Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Self-Education and Doing the Math (Ep. 41 — Live at Mercatus)

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Mercatus Center
May 23, 2018 · 32 min read

On the Greeks and the Maronites

On learning to be meaningful

We understand that we’re not in here to eat mozzarella and go to Tuscany. We’re not in here to accumulate money. We’re in here mostly to sacrifice, to do something. The way you do it is by taking risks.

On things fragile and antifragile

All of them — Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Romania — all of them, in fact, improved through the [Post-Soviet] phase. Currently, it makes me believe that they could take another economic crisis, any crisis, and survive. They have proved the ability to survive. I’m not sure France can manage tomorrow the same disruption.

On wisdom

I tried to have a Twitter fight with a fellow because usually Twitter fights, number one, makes you look forward to sitting down and opening your computer.

And it kills time like nothing. But no one will engage me any more.

On cryptocurrencies and AI

On social media

Social media is bringing us back to a naturalistic environment because, say, in Athens, what was the newsroom?

The newsroom was the barbershop — you go in, you give information, and you take information. Or a fish market — you go in, you get fish, you get information and give information. And funerals, where you go in and chat, fake like you’re crying, and then you’re getting all the gossip.

We’re gossip machines. Social media is great in that respect. I love it.

On the Nassim Nicholas Taleb production function

Read as much as you can, and try to get the lowest possible passing grades you can at school.


Conversations with Tyler

A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today's most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

Mercatus Center

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The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas.

Conversations with Tyler

A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today's most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.