#### MOOCs

What can we learn from Mr Dawkins’ errors and misuse of probability?

## Nassim Taleb on Richard Dawkins

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“Micro-Mooc on a paper by Taleb and Tetlock (one manifestation of the LUDIC FALLACY). There are serious statistical differences between predictions, bets, and exposures that have a yes/no type of payoff, the “binaries”, and those that have varying payoffs, which we call the “vanilla”. Real world exposures tend to belong to the vanilla category, and are poorly captured by binaries. Yet much of the economics and decision making literature confuses the two. Vanilla exposures are sensitive to Black Swan effects, model errors, and prediction problems, while the binaries are largely immune to them. The binaries are mathematically tractable, while the vanilla are much less so. Hedging vanilla exposures with binary bets can be disastrous–and because of the human tendency to engage in attribute substitution when confronted by difficult questions,decision-makers and researchers often confuse the vanilla for the binary.”

The paper is here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2284964
More general Fat Problems with Tails: http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/FatTails.html

## Taleb’s MOOCs | Binary vs Vanilla Payoffs and Predictions: An error in the research/risk literature

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Micro Mooc #3. The law of large numbers is the most important thing in life and science. It is the basis of epistemology and problem of induction. How many observations do you need to know if something is true? We get into the plumbing and show how it is too slow under fat tails. This is a simplified (but technical) presentation of a segment of “Probability and Risk in the Real World”, the Technical Companion for The Black Swan http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/FatTails.html

## Taleb’s MOOCs | Law of Large Numbers and Fat Tails (Note #3)

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A quick tutorial introducing the idea of Fat Tails in about 8 minutes, as simply as possible. Fat Tails make us understand the world much less than we think; they make much of the quantitative results in social “science” anecdotal (or worse, negative information).

The main (more complicated) text is at http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/FatTails.html

## Taleb’s MOOCs | Mini Tutorial 1, Fat Tails Simplified in 8 1/2 minutes

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A definition of fragility from Part V of Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and technical papers. This is simplified.

## Taleb’s MOOCs | A General Definition of Fragility (Note #2)

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This starts a series of micro Moocs. The aim is an intuitive discussion of technical points in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Antifragile. Sort of Video footnotes.