Nassim’s statement on climate models, along with Joseph Norman, Rupert Read, and Yaneer Bar-Yam. He says, “We have *only one* planet and need to learn to live with imperfection of models.”
Posted on Nassim’s facebook page.

Nassim shares his latest monograph (co-authored by Raphael Douady) and introduces his new venture in publishing at the same time:

Descartes Monographs accept only manuscripts that have been rigorously peer-
reviewed or contain material that has appeared in peer-reviewed journals or has
been sufficiently cited to merit inclusion in the series. Its aim is to “Überize”
academic publishing by cutting the middleperson and producing books of the
highest scientific quality at the most affordable price. Descartes engages in ethical
publishing, avoiding double-charging the public sector for books produced on
university time.

From his Facebook Page.

Take a look at Nassim’s Small is Beautiful: Risk, Scale and Concentration.


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). We apply the methodology to environmental harm using standard sigmoid dose-response to show the need to split sources of pollution across independent (nonsynergetic) pollutants.

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 application of the fragility theorems).

The Skin In The Game Heuristic for Protection Against Tail Events

Constantine Sandis
Oxford Brooks

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
NYU-Poly; Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne – Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne (CES)

July 30, 2013

Standard economic theory makes an allowance for the agency problem, but not the compounding of moral hazard in the presence of informational opacity, particularly in what concerns high-impact events in fat tailed domains. But the ancients did; so did many aspects of moral philosophy. We propose a global and morally mandatory heuristic that anyone involved in an action which can possibly generate harm for others, even probabilistically, should be required to be exposed to some damage, regardless of context. While perhaps not sufficient, the heuristic is certainly necessary hence mandatory. It is supposed to counter risk hiding and transfer in the tails. We link the rule to various philosophical approaches to ethics and moral luck.


dr khandee ahnaimuganBlog post today in the Huffington Post from Dr Khandee Ahnaimugan titled The Antifragile Diet:

I’ve recently read the book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It’s obviously not a diet book, but the principles in it are highly relevant to weight loss.

But first, a bit of background. We are all familiar with things that are fragile. If you drop a Ming vase from a height, it shatters. Something that is resilient on the other hand, when dropped from a height withstands stress. An example might be an iron bar.

But until now, we didn’t really have a word for something that gets stronger when it’s placed under stress. That’s why Mr Taleb coined the term “antifragile”.

A good example of antifragility is the system of airline safety. Notwithstanding a few recent tragic examples, air travel gets safer and safer every year. The reason being that every time there is a crash, the incident is scrutinised, causes are elucidated and then measures are taken to try and avoid it happening again. Every air crash makes the next one less likely.

In other words, the system is set up to respond positively to negative things. Every bad incident makes the overall system stronger.