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Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “In practice, randomness is fundamentally incomplete information.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “We should ban banks from risk-taking because society is going to pay the price.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Many people labor in life under the impression that they are doing something right, yet they may not show solid results for a long time. They need a capacity for continuously adjourned gratification to survive a steady diet of peer cruelty without becoming demoralized.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Men destroy each other during war, themselves during peacetime.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Technothinkers tend to have an “engineering mind” – to put it less politely, they have autistic tendencies. While they don’t usually wear ties, these types tend, of course, to exhibit all the textbook characteristics of nerdiness – mostly lack of charm, interest in objects instead of persons, causing them to neglect their looks. They love precision at the expense of applicability. And they typically share an absence of literary culture.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “The payoff of a human venture is, in general, inversely proportional to what it is expected to be.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “It has been more profitable for us to bind together in the wrong direction than to be alone in the right one. Those who have followed the assertive idiot rather than the introspective wise person have passed us some of their genes. This is apparent from a social pathology: psychopaths rally followers.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Capitalism is about adventurers who get harmed by their mistakes, not people who harm others with their mistakes.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “For an idea to have survived so long across so many cycles is indicative of its relative fitness. Noise, at least some noise, was filtered out. Mathematically, progress means that some new information is better than past information, not that the average of new information will supplant past information, which means that it is optimal for someone, when in doubt, to systematically reject the new idea, information, or method. Clearly and shockingly, always. Why?”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Self-contradiction is made culturally to be shameful, a matter that can prove disastrous in science.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “The best way to verify that you are alive is by checking if you like variations. Remember that food would not have a taste if it weren’t for hunger; results are meaningless without effort, joy without sadness, convictions without uncertainty, and an ethical life isn’t so when stripped of personal risks.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “The story of the wheel also illustrates the point of this chapter: both governments and universities have done very, very little for innovation and discovery, precisely because, in addition to their blinding rationalism, they look for the complicated, the lurid, the newsworthy, the narrated, the scientistic, and the grandiose, rarely for the wheel on the suitcase. Simplicity, I realized, does not lead to laurels.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Don’t complain too loud about wrongs done you; you may give ideas to your less imaginative enemies.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Pure generosity is when you help the ingrate. Every other form is self-serving.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “This is hard to accept in the age of the Internet. It has been very hard for me to explain that the more data you get, the less you know what’s going on, and the more iatrogenics you will cause. People are still under the illusion that “science” means more data.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “The best way to measure the loss of intellectual sophistication – this “nerdification,” to put it bluntly – is in the growing disappearance of sarcasm, as mechanic minds take insults a bit too literally.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Learn to read history, get all the knowledge you can, do not frown on the anecdote, but do not draw any causal links, do not try to reverse engineer too much – but if you do, do not make big scientific claims.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “In the United States large corporations control some members of Congress. All this does is delay the corporation’s funeral at our expense.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Characteristically, Samuelson intimidated those who questioned his techniques with the statement “Those who can, do science, others do methodology.” If you knew math, you could “do science.” This is reminiscent of psychoanalysts who silence their critics by accusing them of having trouble with their fathers.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “The problem is that our ideas are sticky: once we produce a theory, we are not likely to change our minds...”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Mother Nature does not develop Alzheimer’s – actually there is evidence that even humans would not easily lose brain function with age if they followed a regimen of stochastic exercise and stochastic fasting, took long walks, avoided sugar, bread, white rice, and stock market investments, and refrained from taking economics classes or reading such things as The New York Times.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “I don’t read the papers; I stopped reading the papers. I read the papers only during periods of crisis, and I think papers are too long on a regular day and too short days when we have a crisis.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “The only definition of rationality that I’ve found that is practically, empirically, and mathematically rigorous is the following: what is rational is that which allows for survival. Unlike modern theories by psychosophasters, it maps to the classical way of thinking. Anything that hinders one’s survival at an individual, collective, tribal, or general level is, to me, irrational.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Also, it’s good to have more than one profession, in case your own profession goes out of style. A Wall Street trader who’s also a belly dancer will do a lot better than a trader who winds up driving a taxi.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “It takes a huge investment in introspection to learn that the thirty or more hours spent “studying” the news last month neither had any predictive ability during your activities of that month nor did it impact your current knowledge of the world.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Mother Nature did not attend high school geometry courses or read the books of Euclid of Alexandria. Her geometry is jagged, but with a logic of its own and one that is easy to understand.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “We are social animals; hell is other people.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “History is opaque. You see what comes out, not the script that produces events, the generator of history.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Someone who has been employed for a while is giving you strong evidence of submission.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “I repeat that we are explanation-seeking animals who tend to think that everything has an identifiable cause and grab the most apparent one as the explanation. Yet there may not be a visible because; to the contrary, frequently there is nothing, no even a spectrum of possible explanations.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Two weekends in Philadelphia are not twice as pleasant as a single one – I’ve tried.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Modernity starts with the state monopoly on violence, and ends with the state’s monopoly on fiscal irresponsibility.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “It is not what you are telling people, it is how you are saying it.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “During a radio interview, when I tried explaining to the journalist the nuance and the difference between the two statements I was told that I was “too complicated”; so I simply walked out of the studio, leaving them in the lurch. The depressing part is that those people who were committing such mistakes were educated journalists entrusted to represent the world to us lay persons.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “But they never notice the following inconsistency: this so-called worst-case event, when it happened, exceeded the worst case at the time.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “The bonus for bankers fragilizes the system. Someone has the upside at the expense of others.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “For if you think that education causes wealth, rather than being a result of wealth, or that intelligent actions and discoveries are the result of intelligent ideas, you will be in for a surprise. Let us see what kind of surprise.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Modernity widened the distance between the sensational and the relevant.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “To be genuinely empirical is to reflect reality as faithfully as possible; to be honorable implies not fearing the appearance and consequences of being outlandish.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “We favor the sensational and the extremely visible. This affects the way we judge heroes. There is little room in our consciousness for heroes who do not deliver visible results – or those heroes who focus on process rather than results.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “You can define a free person precisely as someone whose fate is not centrally or directly dependent on peer assessment.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Effectively, there is no democracy without such an unconditional symmetry in the rights to express yourself, and the gravest threat is the slippery slope in the attempts to limit speech on grounds that some of it may hurt some people’s feelings. Such restrictions do not necessarily come from the state itself, rather from the forceful establishment of an intellectual monoculture by an overactive thought police in the media and cultural life.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Modernity’s double punishment is to make us both age prematurely and live longer.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Never hire an academic unless his function is to partake of the rituals of writing papers or taking exams.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “If the student is smart, the teacher takes the credit.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Further, my characterization of a loser is someone who, after making a mistake, doesn’t introspect, doesn’t exploit it, feels embarrassed and defensive rather than enriched with a new piece of information, and tries to explain why he made the mistake rather than moving on. These types often consider themselves the “victims” of some large plot, a bad boss, or bad weather.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “Organisms need, to use the metaphor of Marcus Aurelius, to turn obstacles into fuel – just as fire does.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “I will repeat the following until I am hoarse: it is contagion that determines the fate of a theory in social science, not its validity.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “At the end, what matters is the strength of the string – not the wealth and power of the dining party.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quote: “A word on the display of emotions. Almost no one can conceal his emotions. Behavioral scientists believe that one of the main reasons why people become leaders is not from what skills they seem to possess, but rather from what extremely superficial impression they make on others through hardly perceptible physical signals – what we call today “charisma,” for example. The biology of the phenomenon is now well studied under the subject heading “social emotions.”
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