Bryan Caplan and Nassim Nicholas Taleb on What’s Missing in Education


It’s very hard now to argue against education when we know all the empirical data — if you want to have a few minutes to explain it, or let’s say, to convince — or have all the empirical data that at the individual level, education — and that’s how I’ve called them antifragile — education, it appears that it’s good for you because it’s a great way to transmit wealth to a generation, because your children are certain to stay in middle class if you educate them.

It’s a great way, but at the level of a country, it doesn’t seem to work. In fact, it’s the reverse kind of thing. Alison Wolf’s data.

Even more interesting that people think that by educating people they’re actually transmitting knowledge instead of technique because of places like Germany and Switzerland. These places had a very low level of formal education and a huge amount of apprenticeship, and a huge amount of built-in.

The complete discussion

Conversations with Tyler

The Merchandising of Virtue


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I am a big fan of Taleb. Here is an excerpt from his new book Skin in the Game.

If your private life conflicts with your intellectual opinion, it cancels your intellectual ideas, not your private life”

Kids with rich parents talk about “white privilege” at such privileged colleges as Amherst –but in one instance, one of them could not answer D’Souza’s simple and logical suggestion: why don’t you go to the registrar’s office and give your privileged spot to a minority student who was next in line?

The complete article

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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No, Jesus was not a “NonWhite” refugee who would have voted for …


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I like the way Taleb has positioned himself – as a fearless iconoclast. Today’s needull discusses what Jesus would have looked like.

The problem with identity politics is that they are fully ignorant of, among other things, history. And they must be as blind visually as they are intellectually. How did Judeans and Galileans look like at the time of Christ? Not according to your politically driven classifications; and not according to some BS in a 2001 article in Scientific American (based on “scientific” reconstruction of facial features and skin tone from … bones). And don’t assume that Jesus would have voted for neocon hawks, Salafi regimes, rent seeking “educated” bureaucrats and state-worshipping IYIs (intellectual yet idiots) — simply, Jesus wanted a separation of the holy and the profane, (see my article here).

The complete article

Nassim Nicholas Taleb — Medium

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Taleb’s AUB commencement speech


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This is one amazing speech.

The following are no-nos:

Muscles without strength,

friendship without trust,

opinion without risk,

change without aesthetics,

age without values,

food without nourishment,

power without fairness,

facts without rigor,

degrees without erudition,

militarism without fortitude,

progress without civilization,

complication without depth,

fluency without content,

and, most of all, religion without tolerance.

The entire speech

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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