November 18, 2010
So I’ve taken a look at the excerpts from Taleb’s new book. Now that I’m working for the Greek goddess of heroic endeavours, it’s nice to see some Greek mythology in Taleb’s work. I’ve been a fan since a colleague recommended Fooled by Randomness in 2003. His work has always had a strong epistemological flavour, and he’s done more than most to popularise the work of Karl Popper – the originator of the Black Swan metaphor – which is no bad thing. From Taleb’s new material it appears he’s becoming a full time philosopher, no doubt because he’s achieved financial independence !
One of the aphorism’s Taleb presents in his new material is “the person you are most afraid to contradict is yourself.” The sentiment is not original, and I think better expressed by Emerson: “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of narrow minds.”
Or to modernise Emerson’s language: “consistency is the virtue of a narrow mind.”