Nassim Taleb Nature Debt And Redundancy

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Prime Numbers Infinite - Euclid Proof

Euclid's Proof - Prime Numbers are Infinite - Found this on Burton MacKenzie's blog post Prime Motivation. I marveled at the simplicity of the Euclid's proof that there are an infinite number of prime numbers-- or more precisely, that there cannot be a largest prime number. The bonus is the Euclid proves this point by assuming there is a finite number of prime numbers. Actually, as I think about it, the only way to prove anything is to structure the hypothesis in such a way that it's antithesis can be disproved. Nassim Nicholas Taleb got into the in his book The Black Swan. Below is Burton's summary of the proof.

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Absence of Evidence? - Or Evidence of Absence?

There's a difference between an absence of evidence, vs. evidence of absence.

A medical test is performed on a person and comes out positive for cancer. The doctor presents this diagnosis and prescribes medical treatment. After the treatment is completed, the test is run again. This time the test comes out negative, the test offers an absence of evidence for cancer.

However, after the test results the doctor will sometimes say: "You are cancer free!" That declaration suggests the test is evidence for an absence of cancer. It is not. The tests are an absence of evidence for cancer. What?


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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - IBM Talk

Nassim Nicholas Taleb joined a discussion at IBM about his book The Black Swan. Here are my notes from the discussion. I've added my own comments and explanations (based on his books).

As an author, Taleb tries to be universal and not customize his message to the audience. (I think he's talking about the ideas he's espousing, not the method of communicating. Your communication style HAS to consider the audience or your won't be heard.)


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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - On Human Memory

Nassim Nicholas Taleb On Human Memory - Read a passage in Taleb's Fooled by Randomness that connects very will with the main thrust of Edward de Bono.

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Investment Advice

In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb teases us with the idea that we can take advantage of black swan events in our life and in our investments. I say tease because he's very short (pardon pun) on specifics in my reading. I want to try to flesh out the ideas as best I can.


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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Links

Opacity
"Quick Notes and Comments in the Old Style (not a blog, mostly a scratchpad for comments related to my work-in-progress & answers to some readers; basically working notes I don't end up putting in my book) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb."
NPR : 'Black Swans' and the Problems of Probability
Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses his theory about events he calls "Black Swans" occurrences that seems to be totally impossible. In his new book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Nassim explains how to understand the structure of uncertainty.
Arlene Goldbard - Blog Archive - My New Crush
"Meet Nassim Taleb, a thinker who just might clash with the furniture. Since I discovered him a few days ago, I've been downloading, ordering books and listening to podcasts. Go to EconTalk for the best podcast, Taleb's Web site for links to most everything, and Wikipedia for an overview." This woman has some very intelligent things to say about Taleb's ideas. Well worth reading.

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Website is a Mess

Don't judge this man by his mess of a website. I realize he's probably not online much, but his website is an almost indecipherable scratch pad.

Fair to say, many parts of my site are indecipherable.

Wish Taleb had a better system of content management on this site. He might do well with PmWiki...though it may be a little too geeky for him...On the other hand, if he's been using any HTML to code the pages of his site, he'd definitely find the wiki syntax a lot easier.

I'm considering building a damn website that sorts out all the links on Taleb's site. Probably not worth the effort, though. I have a feeling he takes some delight in the frustration it causes. Kinda how a writer might find the mess of papers on his desk somehow comforting.

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Interview by Russ Roberts

My notes from interview Russ Roberts had with Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb & Russ Roberts - Listened to a fascinating interview on EconTalk between Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Russ Roberts. Roberts (the interviewer) does a terrific job drawing out Taleb and clarifying the randomness expert's unconventional ideas and arguments.

Listening to Taleb is like watching a magician. His thought experiments and arguments seem like a slight of hand, and I'm often surprised by their conclusions. Makes for a wonderfully satisfying discussion. Roberts, again, doesn't let anything pass without getting clarity from Taleb.

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Had Nassim Taleb been born in any other period, he would have certainly been put to death.
~ Carine Chichereau, co-translator of TBS.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is one fascinating guy. His two books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable have been sooooo thought provoking AND entertaining.

I read both in the span of a couple weeks (way too fast) and am now reading each again. The concepts are deceptively simple on the surface...and then so deep. Their counter-intuitive nature makes it hard to grasp their significance in a 30-second sound bite.

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Fooled by Randomness - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb - Nassim Nicholas Taleb has written a mind-blowing book! Totally contrarian and terrifically clear in explaining the fallacies followed by journalist, investors, traders and, sadly, many scientists.

Example: Failing to notice the difference between probability and expectation, famous commodity trader/investor Jim Rogers made this astounding statement.

"I don't buy options....90 percent of all long options lost money." ~ Jim Rogers

Rogers confused probability with expectation.

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Black Swan - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Had Nassim Taleb been born in any other period, he would have certainly been put to death.
~ Carine Chichereau, co-translator of TBS.

Black Swan and Nassim Taleb - Listened to Nassim Taleb on KQED's Forum program, and the ideas about randomness and luck drove me to his recent book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.

A read it once, then started over, this time going a bit slower, trying to commune with his counter-intuitive ideas and wonderfully illustrative thought experiments. This books is such a colorful pallet of ideas that somehow connect without falling into a grand theory or trite advice. Indeed, that's part of the Taleb's message in The Black Swan. That theories are contrived and can lead us to a false sense of security or doom. Skeptical empiricism reigns over theory, narrative, and other often misguided simplifications.

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