Uncertainty, Certainty and what to do when there is Systemic Risk

Third conversation between Nassim Nicholas Taleb & Yaneer Bar-Yam about uncertainty, certainty and what to do when there is a systemic risk; what not to do when a truck is headed your way. How acting early would have cost less? They also discuss:

  • John Ioannidis recent post “we are making decisions without reliable data”
  • Why we should make decisions without reliable data & use precautionary principles
  • How the costs would be so much smaller if we would have acted earlier.

Jan 26 Coronavirus Paper (PDF) – Joseph Norman, Yaneer Bar-Yam, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Systemic risk of pandemic via novel pathogens – Coronavirus: A note, New England Complex Systems Institute (January 26, 2020).

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Nassim explains the Kelly criterion

Nassim explains the Kelly criterion and illustrates why “risk aversion” in Behavioral Finance is Micky Mouse(™) Science.

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Foreword to Carlo M. Cipolla’s The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

‘A classic’ – Simon Kuper, Financial Times

The five laws that confirm our worst fears: stupid people can and do rule the world.

Since time immemorial, a powerful dark force has hindered the growth of human welfare and happiness. It is more powerful than the Mafia or the military. It has global catastrophic effects and can be found anywhere from the world’s most powerful boardrooms to your local pub. This is the immensely powerful force of human stupidity.

Seeing the shambolic state of human affairs, and sensing the dark force at work behind it, Carlo M. Cipolla, the late, noted professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley, created a vitally important economic model that would allow us to detect, know and neutralise this threat: The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.

If you’ve ever found yourself despairing at the ubiquity of stupidity among even the most ‘intellectual’ of people, then this hilarious, timely and slightly alarming little book is for you. Arm yourself in the face of baffling political realities, unreasonable colleagues or the unbridled misery of Christmas day with the in-laws with the first and only economic model for stupidity.