Last modified on 10 October 2012, at 13:35

Talk:Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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  • Scientists don’t know what they are talking about when they talk about religion. Religion has nothing to do with belief, and I don’t believe it has any negative impact on people’s lives outside of intolerance. Why do I go to church? It’s like asking, why did you marry that woman? You make up reasons, but it’s probably just smell. I love the smell of candles. It’s an aesthetic thing.
  • Avoid losers. If you hear someone use the words ‘impossible’, ‘never’, ‘too difficult’ too often, drop him or her from your social network. *Never take ‘no’ for an answer (conversely, take most ‘yeses’ as ‘most probably’).
  • Read books are far less valuable than unread ones.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wear your best for your execution and stand dignified. Your last recourse against randomness is how you act — if you can’t control outcomes, you can control the elegance of your behaviour. You will always have the last word.
  • Learn to fail with pride — and do so fast and cleanly. Maximise trial and error — by mastering the error part.
  • 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.
  • We cannot truly plan, because we do not understand the future–but this is not necessarily a bad news. We could plan while bearing in mind such limitations. It just takes guts.
  • If something is going on, I hear about it. I like to talk to people, I socialise. Television is a waste of time. Human contact is what matters.