Nassim Taleb is a literary essayist, hedge fund manager, derivatives trader and professor of risk engineering at The Polytechnic Institute of New York University. But he is best known these days as the author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. During a recent visit to Wharton as part of The Goldstone Forum, he spoke with Wharton finance professor Richard Herring — who taught Taleb when he was a Wharton MBA
Nassim recently got into a battle on Twitter with Josh Barro, a journalist for The New York Times, after Barro took aim at people who “think GMOs are bad.” Business Insider has screenshots of the action.
Chapter Summary 17: We extract the effect of size on the degradation of the expectation of a random variable, from nonlinear response. The method is general and allows to show the “small is beautiful” or “decentralized is effective” or “a diverse ecology is safer” effect from a response to a stochastic stressor and prove stochastic diseconomies of scale and concentration (with as example the Irish potato famine and GMOs).
On his Facebook page, Nassim gives us the heads-up about a public lecture called Antifragility: Gaining From Volatility, Stress, and Disorder that he will be giving in Singapore on Wednesday, September 24th at the National Library. It’s free but you need to register on the library’s website to reserve your seat.
Nassim recently posted a document called “Skepticism” on Facebook.
He had this to say about it:
Something people don’t get: more skepticism about climate models should lead to more “green” ecological conservationist policies not more lax pro-pollution ones. Why? Simply, uncertainty about the models increases fragility (and thickens the left tail), no matter what the benefits can be in the right tail. Added the section to the precautionary principle. Please discuss but stick to rigor and avoid buzzwords. (Also do not think that the idea is falling from the sky: it is a mere
Nassim Taleb is starting the new academic year with a new role. Along with Charles Tapiero, Taleb will be co-director of the EXTREME RISK INITIATIVE, which is expected to develop into an Extreme Risk Institute within the NYU School of Engineering. Here is the official description from his Facebook Page:
In spite of the importance of extreme/hidden risks, there has not been a rigorous methodology to deal with them; statistical or mathematical approaches have not been formally reconciled with real-world decision-making the way engineering has traditionally integrated mathematics and real world heuristics. Extreme