The Nassim Taleb thread

Lion of Judah said:
If you guys want a good idea of what IQ can (and can't) tell us, I would suggest reading bloggers like Dr. James Thompson, Pumpkin Person, and Jayman. NNT doesn't have a clue when it comes to this topic....

I would tend to agree. However, I think the main reason Taleb takes such a controversial stance is because he has never been known to take moderate positions. Partly due to the fact that by nature he's a gadfly, but also intentionally because it generates controversy and gets people talking.


"So far none of the IQ-psycholophasters seem to grasp that local correlation is never correlation is the commonly understood sense. So when they say "IQ works well between 70 and 130" it means: "IQ works well between 0 and ~85, maybe"."

I think this is the underlying point in his IQ thread. You can use IQ tests to potentially identify dimwits but beyond that what conceivable difference is there between a 100 IQ and 130 IQ person? In my mind, his whole thread is about defanging IQ as an intelligible measure of any sorts and something that should be abandoned. Just as we abandoned the notion that idea that the four humors had an effect on our body and emotions.


Here's the full thread ~ https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1076845397795065856.html
 

Ocelot

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Proto Ubermensch said:
I think this is the underlying point in his IQ thread. You can use IQ tests to potentially identify dimwits but beyond that what conceivable difference is there between a 100 IQ and 130 IQ person? In my mind, his whole thread is about defanging IQ as an intelligible measure of any sorts and something that should be abandoned. Just as we abandoned the notion that idea that the four humors had an effect on our body and emotions.

A fucking massive amount, and as much as I love Taleb, if that's his "point" then he's simply wrong on this issue. Take someone with an IQ of 100, and someone with an IQ of 130, and train them both in a completely new skill that neither has encountered before. It will take the 100 IQ participant quite literally twice as long to reach the same level of proficiency as the 130 IQ one, every single time. It'll take three times as long for him to catch up to someone in the 150 range. That's a pretty big deal. I have a suspicion Taleb knows this and like you said, he's just taking this stance to get people talking.
 

Eusebius

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Really, I would have thought Taleb was above playing the "u r racist" card. Wonder if he's dosing his steroids a bit high and hitting the Lebanese vino at the same time.
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
Wutang said:
Taleb tweet storm on IQ; lots of statistical reasoning and concepts being thrown around and lots of it I can't understand (IQ too low? :banana:) but others might find it interesting

Yawn.

1 is advertisement for his books.
2 is too long, can't be bothered to read it. Is it something he wrote himself (so an ad, again) ?
3 makes a valid point, our school are totally inadapted for anybody far away from mean IQ. Most gifted individuals are left to fail, jobless, disintegrated socially, many kill themselves.
Not even talking about those too far from mean in the other direction ..
4 takes outliers as an example of something not well represented by statistics. Well duh.
5 says high-IQ people make good slaves.
It contradicts point 3, so I stopped reading there.

As to the lack of difference between 100 and 130 IQ, well, have a 130+ IQ, go live for some time among 100 IQ people, then come here to report about the pure fucking hell your life is.

Also further down the line (yeah, coulnd't resist the curiosity ..) he implies that IQ is only valid to detect morons basically ?
That settles it, he has no idea what he's talking about.
IQ as given by a test is a minimum value, there were many case studies done on this by competent people who actually care about people whose skills are left wasted and not used to better the world - as opposed to twitter trolls writing boring books.
 

Thomas Jackson

Woodpecker
^ Yep. It seems like projection because levantines score poorly and he is butthurt about it. He is a smart guy, but he is twisting himself in all sorts of knots and making numerous logical fallacies here.
 

Handsome Creepy Eel

Owl
Gold Member
Some of the countries with highest IQ in the world:

United Kingdom
Belgium
Netherlands
Canada
Germany
New Zealand
Sweden
Spain
France


In those countries, you're apt to hear and witness stupid shit of such magnitude that it rivals anything that cannibal witch doctors in rural Swaziland could come up with, such as:

There are 294 genders.
Our land doesn't belong to us.
Children must be taught to fuck each other in the ass.
Farting makes the sun shine stronger.
Dreams are proof of crime.
The best neighbors are foreigners who hate you and want you dead.
You can warm yourself by using wind.
We should invite strangers to pillage our homes.
It's an honor to send our children to die for a random tribe on the other side of the world.
If you kill your enemies, they win.


