Doctors most commonly get mixed up between absence of evidence and evidence of abense— Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The most floundering Nassim Nicholas Taleb quotes that will add value to your life
The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.
A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.
Decomposition, for most, starts when they leave the free, social, and uncorrupted college life for the solitary confinement of professions and nuclear families.
People used to wear ordinary clothes weekdays, and formal attire on Sunday.
Today it is the exact reverse.
They are born, put in a box; they go home to live in a box; they study by ticking boxes; they go to what is called "work" in a box, where they sit in their cubicle box; they drive to the grocery store in a box to buy food in a box; they talk about thinking "outside the box"; and when they die they are put in a box.
Democracies can't handle austerity measures very well.
Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.
Love without sacrifice is like theft
Someone who says "I am busy" is either declaring incompetence (and lack of control of his life) or trying to get rid of you.
Avoid losers. If you hear someone use the words 'impossible', 'never', 'too difficult' too often, drop him or her from your social network.
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg didn't finish college.
Too much emphasis is placed on formal education - I told my children not to worry about their grades but to enjoy learning.
A competitive athlete is painful to look at;
trying hard to become an animal rather than a man, he will never be as fast as a cheetah or as strong as an ox.
Umberto Eco is the owner of a large personal library of almost 30,000 books that he has not read. [To him] read books are far less valuable than unread ones.
The central idea in The Black Swan is that: rare events cannot be estimated from empirical observation since they are rare.
Few understand that procrastination is our natural defense, letting things take care of themselves and exercise their antifragility; it results from some ecological or naturalistic wisdom, and is not always bad - at an existential level, it is my body rebelling against its entrapment. It is my soul fighting the Procrustean bed of modernity.
They think that intelligence is about noticing things are relevant (detecting patterns); in a complex world, intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant (avoiding false patterns)
The traits I respect are erudition and the courage to stand up when half-men are afraid for their reputation. Any idiot can be intelligent.
Only in recent history has "working hard" signaled pride rather than shame for lack of talent, finesse and, mostly, sprezzatura .
If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.
The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free
Hard work will get you a professorship or a BMW.
You need both work and luck for a Booker, a Nobel or a private jet.
You exist if and only if you are free to do things without a visible objective, with no justification and, above all, outside the dictatorship of someone else's narrative.
History is opaque. You see what comes out, not the script that produces events, [...] The generator of historical events is different from the events themselves, much as the minds of the gods cannot be read just by witnessing their deeds.
Intelligence consists in ignoring things that are irrelevant.
Life is a tightrope between two errors: generalizing the wrong particular and particularizing the wrong general.
Never, never, never think - that's one lesson you should have in life.
Never think that lack of variability is stability.
This is the tragedy of modernity: as with neurotically overprotective parents, those trying to help are often hurting us the most.
...maximize the serendipity around you.
Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love.
Social science means inventing a certain brand of human we can understand.
When you develop your opinions on the basis of weak evidence, you will have difficulty interpreting subsequent information that contradicts these opinions, even if this new information is obviously more accurate.
People have the problem of denial. This is one of the things I learned in Lebanon. Everybody who left Beirut when the war started, including my parents, said, 'Oh, its temporary.' It lasted 17 years! People tend to underestimate the gravity of these situations. That's how they work.
Wittgenstein's ruler: Unless you have confidence in the ruler's reliability, if you use a ruler to measure a table you may also be using the table to measure the ruler.
At no point in history have so many non-risk-takers, that is, those with no personal exposure, exerted so much control.
Go to parties. You can't even start to know what you may find on the envelope of serendipity. If you suffer from agoraphobia, send colleagues.
Learn to fail with pride - and do so fast and cleanly.
Maximise trial and error - by mastering the error part.
Prediction, not narration, is the real test of our understanding of the world.
An ad hominem attack against an individual, not against an idea, is highly flattering. It indicates that the person does not have anything intelligent to say about your message.
You have a real life if and only if you do not compete with anyone in any of your pursuits.
Comfort makes you weaker. We need some variability, some stressors. Not too much, but just enough.
To succeed in life requires a total inability to do anything that makes you uncomfortable when you look at yourself in the mirror.
You will get the most attention from those who hate you.
No friend, no admirer and no partner will flatter you with as much curiosity.
The imagination of the genius vastly surpasses his intellect;
the intellect of the academic vastly surpasses his imagination
If you hear a "prominent" economist using the word 'equilibrium,' or 'normal distribution,' do not argue with him; just ignore him, or try to put a rat down his shirt.
Meditation is a way to be narcissistic without hurting anyone
If one puts an infinite number of monkeys in front of typewriters, and lets them clap away, there is a certainty that one of them will come out with an exact version of the 'Iliad.'
The psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer has a simple heuristic.
Never ask the doctor what you should do. Ask him what he would do if he were in your place. You would be surprised at the difference
Failure saves lives. In the airline industry, every time a plane crashes the probability of the next crash is lowered by that. The Titanic saved lives because we're building bigger and bigger ships. So these people died, but we have effectively improved the safety of the system, and nothing failed in vain.
The curious mind embraces science; the gifted and sensitive, the arts; the practical, business; the leftover becomes an economist