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Nassim Taleb

Nassim Taleb Quotes

Quotes by and about Nassim Taleb

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Taleb: "Respect for the weak [is], after intellectual courage, the second most attractive quality to this author."

Taleb: "Some of the readers I meet at conferences have a rough time dealing with an intellectual who has the appearance of a bodyguard."

Taleb: "Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing."

Taleb: "I suspect that they put Socrates to death because there is something terribly unattractive, alienating, and nonhuman in thinking with too much clarity."

Taleb: "Education makes the wise slightly wiser, but it makes the fool vastly more dangerous."

Taleb: "In science you need to understand the world; in business you need others to misunderstand it."

Taleb: "To bankrupt a fool, give him information."

Taleb: "Pharmaceutical companies are better at inventing diseases that match existing drugs, rather than inventing drugs to match existing diseases."

Taleb: "The test of originality for an idea is not the absence of one single predecessor but the presence of multiple but incompatible ones."

Taleb: "Modernity's double punishment is to make us both age prematurely and live longer."

Taleb: "An erudite is someone who displays less than he knows; a journalist or consultant, the opposite."

Taleb: "Your brain is most intelligent when you don't instruct it on what to do - something people who take showers discover on occasion."

Taleb: "Compliance with the straitjacket of narrow (Aristotelian) logic and avoidance of fatal inconsistencies are not the same thing."

[Interviewer: "What was your childhood or earliest ambition?"]
Taleb: "I was utopian. I found adults and adulthood fundamentally corrupt, self-serving and unclear. I still do but I now find the utopian even more harmful."

[Interviewer: "What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?"]
Taleb: "I've learned to never compromise."

The Chronicle: "Taleb has no patience for so-called structured learning. 'Only the autodidacts are free,' he writes."

The Guardian: "Being contradictory about what one hates and despises and loves and admires is actually another key Nassim Taleb trait."