Thursday 14 June 2018


"It suffices for an intransigent minority –a certain type of intransigent minorities –to reach a minutely small level, say three or four percent of the total population, for the entire population to have to submit to their preferences. Further, an optical illusion comes with the dominance of the minority: a naive observer would be under the impression that the choices and preferences are those of the majority. If it seems absurd, it is because our scientific intuitions aren’t calibrated for that (fughedabout scientific and academic intuitions and snap judgments; they don’t work and your standard intellectualization fails with complex systems, though not your grandmothers’ wisdom)."
Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

"Society is a shared inheritance for the sake of which we learn to circumscribe our demands, to see our own place in things as part of a continuous chain of giving and receiving, and to recognize that the good things we inherit are not ours to spoil" Sir Roger Scruton, How To Be a Conservative


  1. In his new book Skin in the Game, Nassim Taleb includes what is perhaps the most interesting quotation on politics I have ever read. It is by Vincent Graham, explaining how even his political preferences change with scale and context. ‘At the federal level I am a Libertarian. At the state level, I am a Republican. At the town level, I am a Democrat. In my family I am a Socialist. And with my dog I am a Marxist — from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.’

    Rory Sutherland

    I told him about a French anti-alcoholism poster I once saw: ‘Jamais plus qu’un litron par jour.’ Given that doctors exaggerate and that the frogs are a stunted race, this surely means that we could have at least two.

    Bruce Anderson

  2. Taleb is good. And totally rebuts the western fake news narrative on Syria. He has many contacts in secular Damascus

  3. Very true. Five drops of cochineal food colouring in a bowl of water and the whole bowl looks red.