On The Cluster of Charlatans, Zero Interest Rate Virgins, & Crypto Tumors Interview with Laeticia Strauch-Bonart in L’Express (French magazine), translated.
Last year, 2022 was not of much respite for cryptocurrencies. While bitcoin has lost more than 60% of its value, the entire sector is in crisis, punctuated by various bankruptcies such as those of Terra and FTX. The phenomenon is the consequence, according to scholar and former trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb, of the low-interest rate “Disneyland” economy in which we have been living for fifteen years. A “cluster” was formed: Pro-putin, climate and Covid deniers, carnivores, and crypto culties, that Taleb, a former crypto hopeful but a fierce opponent since 2021, has decided to attack head-on.
Ms Nina Ticholz backed up her saturated fat propaganda with a major paper showing that saturated fats don’t cause cardiovascular disease that was “ignored by mainstream media”. It turns out the paper shows the opposite of what she claims. I show how to read risk ratios, confidence intervals, etc.
(Preface to the 15th year Italian edition of The Black Swan)
Imet Luca Formenton, Saggiatore’s capo twenty years ago, in April 2002, in the eternal city, in a mozzarella bar-terrace near the parliament. I spoke in highly ungrammatical Italian; he addressed me in impeccable English, a practice we have sort of maintained for twenty years. That was the period when I very badly wanted to satisfy my failed childhood dream to produce literature, but everything conspired to stop me from partaking of that highly protected genus.
Heart rates must be Lognormal in distribution. Simply, it is not possible to have a negative heart rate and at low variance (and a mean > 6 standard deviations away from 0), the lognormal behaves like a normal.
Incidentally I failed to understand from San-Millan’s paper(s) the 2 mmol lactate threshold claimed in the podcast with Petter Attia and elsewhere. I don’t see a threshold. Even for athletes (top graph below) there is a mix outside asymptote (Lactate >5 mmol becomes 0 fat oxidation).
Financial theory requires correlation to be constant (or, at least, known and nonrandom). Nonrandom means predictable with waning sampling error over the period concerned. Ellipticality is a condition more necessary than thin tails, recall my Twitter fight with that non-probabilist Clifford Asness where I questioned not just his empirical claims and his real-life record, but his own theoretical rigor and the use by that idiot Antti Ilmanen of cartoon models to prove a point about tail hedging. Their entire business reposes on that ghost model of correlation-diversification from modern portfolio theory. The fight was interesting sociologically, but not technically. What is interesting technically is the thingy below.
A case study in non-replicability of a medical paper. I discuss it with Dr. Fouad Fayad from U.S.J. in Lebanon. Details are in Retraction Watch.
Apparently, the only reply to his case by the study’s lead author is of the fact-free data-free sort “he doesn’t like me” which does not appear to have a statistical explanation.
Note: Retraction Watch did a great job presenting facts, and the attempt to retaliate against Dr. Fayad. Note that the 4 expert reports were not attached. Also, note that the paper violated FDA rules (and those of the corresponding European agency).
At the 2022 Greenwich Economic Forum-Miami, Black Swan author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why correlation is unreliable as a due diligence tool. Coming as it does during an ongoing pandemic and in the middle of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Taleb also discusses Wars and Pandemics and puts them into their proper risk buckets.
We are not naturally good at dealing with information.
Disinformation artists confuse you by focusing on noise over signal by playing on saliency, the same effect as the one discussed in Fooled by Randomness. We mistake the particular for the general, details for the ensemble, and noise for signal –all from the same mental bias.