The ugly truth about IQ is that the ability to juggle triangles on a piece of paper is an amazing predictor... of the ability to juggle triangles on a piece of paper. Of cunning, common sense, wisdom, willpower, determination and numerous other factors involved in real life? Not so much.
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
Handsome Creepy Eel said:

highest mean IQ

Handsome Creepy Eel said:
In those countries, you're apt to hear and witness stupid shit of such magnitude that it rivals anything that cannibal witch doctors in rural Swaziland could come up with

You usually won't hear this from high-IQ people (unless they're propagandists).

Although it's of course possible to brainwash smart people, you just need to invest more ressources to do it (and less to undo it).

Handsome Creepy Eel said:
The ugly truth about IQ is that the ability to juggle triangles on a piece of paper is an amazing predictor... of the ability to juggle triangles on a piece of paper. Of cunning, common sense, wisdom, willpower, determination and numerous other factors involved in real life? Not so much.

Who ever said IQ was a measure of cunning, willpower, etc ?
High IQ is like a bigger engine, if you drive like shit you'll just get into the wall faster.

But yeah, maximum potential power is not a good approximation of real-life speed from A to B.
If anybody actually needed this to be explicited he probably didn't have such a powerful engine to begin with, if I may say.
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
Ok so in his tweets he says in 19 those morons have no clear definitions and/or understanding of some terms, then in 23 he says intelligence is survival.
So not only does he contradicts himself, but also this whole conversation is pointless since we are talking about different things.

Yeah you see, in serious papers the definitions are given in the beginning so that people can agree on them and know at all what we're talking about.
Fuck this guy seriously, he's wasting my time.
I'm the stupid one here though, he had wasted my time already with his black swan book, so much so that I never got around to starting antifragile.

I don't know why I always give people a second chance.
In this case probably because he does makes a couple good points, the problem is that he presents them as something revolutionary while they're not, and they're lost in a sea of useless drama.

Or more probably because so much of my time was wasted by IQ-deniers when I was young.
All of them having this one thing in common : they were not high-IQ themselves, meaning they were talking about something they had no idea about - and that's a cardinal sin, always and regardless of your IQ.

In any case I'm done with Nassim, the signal/noise ratio is just too low.
 

joost

Kingfisher
He blocked me on Twitter when I asked a simple question :)


Anyways...

I finished Antifragile and I am finishing Fooled by Randomness. [I've read Black Swan but it was when it came out. Have to read it again]

I'm grasping the concept of not "collecting coins in front of the steam roller". People tend to invest in small-margin biz, risking losing a considerable amount of their portfolio value. People underestimate risk.


Examples:

Buying "blue-chip" stocks. Even the ones who pay a healthy dividend. During a Black Swan event, the stock price can be hammered and plummet (go half in value, sometimes even less). Same can be said for real estate. It can go down in value.

A friend of mine is flipping houses in Florida. Uses $1mil to buy 3 houses to renew and sell. He makes 12% in a year. But what if another hard-to-predict event like 2007 happens? He'll blow up.


My previous investment advice was to buy 90% Dividend Aristocrats stocks, 5% in gold coins and another 5% in speculative stuff (i.e Bitcoin). You can even use Covered Calls to get extra cash/income from your stocks. It's all fine in theory but if a Black Swan appears, might get hammered and take many years to recover. Imagine your portfolio losing half its value?

Taleb's Barbell Strategy would be like 90% on the safest as possible (cash, T-notes, gold, etc). Robinhood brokerage is going to pay 3% for cash accounts, 3-month Treasuries pay 2.5%...
So in case shit hits the fan, you know you're going to have 90% of your portfolio intact.
Then you use 10% on highly speculative assets, hoping to get lucky. In his case, he uses options. He's hoping for the Black Swan to appear. A debt crisis is coming. We don't know when nor how the markets will react but it can go worse than 2007/08.

