When last we checked in on our hero Nassim Taleb, he was gracing SALT with his presence and sitting down for an interview with a drooling, starstruck Erik Schatzker.
In that interview, Taleb explained in the clearest possible way why Donald Trump is “not an idiot.” Here’s what the black swan godfather said:
There’s a logic to Trump that you can only get if you look at Trump as Trump.
Incidentally, that’s the very same kind of self-referential, circular “logic” that fooled the entire world into thinking Taleb is Socrates reincarnated.
Here’s how I imagine it probably worked:
Publisher: None of this makes any sense
Taleb: First of all you’re an idiot, but I want you to publish this so I won’t say that, instead I’ll rephrase as follows: “There’s a logic to me that you can only get if you look at me as me.”
Publisher: Sounds good. Here’s an advance on your next book.
Now one thing you should know about Taleb is that he doesn’t just write books (for those who aren’t familiar with Taleb you should read this). He also teaches risk management, outsmarts markets when he feels like it, scribbles theorems and proofs on napkins, and makes youtube videos.
But that’s certainly not all. Here’s a quick list of other things Taleb does when he’s not writing bestsellers, mathematizing, or making money:
- lifts stones
- goes spelunking in search of Spanish Gypsies
- drinks water in Third World countries to strengthen his immune system
- Twitter shames Scandinavians for talking too loud on their cell phones while riding the Metro North
- does lots of deadlifts with Coach Rippetoe
- makes fun of economists for not doing enough deadlifting
- asks you to guess how much he can shoulder press and then tells you he doesn’t trust your estimates
- thinks about whether he should head-load water to strengthen his bones
Just call those “the 8 labors of Taleb.”
Of course Hercules had 12 labors and because Taleb pretty clearly believes there’s a decent chance he was a Greek “pseudo”-God in another life, one can only assume that there must be 4 additional labors that haven’t yet been revealed to the general public.
Well on Monday evening, Taleb revealed his 9th labor. Behold:
That’s right folks, this god among men needed to finish “Skin In The Game” (which is “a work in progress“) and in order to move things along, Taleb is apparently going into a self-imposed exile in Northern Phoenicia (because where else, right?).
And on the way there, he planted (roughly “~”) 300 olive trees.
You are not worthy Hercules. You are not worthy…