[VIDEO] NYU Development Research Institute’s 2014 Conference | Nassim Taleb: Small is Beautiful – but Also Less Fragile

We use fragility theory to show the effect of size and response to uncertainty, how distributed decision-making creates more apparent volatility, but ensures long term survival of a system. Simply, economies of scale are more than offset by stochastic diseconomies from shocks and there is such a thing as a “sweet spot” in optimal size. We show how city-states fare better than large states, how mice and small species are more robust than elephants, and how the canton mechanism can potentially solve Near Eastern problems.

This talk was part of “Cities and Development: Urban Determinants of Success” — the NYU Development Research Institute’s 2014 Conference, hosted jointly with the Marron Institute of Urban Management. The conference touched on the role of cities in the development process.

Nassim Taleb interview with John Dawson on Bloomberg TV’s First Up for Barclays Asia Forum in Hong Kong

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professor at New York University and author of “The Black Swan” and “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder,” talks about risks created by government debt and Federal Reserve monetary policy. He speaks with John Dawson on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up” on the sidelines of Barclays Asia Forum in Hong Kong. (Source: Bloomberg)

Nassim Taleb on Richard Dawkins

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What can we learn from Mr Dawkins’ errors and misuse of probability?

Taleb’s MOOCs | Binary vs Vanilla Payoffs and Predictions: An error in the research/risk literature

“Micro-Mooc on a paper by Taleb and Tetlock (one manifestation of the LUDIC FALLACY). There are serious statistical differences between predictions, bets, and exposures that have a yes/no type of payoff, the “binaries”, and those that have varying payoffs, which we call the “vanilla”. Real world exposures tend to belong to the vanilla category, and are poorly captured by binaries. Yet much of the economics and decision making literature confuses the two. Vanilla exposures are sensitive to Black Swan effects, model errors, and prediction problems, while the binaries are largely immune to them. The binaries are mathematically tractable, while the vanilla are much less so. Hedging vanilla exposures with binary bets can be disastrous–and because of the human tendency to engage in attribute substitution when confronted by difficult questions,decision-makers and researchers often confuse the vanilla for the binary.”
The paper is here: http :// papers. ssrn. com/ sol3/ papers.cfm? abstract_id= 2284964
More general Fat Problems with Tails: http:// www. fooled by randomness. com/ FatTails. html