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An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
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RoScience Offline
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An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
"...consider this heuristic: your work and ideas, whether in politics, the arts, or other domains, are antifragile if, instead of having one hundred percent of the people finding your mission acceptable or mildly commendable, you are better off having a high percentage of people disliking you and your message (even intensely), combined with a low percentage of extremely loyal and enthusiastic supporters."
01-29-2013 12:57 AM
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damngringo Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
This reminds me of a recent Seth Godin's post about the transformation of society in the past years. Before any gadget or theory becomes mainstream, it is first only bought / followed by what he called 'early adopters'. Internet & communication devices shifted the balance towards easier society penetration and increased number of early adopters (he also called them geeks with respect to tech stuff), and this forum is definitely an evidence of that.
01-29-2013 06:23 AM
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tenderman100 Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
(01-29-2013 12:57 AM)RoScience Wrote:  "...consider this heuristic: your work and ideas, whether in politics, the arts, or other domains, are antifragile if, instead of having one hundred percent of the people finding your mission acceptable or mildly commendable, you are better off having a high percentage of people disliking you and your message (even intensely), combined with a low percentage of extremely loyal and enthusiastic supporters."

Taleb is really describing himself here. (By the way, I corresponded with the guy awhile back).

The academic finance types hate him. Wall St. hates him (though his book on options is required reading).

If there's anyone in the intellectual world who could be called an Alpha, he is it. He is an equal opportunity despiser -- he hates politicians, financiers and VAR modelers, journalists, ties, bankers. His mode of approaching the world is one of contempt. He will tell you exactly what he thinks, and if you don't like it, tough shit.

I don't agree with all he says and writes, but goddamn it, I love the guy.
(This post was last modified: 01-29-2013 10:27 AM by tenderman100.)
01-29-2013 10:25 AM
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Wool Suit Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
I know traders who would absolutely rejoice in his untimely demise. He must be doing something right.
01-29-2013 12:02 PM
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damngringo Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
tenderman, please elaborate on your communications with the man himself.

On a side note, I've read a few condescending articles / blogs about him and his ideas, and 95% of contents were just a fucked up opinionated bullshit. Nassim Taleb is fucking brilliant
01-29-2013 12:48 PM
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WestIndianArchie Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
(01-29-2013 12:57 AM)RoScience Wrote:  "...consider this heuristic: your work and ideas, whether in politics, the arts, or other domains, are antifragile if, instead of having one hundred percent of the people finding your mission acceptable or mildly commendable, you are better off having a high percentage of people disliking you and your message (even intensely), combined with a low percentage of extremely loyal and enthusiastic supporters."

You should slog through the rest of this book, and his other big 2
1) Fooled by Randomness
2) the Black Swan

I wish someone would rewrite them without all of the attacks on institutions - basically just get to the meat of his arguments.

WIA
01-29-2013 12:59 PM
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polymath Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
I just bought his book, The Black Swan, on Amazon after seeing this thread. It seems that people all across the academic and financial spectrum are very divergent in their opinions of this guy.
01-29-2013 01:12 PM
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tenderman100 Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
(01-29-2013 12:02 PM)Wool Suit Wrote:  I know traders who would absolutely rejoice in his untimely demise. He must be doing something right.

We traded a couple of emails on "tinkering" -- for a while he was really interested in the idea of individuals doing wild stuff -- like for example, messing with fusion power in their basements.

I turned him onto this article.

http://discovermagazine.com/2010/extreme...QgSRMXDt4I

He's fascinated by the "tinkerers" who make it big -- think the continuum from Marconi, to Edison, to Jobs and Wozniak -- because it confirms his view about the continuum from skills to luck. Luck is the long tail for the few. It's the JK Rowling phenomenon -- she is a skilled writer, but is she any more skilled that some other writer who will have 1/1 millionth of the financial success she has had? That is the luck component.

I was also doing a bit of options trading at the time -- pretty conventional stuff -- and he wrote to me something I will never forget.

"You will make money until you don't."
(This post was last modified: 01-29-2013 01:24 PM by tenderman100.)
01-29-2013 01:22 PM
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BIGINJAPAN Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
Black swan is a great read. I might read it for the 3rd time at some point this year. It is a book where you have to read and re-read the same paragraph a few times to really understand what he is talking about.

I love his attitude towards the academics and institutions. He is spot on about them. Everyone has so much faith in them, but at the end of the day they have no skin in the game and just walk around spouting theories. My favourite name he has coined is Stigletz sydrome. Which is basically what I said a sentence ago. I also love how he rips on Krugman. The guy has never done anything outside of academia. At least with Taleb he has been in the pits, made a ton of money and even ran several hedge funds. Yet everyone I know who does not invest or trade quotes Krugman because of the Nobel Prize or because he is NYT columnist.

Anyways here is a great interview I watched over the weekend.



" I'M NOT A CHRONIC CUNT LICKER "

Canada, where the women wear pants and the men wear skinny jeans
01-29-2013 02:26 PM
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Caligula Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
Good interview with Taleb, though the interviewer keeps trying to show off and interrupting.

I like his exercise routine: walk 30 hours a week and lift heavy weights. For me, walking is the only way to clear my mind and get away from what other people think to connect with my own thoughts.

"A flower can not remain in bloom for years, but a garden can be cultivated to bloom throughout seasons and years." - xsplat
01-29-2013 04:03 PM
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Bill Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
I like this critic on amazon:

Quote:Sadly, Mr. Taleb sees himself as a mix between Chuck Norris and The most interesting man in the world. "I don't usually lift weights, but when I do, I'll do it better than anybody else". When Alexander Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from Nassim Taleb's cellphone.

It will be nice to see Mr. Taleb walking the walk. For example, since he makes so much money in the markets, I would love that he post his trades and predictions so we can learn more about how to exploit this system so easily as he does.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1RM53AC4A4...hisHelpful
08-11-2013 08:12 AM
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Sherman Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
I have problems seeing what is new here. It has always been well known that markets do not follow a Gaussian distribution. It was only used because it gave closed form mathematical formulas. With the advent of computers, the models have become more accurate and accounting for bigger tails. Also, Taleb's one strategy to take advantage of the Black Swan is to buy far out-of-the-money options. This is easier said then done. It would require a high tolerance for drawdown and is not a strategy for the average investor.

Rico... Sauve....
(This post was last modified: 08-11-2013 01:12 PM by Sherman.)
08-11-2013 12:45 PM
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WestIndianArchie Offline
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RE: An excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
(08-11-2013 12:45 PM)Sherman Wrote:  I have problems seeing what is new here. It has always been well known that markets do not follow a Gaussian distribution. It was only used because it gave closed form mathematical formulas. With the advent of computers, the models have become more accurate and accounting for bigger tails. Also, Taleb's one strategy to take advantage of the Black Swan is to buy far out-of-the-money options. This is easier said then done. It would require a high tolerance for drawdown and is not a strategy for the average investor.

The average investor would find a tail risk/tail event fund and put their money there.

But outside of investing, his solution for the average person was to be a cab driver versus being an office manager.

WIA
08-12-2013 12:51 PM
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