February 19, 2009
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a former stock trader and now author of a couple of great books - Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan. I’ve read both books and they’re guaranteed to make you think. They’re especially timely in their discussion of how the stock markets work, or really, don’t work. Taleb recently did an interview with the Times Online where he discusses his books and his approach to life. The interview closes with Taleb’s top life tips - well worth a read. You can see the first three below, or read the whole list here.
1 Scepticism is effortful and costly. It is better to be sceptical about matters of large consequences, and be imperfect, foolish and human in the small and the aesthetic.
2 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.
3 It’s not a good idea to take a forecast from someone wearing a tie. If possible, tease people who take themselves and their knowledge too seriously.