Taleb's options method is buying options on the cheap, expecting a meltdown and profiting. It might take years but it will eventually. But even if the markets don't get crushed, having liquidity is important for when a good opportunity arrives. Of course it has to be something "safe". Let's say you see a great piece of real estate? In 2001 you could buy luxury apartments in Puerto Madero (Buenos Aires) for $20k. In 2007 you could buy real estate cheaply in US. In 2014 when the Russian currency plummeted a friend of mine who was there bought Tag Heuer watches for half price in the stores and took it to UK to sell them. Recently the Turkish Lira plummeted and many UK residents went there to enjoy "cheap Hollidays" or who-knows what else...

I can go on and on but I bet you can remember a time (or many) in your life when you wish you had cash available to close a good deal. So every few years there's a chance for you to enter a nice position.

He blocked me on Twitter but I appreciate the perspective he showed me with his books. Do not underestimate risk. And be Antifragile (embrace uncertainty).
 

edlefou

Woodpecker
Wutang said:

Wutang said:
Taleb tweet storm on IQ; lots of statistical reasoning and concepts being thrown around and lots of it I can't understand (IQ too low? :banana:) but others might find it interesting

He's basically saying IQ tests measure how good you are at taking tests, not real life intelligence, which depends on street smarts or situational intelligence ("It measures best the ability to be a good slave").

He also reiterates that the field of psychology is bullshit because the research doesn't replicate and doesn't transfer well to reality.

So when you use a bullshit metric to imply racial inferiority, you're incorrect from a statistical standpoint.

HCE gets it:

Handsome Creepy Eel said:
The ugly truth about IQ is that the ability to juggle triangles on a piece of paper is an amazing predictor... of the ability to juggle triangles on a piece of paper. Of cunning, common sense, wisdom, willpower, determination and numerous other factors involved in real life? Not so much.
 

Ocelot

Kingfisher
Gold Member
edlefou said:
HCE gets it:

Handsome Creepy Eel said:
The ugly truth about IQ is that the ability to juggle triangles on a piece of paper is an amazing predictor... of the ability to juggle triangles on a piece of paper. Of cunning, common sense, wisdom, willpower, determination and numerous other factors involved in real life? Not so much.

The ugly truth about IQ is that it's the most powerfully predictive measure of human intelligence we've come up with, which is why it has the mystical power to make otherwise intelligent people get so butthurt and indulge in self-delusional bullshit like this.

Go teach a bunch of 80 IQ children how to code and then tell me they're just bad at juggling triangles, or that it's pure coincidence they all take four times as long to reach the same level of proficiency you reached after two months.

When some gameless 5'6 guy laments that the only reason he can't get laid is because he wasn't lucky enough to be born with tall genetics, we set him straight and tell him to stop making excuses, hit the gym and approach. But nobody is seriously going to pretend being tall isn't an advantage, or that it's just a coincidence that tall men tend to be viewed as more attractive by women. IQ is no different: it's not an excuse for all your failures. But it does matter. And it's heritable. Deal with it.
 
Oberrheiner said:
Ok so in his tweets he says in 19 those morons have no clear definitions and/or understanding of some terms, then in 23 he says intelligence is survival.
So not only does he contradicts himself, but also this whole conversation is pointless since we are talking about different things.

Yeah you see, in serious papers the definitions are given in the beginning so that people can agree on them and know at all what we're talking about.
Fuck this guy seriously, he's wasting my time.
I'm the stupid one here though, he had wasted my time already with his black swan book, so much so that I never got around to starting antifragile.

I don't know why I always give people a second chance.
In this case probably because he does makes a couple good points, the problem is that he presents them as something revolutionary while they're not, and they're lost in a sea of useless drama.

Or more probably because so much of my time was wasted by IQ-deniers when I was young.
All of them having this one thing in common : they were not high-IQ themselves, meaning they were talking about something they had no idea about - and that's a cardinal sin, always and regardless of your IQ.

In any case I'm done with Nassim, the signal/noise ratio is just too low.

