When last we checked in on philosopher, risk manager, and delusions of grandeur personified, Nassim Taleb, he was roaming the great savannas and getting drunk on fermented mare’s milk or, as he calls it, “Genghis Khan’s champagne.”
By his own account, this was apparently an effort to
drink walk in the footsteps of the ancients on the way to becoming an honorary grassland warrior.
But as Taleb noted in a tweet presumably sent from a wind-swept tent in Eurasia, gettin’ all tanked up on Genghis’ horse juice doesn’t, in and of itself, make you a certified “Steppe fighter”.
For that, you need to eat raw horse meat for dinner and chase it with a side of horse fat:
Fast forward a couple of weeks and Nassim is still doing what Nassim does: rewriting the same book over and over for a publisher who doesn’t realize they’ve been duped by a textbook narcissist, doing deadlifts and shoulder presses (one can only assume), and of course, posting absolutely ridiculous shit on his Twitter feed which serves as a running, real-time reminder of just how detached Taleb’s ego has become from Taleb the person.
Ok, so this is Carey Gillam:
According to her Twitter profile, Carey is a “Research Director at U.S. Right to Know and a veteran journalist specializing in coverage of food, agriculture and environmental issues.”
Well on Monday, Carey fucked up.
See Carey thought that it was a good idea to retweet an article called “We’re eating too much meat and it’s making us sick,” published on Quartz.
Carey, being someone who “specializes in the coverage of food, agriculture and environmental issues,” probably thought retweeting an article about eating too much red meat was an innocent enough thing to do.
Carey was wrong.
Because Taleb saw that tweet.
And as noted above, Taleb has been eating the sides out of live horses with Genghis Khan’s descendants. And he’s not “sick.” So by extension, that article Carey retweeted must be bullshit.
[Aside: it’s difficult to know whether eating too much meat would affect Taleb the way it affects other people, because after all, he inoculates himself by "drinking drops of local water” every time he goes to emerging economies because doing "things like [that] harnesses the body’s antifragility.”]
Taleb’s response to Carey’s retweet began innocently enough, with the black swan godfather (correctly) noting that sugar consumption may be a bigger problem:
We were watching this in real time, and we knew that probably wouldn’t be the end of it.
So we waited.
Sure enough, exactly 25 minutes later, Taleb (unable to leave it alone) jumped back on Twitter to inform Carey that demi-Gods like himself have “been eating animals for more than 300 million years,” and so, if “some study” says eating raw meat is “unhealthy” then “odds” are the study is wrong.
Got that, Carey?
Because Taleb would hate for this dispute to escalate to the point where he has to conduct a Twitter poll about you…