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Thread: The Intellectual Yet Idiot

  1. #1
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    The Intellectual Yet Idiot

    Hi

    thinking a few Merb readers might get a kick out of this, the latest from Nassim Taleb

    https://medium.com/@nntaleb/the-inte...577#.hxpfysv0o

    What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.....


  2. #2
    His book The Black Swan is one of the most thought-provoking reads of the decade. I think about his insight every time some talking head babbles some intellectual sounding nonsense on TV about the future. If colleges could just be filled with guys just like him, the world might turn out okay.

  3. #3
    He brought nothing new to Science, rare events with huge consequences have been known before him and he is not the first one to highlight the shortcomings of frequentist probabilities. He is just an arrogant dude, full of himself and who knows f... like all the arrogant know-it-all dudes.

    I read the Black Swan and his book on Anti-fragility, he could have conveyed the core ideas of both books in a couple of pages, but he kept repeating himself over and over and over...

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry 16 View Post
    He brought nothing new to Science, rare events with huge consequences have been known before him and he is not the first one to highlight the shortcomings of frequentist probabilities. He is just an arrogant dude, full of himself and who knows f... like all the arrogant know-it-all dudes.

    I read the Black Swan and his book on Anti-fragility, he could have conveyed the core ideas of both books in a couple of pages, but he kept repeating himself over and over and over...
    He brings little or nothing to science, but brings a lot to American journalism and media, which anoints a bunch of "experts" based on degrees from certain Universities to tell the common man what will happen in the future and how that common man should think. He is one of the very few who will point out that most fields have no true experts and the future cannot be predicted with any level of accuracy. An academic like him gets some respect when he says it. And The Black Swan introduced the only useful phrase in a modern business environment filled with buzzwords. The useful phrase was "the empty suit".

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Patron View Post
    He brings little or nothing to science, but brings a lot to American journalism and media, which anoints a bunch of "experts" based on degrees from certain Universities to tell the common man what will happen in the future and how that common man should think. He is one of the very few who will point out that most fields have no true experts and the future cannot be predicted with any level of accuracy. An academic like him gets some respect when he says it. And The Black Swan introduced the only useful phrase in a modern business environment filled with buzzwords. The useful phrase was "the empty suit".
    Condemning academics is an easy task. Taleb failed to profit from his "Black Swan" wisdom in 2008. Some other guys, the ones depicted in the "Big Short" movie shamelessly succeeded to make big bucks from the crisis. In some chapters of his books he seems to condemn Science all together and advice to keep tinkering until you find your discovery.

    He gets it right about ivy schools finance experts who wear ties, but he was way to arrogant when conveying those ideas. He gets himself in flame wars on Amazon and Twitter so often.

  6. #6
    Most birds have more brains then the average person,this world thrives on stupidity.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry 16 View Post
    Condemning academics is an easy task. Taleb failed to profit from his "Black Swan" wisdom in 2008. Some other guys, the ones depicted in the "Big Short" movie shamelessly succeeded to make big bucks from the crisis. In some chapters of his books he seems to condemn Science all together and advice to keep tinkering until you find your discovery.

    He gets it right about ivy schools finance experts who wear ties, but he was way to arrogant when conveying those ideas. He gets himself in flame wars on Amazon and Twitter so often.
    I think the difference is that you try to evaluate him as an intellectual and a scientist (which granted may be how he views himself) where I just view him as a very gifted smartass who uses what he has learned, as well as using scientific methodology, to illustrate that many of his esteemed peers and bosses in the upper echelon of the western world are fucking idiots and we all should be quite careful when our worthless media glorifies those idiots. Most of that same message comes from lower-class comedians who merely perpetuate class warfare. It is refreshing and more stimulating when that message comes from someone inside the upper echelon of the "intellectual, upper class, Ivy League" world.

  8. #8
    Hello all,

    Everyone is educated. That's what living through life does. People simply cannot be divided between uneducated and less educated because everyone is intellectual. The brain is designed to learn and develop the intellect. That process cannot be stopped.

    However there is refinement. That's what developing specific skills is. It's an acceleration with controlled direction. Even then people without specialized refinements can be generally smarter than those who have them.

    As to the idea we, the body of the people/populace, are being told by "that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for..." how is that different from those allegedly outside this supposed category? Look around and listen more carefully. The so-called "paternalistic semi-intellectuals have their methods but the rest of us, if you need to lump everyone else together, have our ways of being heard just as effectively and loudly.

    This apparent idea that one group is supposedly controlling the rest of us and you or we and our choices are being pushed out by some nefarious group is itself posturing for leverage, and it's just as much about telling people to do all the things so-called "semi-intellectual experts" are saying. It's the game of "THEN versus US" and which one you are only depends on which side is sending the message in the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patron View Post
    Most of that same message comes from lower-class comedians who merely perpetuate class warfare.
    Each for their own purpose on either side making both much the same.
    7, Count em, 7 Super Bowls and 5 Super Bowl RINGS for Tom Brady...ROGER THAT!!!

  9. #9
    Is there anything more shallow than one type of so-called intellectualism trashing a different type of so-called intellectualism? Why is this not bullying, why is this not telling people "how to speak" and what to think? (It is--like any polemic, that's it's goal.) And I don't understand what there is to agree with, I don't see any substance to any of it--just anger and resentment. And how many people in this forum can say, from first-hand experience, what happens at ivy league colleges; or how many here read the New Yorker; or how many have sat down and talked with one of these so-called intellectual idiots? It all just feels like another form of resentment to me, hostility and outrage--and it's one of the oldest and cheapest arguments in the book.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by talkinghead View Post
    It all just feels like another form of resentment to me, hostility and outrage--and it's one of the oldest and cheapest arguments in the book.
    Agreed. It seems like one group (for lack of a better label) is posturing to pretend some sort of victimization by branding the other unfairly. It's an old game, and it smells something like crying wolf.

    Also, there are plenty of intellectuals on all sides of any issue. It's not one-sided.
    7, Count em, 7 Super Bowls and 5 Super Bowl RINGS for Tom Brady...ROGER THAT!!!

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