Curious to know why you thought black swan was a waste of time? It's had a profound effect on the world (black swan is now common vernacular among investors and intellectuals)
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
Well it didn't teach me anything I didn't know before, and could have been written to be a 3 or 4 times shorter book.
I still don't understand why it's supposedly a landmark book, but I read a lot and honestly I don't even remember anything from this book.
Ah yes, I learned the english word contraption, when he talks about a friend of his who has a headset for his mobile phone if I remember correctly ?

Anyway, outliers are not a new concept.
I worked for almost two decades on safety-critical projects, and risk assessment is a thing, you know.
Now some people multiply impact by probability, some ignore probability altogether.
It's always been like that, it's nothing revolutionary - and if you ignore probability you don't have to care about black swans at all.

Why it had a profound effect on the world I don't know - but did it really ?
In my business this is basic stuff, for intellectuals well let's be honest here most of them are not very intellectual at all, and why it's new for investors I'm not sure .. although it would explain a couple of things about the finance world :)
Also when I see some reactions in the morocco beheading thread I don't exactly see strategies for immunity against black swans either, so I don't know.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
@Oberrheiner

I agree with you that Black Swan doesn't really have 'new concepts', after all, there is nothing new under the sun and Taleb himself recognizes and uses the wisdom of the ancients to analyze the modern world. His analysis is not accurate because it is new, but because it is anything but.

Is it not true that, for example, a big part of Neomasculinity if not all of it is rediscovering age-old truths and concepts that have been forgotten and abandoned, and repackaging them for a new era? I would say so, and I would say the same for Black Swan.

For me it was an eye opening book. I think the fact it was 'groundbreaking' says more about the world we live in than it says about the book itself, the fact we have forgotten basic truths and simple perspectives that the ancients took for granted.
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
Well I said it wasted my time, it does not automatically mean that it had to waste everybody's :)
The what was not new to me but yes, it may have helped others in which case it's good.
The how I found not always clear and often redundant, that's harder to see as a positive but if others found it adequate it's good too.

I won't be able to make a much stronger point on this I'm afraid, I read it 10 years ago and don't remember much if at all, but I certainly understand your point.
 
Lately the manosphere has been absolutely consumed by the IQ debate. There are a number of guys on this very forum who feel the need to mention in every single post. The worst part is how dull it all is. High IQ people tend to be nauseating blowhards who use it as a crutch to make themselves feel better.

A good example of a high IQ blowhard is Garry Kasparov, the famous chess player. Bobby Fischer called him an idiot savant I believe, lol. Excellent at chess, but an insufferable asshole in all other aspects.
 

edlefou

Woodpecker
The ugly truth is that IQ has some predictive power, but Taleb gives statistical proof that its predictive power is embarrassingly low and what it predicts is not meaningful.

Anecdotal evidence about 80 IQ children and gameless 5'6 guys doesn't disprove his statistical analysis.

Imagine this:

There's an amazing "measure" for predicting the area of a rectangle by taking the length and the width and multiplying the two together.

Many build lucrative consultancies for the military and large corporations selling this measurement methodology.

Racists/Eugenists show that certain groups of rectangles are inferior because the multiples of their widths by lengths have values that aren't as good as the multiples of the widths by lengths of certain other groups of rectangles.

However, Taleb comes along and proves that multiplying the length by the width only gives you the correct area of a rectangle only 13% to 50% of the time, and the rest of the time it gives you garbage.

Taleb's point would be that your rectangle measuring formula is not scientific and is poorly thought out.

Taleb would call you a psychometrics peddler looking for suckers and that your rectangular formula matters far less than you think, as he's shown in his analysis.

How would you prove he's wrong? Are his graphs wrong? Has he made a mathematical mistake?
 

Kid Twist

Hummingbird
Guys like Peterson and Molyneux, hardly "-ists" of any kind, and very intelligent, say it's the only social science metric that actually is scientific and reproducible. Beyond that, it fits precisely what we see in the world.

Now, is there a difference in 110-130 IQ that isn't made better by other qualities? I don't think so. My feeling is that personal and group IQ are important as thresholds. Then other qualities can rule the day in a given environment.
 
Top