Life in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Extremistan

I met Nassim Nicholas Taleb last year, briefly, at a lecture he gave on the impact of highly improbable events: Black Swans. I’m just reading his book now.

And then along came my own Black Swan.

Against all expectations, improbably yet explicably, but hopefully inconsequentially, I have been adopted as DK’s Blog Mascot.

As Taleb might point out, I shouldn’t be surprised. I didn’t expect to be in Parliament now either. Whatever next?

I just finished two other books which discuss the improbable in sociology and economics: Mandelbrot’s The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward and Dowd and Hutchinson’s The Alchemists of Loss: How Modern Finance and Government Intervention Crashed the Financial System. Combined with Popper’s critique of historicism and Postrel’s The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict over Creativity, Enterprise and Progress, these ideas may make a potent mix.

I’ll mull them over and see what comes out.

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