Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Author Of Fooled By Randomness And The Black Swan - Gives A Speech To The Long Now Foundation

Taleb talks about human fallacies and our attempts to use mathematics in dangerous ways and with false precision in this recent speech he gave to The Long Now Foundation. The speech is called "A Crazier Future." It is really an enjoyable to give you depth around the basic views of The Black Swan concepts.

I think my favorite aspect is his well worn use of his turkey metaphor (a thanksgiving turkey spends 1000 days believing a farmer has its best interests in mind - food, shelter, etc. - and then in one fell swoop: black swan). Particularly his point that when you swivel views, from the turkey to the farmer, everything about the perception of the event changes.

TILB is fond of a picture we have in New Zealand where we are posing with an actual black swan on the shores of a giant lake on the North Island. Our photo pre-dates The Black Swan, but trails Fooled By Randomness where Taleb first popularized the black swan metaphor.

In case the embedded video does not work, here is the link.