taleb Trump

Nassim Taleb Reveals ‘The Tragedy’ Of ‘The Mooch’

And yes, this is just as absurd as it sounds...

As noted on Monday, the White House was characteristically short on answers when it came to explaining i) why Donald Trump thought it was a good idea to make Anthony Scaramucci communications director in the first place, and ii) what exactly went on in the days after The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza hilariously revealed what “The Mooch” really thought of Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon.

But one person who isn’t short on answers when it comes to Scaramucci’s unceremonious departure is Nassim Taleb.

And that makes sense for two reasons:

  1. Nassim Taleb is never short on answers because he knows everything
  2. Nassim Taleb is an unwitting accomplice to the Trump administration. Of course the idea of being “unwittingly” anything is anathema for Taleb, so for the past oh, I don’t know, call it two years, he’s been on a veritable quest to reverse engineer the narrative so he doesn’t have to admit to himself that Antifragile was in fact hijacked by racist lunatics with political ambition.

Regular readers know that we quite enjoy lampooning Taleb. He’s genius gone horribly awry – the embodiment of delusions of grandeur.

For those interested in a running chronicle of Taleb’s adventures (which recently included drinking “Genghis Khan’s champagne” with “Steppe fighters”) you can read about them here.

Well on Tuesday, Taleb has answered the question on everyone’s mind. To wit:


That’s right folks, the “tragedy” of “The Mooch” is that “one cannot be both alpha, free, direct and … have a supervisor.”

Or, it could be that Scaramucci is a goddamn idiot – just like his “supervisor.”

You decide.

And when you make your decision, do recall what Taleb said on May 19:

Trump is not an idiot.

There’s a logic to Trump that you can only get if you look at Trump as Trump.

No further comment.


8 comments on “Nassim Taleb Reveals ‘The Tragedy’ Of ‘The Mooch’

  1. Marty says:

    I get Taleb, absolutely!! Trump is not an idiot. There definitely is a logic to Trump that you only get if you look at Trump as Trump. And when you look at Trump as Trump, you quickly observe, in no uncertain terms, that Trump is a fucking idiot of the highest order.

  2. Curt A Tyner says:

    Marty very funny, thanks. Just remember the DOW is at 22 and trump is trump.

  3. Manichu says:

    Taleb’s absolutley ridiculous mental contortions to justify idiocy is a great example of a person who isn’t necessarily dumb becoming himself an intellectual idiot on the basis of sunken ship costs. Because admitting you’ve tweeted quite a bit of stupid shit is a greater sin that forging forward with an even larger pile of stupid shit that only makes sense to him and lackies that fawn over him.

  4. Journeyman says:

    It is interesting to note that those who dismiss Taleb’s thoughts out of hand tend to do so based on personal preconceived political, or other, biases. I rarely see anybody attacking the substance of his statements, whether about politics or the mechanics of markets, with a rigorous analysis. Instead, most of the missives against his ideas act as if the “truth” they see, and he is supposedly blind to, is self-evident. Self-evident truths are usually anything but.

    • i’ve read all his books. have you?

    • additionally, if you “rarely see anybody attacking the substance of his statements” then you aren’t looking very hard.

      criticism of him emanates from all corners of academia, all the time, almost perpetually.

      of course he’ll call all those people stupid, because only he can know the true genius that is Taleb.

      he’s a standing joke.

      • Journeyman says:

        What an odd question, clearly framed to be boastful to your ego. Yes, to answer your question, I have read all of his books (inclusive of Dynamic Hedging, not just his books intended for the lay audience), and good deal of his more interesting academic pieces, and most of his rebuttal academic pieces, and a number of the pieces directly aimed at him via academia. You, like many people, are clearly turned off by his abrasive personality and personal eccentricities. It’s understandable, he doesn’t seem like a very likable person by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t see why this should make him a “running joke” or makes his ideas any less potent.

        And of course academics rain down criticism on Taleb, his entire belief system that he doggedly pursues leads him to dismiss the vast majority of academia as self-serving technocrats with marginal intellect and massive conflicts of interest who are more interested in tenure and a piece of ass from their grad-students than true erudition and the pursuit of wisdom (or even practical, technical breakthroughs). You may have a different experience with individuals that fall into this category, but my own observations and experiences tend to confirm this to be quite true.

        And to be more specific to my original post, neither you nor “Manichu” gave any reasoning behind why you believe he’s such a joke. You’re blandly stating that “academia” as a whole finds him to be a joke, which is odd because he continues to publish pieces with notable persons from academia from a wide range of disciplines. Perhaps these people just want to attach their names to paper with Taleb in the hopes of gaining attention (negative or otherwise) to raise their profile. It’s possible.

        But back to my original question, what, specifically, do you find to be such a joke about his ideas? If your criticism is that he tries to overreach and purports to have found fundamental cross-disciplinary truths where none exist, I might understand that. But in contrast to you finding him to be such a joke, I find his writings to be quite original with insight to be gleaned at multiple levels.

        Or are you just so turned off by his thoughts on politics and his general attitude toward people that you can’t separate the man from the ideas?

  5. oh no, I share his attitude towards people in general.

    and wholeheartedly so.

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