Informational Rescaling of PCA Maps with Application to Genetics

Nassim Nicholas Taleb∗, Pierre Zalloua, and Dan Platt
∗Corresponding author, [email protected] Dec 2019

We discuss the inadequacy of covariances/correlations and other measures in L-2 as relative distance metrics. We propose a computationally simple heuristic to transform a map based on standard principal component analysis (PCA) (when the variables are asymptotically Gaussian) into an entropy-based map where distances are based on mutual information.

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The book Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails: Real World Preasymptotics, Epistemology, and Applications is finally on Amazon

Cover of Nassim's book

The book Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails: Real World Preasymptotics, Epistemology, and Applications is finally on Amazon. Click Here.

PDF freely available here – Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2020). Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails: Real World Preasymptotics, Epistemology, and Applications. RESEARCHERS.ONE,

[The Guardian] The UK’s coronavirus policy may sound scientific. It isn’t

Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Yaneer Bar-Yam

When, along with applied systems scientist Dr Joe Norman, we first reacted to coronavirus on 25 January with the publication of an academic note urging caution, the virus had reportedly infected fewer than 2,000 people worldwide and fewer than 60 people were dead. That number need not have been so high.


[Medium] Corporate Socialism: The Government is Bailing Out Investors & Managers Not You

The U.S. government is enacting measures to save the airlines, Boeing, and similarly affected corporations. While we clearly insist that these companies must be saved, there may be ethical, economic, and structural problems associated with the details of the execution. As a matter of fact, if you study the history of bailouts, there will be.


Ethics of Precaution: Individual and Systemic Risk

Ethics of Precaution: Individual and Systemic Risk
Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Joseph Norman
New England Complex Systems Institute, School of Engineering, New York University
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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.