TALEB: Exactly my thing. I want to separate things you do to be civilized — the liberal arts — from things you do to be effective. This is why. I do a lot of mathematics but I know I do it for pleasure, not for anything practical.
The demand is huge. People want to learn from professionals, so you may have a model of accountants teaching accountants. This person teaching that one, a significant thing you can get throughout your life rather than the block education, and then you go to the job market.
CAPLAN: Sounds like a test of common sense. I actually do have a whole separate set of common sense tests, which are interesting because common sense is something where people keep improving into their 50s, unlike IQ, where actually, at least sometimes, people are getting worse.
Very slow at the time, computing that. You push to do a lot of stuff under necessity. Necessity is the mother of invention. The stuff you do then that you learn under these pressures stay with you. It’s not like the drug addict, who loses back his faculties elsewhere.
I will tell you now I was lucky that I didn’t have a good math teacher when I was kid — I started zoning out — because then I would become a mathematician much earlier. But I’m self-taught in almost everything that I really like.
these …undergraduate later in life, age 30. Think about that model. I know because I started trading . . . I had no idea. First of all, I didn’t like school. I liked to read books. I was at these schools, and it was boring for me.