I admire “fooled by randomness”.  But reading this list, I think Taleb is hanging out with the wrong crowd.  Sad, really.


These are Taleb’s proverbs.  A sample:


If your anger decreases with time, you did injustice; if it increases, you suffered injustice.


When we want to do something while unconsciously certain to fail, we seek advice so we can blame someone else for the failure.

Winning Arguments

You never win an argument until they attack your person.


Usually, what we call a “good listener” is someone with a skillfully polished indifference.


Modernity: we created youth without heroism, age without wisdom, and life without grandeur.

You can tell a lot about people from their heroes. Taleb inverts this.

People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels—people you don’t want to resemble when you grow up.


In most debates, people seem to be trying to convince once another; but all they can hope for is new arguments to convince themselves.


The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.


Writing is the art of repeating oneself without anyone noticing.


Don’t trust a man who needs an income—except if it is minimum wage. (Those in corporate captivity would do anything to “feed a family.”)

Convincing Others

You can only convince people who think they can benefit from being convinced.


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