EppsNet Archive: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Experts and Empty Suits

Our inability to predict in environments subjected to the Black Swan, coupled with a general lack of awareness of this state of affairs, means that certain professionals, while believing they are experts, are in fact not. Based on their empirical record, they do not know more about their subject than the general population, but they are much better at narrating — or, worse, at smoking you with complicated mathematical models. They are also more likely to wear a tie. — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan Read more →

2011: The Year in Books

These are the books I read in 2011, roughly in the order listed. The ratings and tags are mine. They don’t represent a consensus of opinion. Best Novel of the Year: A Fan’s Notes by Frederick Exley Best Non-Fiction of the Year: Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb My Library at LibraryThing Read more →

Monkeys on Typewriters

If one puts an infinite number of monkeys in front of (strongly built) typewriters, and lets them clap away, there is a certainty that one of them would come out with an exact version of the Iliad. Upon examination, this may be less interesting a concept than it appears at first: Such probability is ridiculously low. But let us carry the reasoning one step beyond. Now that we have found that hero among monkeys, would any reader invest his life’s savings on a bet that the monkey would write the Odyssey next? — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Fooled by Randomness Read more →