Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I was led to this Sunday Times profile of Taleb via Arts&Letters Daily.

Taleb’s view that market collapses are more sudden and extreme (though less frequent) than rises seems believable to me but is presumably easily checked from the record, (and could presumably be built into the modelling of risk if true).

On a completely different tack I was taken with his statement that “Scientists don’t know what they are talking about when they talk about religion. Religion has nothing to do with belief, and I don’t believe it has any negative impact on people’s lives outside of intolerance.” Leaving aside the rather large scope of “intolerance” as a source of negative impact, I tend to agree that for most people the adoption of even a creed-based religion has little to do with actual belief and that this is why arguments about the validity of religion often fall flat without appearing to be processed.

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