[Medium] How I write

(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.

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This overhyped Zone 2 must not be discrete

Natural distribution of heart rates vs that from modern life.

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).

Link to full article – https://fooledbyrandomness.com/blog/2022/10/16/this-overhyped-zone-2-training-must-not-be-discrete/

Detecting BS in Correlation Windows

S&P 500 and 10-year US Treasury Bond Rolling Correlation of Monthly Returns

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.

Link to full article – https://fooledbyrandomness.com/blog/2021/11/24/detecting-bs-in-correlation-windows/

[YouTube] Why Correlation is Unreliable

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.

[YouTube] Disinformation and Fooled by Randomness

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.

[YouTube] First Course on Fragility, Convexity, and Antifragility (Nontechnical)

A first, very introductory presentation of fragility as linked to both nonlinearity and dislike of variations. Antifragility is almost the opposite, limited to a specific range of variations.

Explains:

  • Why everything fragile must be concave.
  • The medical S curve.
  • Why harm to the climate is necessarily nonlinear in dose response.
  • How hospitals can be overcrowded unless there are redundancies.

Further discussions will be more technical.