cus its just like stressful worrying that something might happen again even tho it probably won't and deadlifting wasn't the cause of my injury anyways.

Nov 6, 2019
Comment

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Nov 6, 2019
Comment

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Nov 6, 2019
Comment

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

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