[Medium] Foreword for Cut the Knot: Probability Riddles by Alexander Bogomolny

How do you learn a language? There are two routes; the first is to memorize imperfect verbs, grammatical rules, future vs. past tenses, recite boring context-free sentences, and pass an exam. The second approach consists in going to a bar, struggling a little bit and, out of the need to blend-in and integrate with a fun group of people, then suddenly find yourself able to communicate. In other words, by playing, by being alive as a human being. I personally have never seen anyone learn to speak a language properly by the first route. Also, I have never seen anyone fail to do so by the second one.

Read the complete foreword on Medium.

Get the book on Amazon.

Nassim on CNBC Squawk Box: Global coronavirus response a case study of government incompetence and denial

In a “Squawk Box” interview, Taleb specifically pointed to the importance of coronavirus testing. While countries have improved their capacity since the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, Taleb said there has been a failure to develop quick, efficient testing at a scale that can cut off chains of transmission early. It also has the least economic cost, he said.

Link to the interview: cnbc.com/2020/11/02/…

Paper: On single point forecasts for fat-tailed variables


We discuss common errors and fallacies when using naive “evidence based” empiricism and point forecasts for fat-tailed variables, as well as the insufficiency of using naive first-order scientific methods for tail risk management.

We use the COVID-19 pandemic as the background for the discussion and as an example of a phenomenon characterized by a multiplicative nature, and what mitigating policies must result from the statistical properties and associated risks. In doing so, we also respond to the points raised by Ioannidis et al. (2020).

Link to Paper – sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/…

Nassim Taleb speaking at Business Insider Global Trends Festival 2020

Nassim Taleb portrait photo

From the website:

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an American economist, philosopher and trader of Lebanese origin. In his academic work, he focuses on issues connected with probability, randomness and uncertainty. He is a professor at the University of New York and author of bestsellers: “The Black Swan. The Impact of Highly Improbable”, and “Antifragile. Things That Gain From Disorder”. The Sunday Times has chosen “The Black Swan” as one of the 12 most important books published after World War II.

Date: 19th – 23rd October 2020
9 hours of live streaming every day
Streaming link and access code will be given within 24-48 hours before the showtime.

For tickets go to in.bookmyshow.com

Fake Regression by Psychologists

Fake Regression by Psychologists (Fooled by Randomness), Based on the paper on Trust by Nicolas Baumard

How to detect fake regressions. Never pay attention to numbers before looking at the graph.

First I show how to spot fakes in a sinister paper by Nicolas Baumard et. al. linking people’s physical traits to (un)trusworthiness.

Second, more technically, I derive the distribution of the slope between two random variables and show how one can game it.