November 26th, 2012

arbeit

о правилах жизни (игры)

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto

Ничто человеческое не чуждо и «избегающему журналистов» Талебу[wiki] -- в длиннейшем интервью пиар его новой книги :)
Nassim Taleb: my rules for life
Carole Cadwalladr [ via The Observer/The Guardian: Saturday, 24 November 2012 ]
The controversial thinker who predicted the 2008 financial crisis hates bankers, academics and journalists. He's also a man of mystery – he eats like a caveman, and goes to bed at 8pm. We took the risk of meeting him

How much does Nassim Taleb dislike journalists? Let me count the ways. "An erudite is someone who displays less than he knows; a journalist or consultant the opposite." "This business of journalism is about pure entertainment, not the search for the truth." "Most so-called writers keep writing and writing with the hope, some day, to find something to say." He disliked them before, but after he predicted the financial crash in his 2007 book, The Black Swan, a book that became a global bestseller, his antipathy reached new heights. He has dozens and dozens of quotes on the subject, and if that's too obtuse for us non-erudites, his online home page puts it even plainer: "I beg journalists and members of the media to leave me alone."

He's not wildly keen on appointments either. In his new book, Antifragile, he writes that he never makes them because a date in the calendar "makes me feel like a prisoner".

Nassim Taleb
Nassim Taleb in Brooklyn, New York this month. Photograph: Mike McGregor for the Observer
So imagine, if you will, how keenly he must be looking forward to the prospect of a pre-arranged appointment to meet me, a journalist. I approach our lunch meeting, at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University where he's the "distinguished professor of risk engineering", as one might approach a sleeping bear: gingerly. And with a certain degree of fear. And yet there he is, striding into the faculty lobby in a jacket and Steve Jobs turtleneck ("I want you to write down that I started wearing them before he did. I want that to be known."), smiling and effusive.

First, though, he has to have his photo taken. He claims it's the first time he's allowed it in three years, and has allotted just 10 minutes for it, though in the end it's more like five. "The last guy I had was a fucking dick. He wanted to be artsy fartsy," he tells the photographer, Mike McGregor. "You're OK."

Being artsy fartsy, I will learn, is even lower down the scale of Nassim Taleb pet hates than journalists. But then, being contradictory about what one hates and despises and loves and admires is actually another key Nassim Taleb trait.

In print, the hating and despising is there for all to see: he's forever having spats and fights. When he's not slagging off the Nobel prize for economics (a "fraud"), bankers ("I have a physical allergy to them") and the academic establishment (he has it in for something he calls the "Soviet-Harvard illusion"), he's trading blows with Steven Pinker ("clueless"), and a random reviewer on Amazon, who he took to his Twitter stream to berate. And this is just in the last week.

And yet here he is, chatting away, surprisingly friendly and approachable. Collapse )

P.S. Если кому, паче чаяния, интересно, то уже есть перевод интервью на русский [ лежит на FTinvest.ru ], правда, не очень, IMHO, качественный.