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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cypocalypse's Avatar
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    Default INTPs, Black Swans, and Nassim Taleb

    A couple of months ago, an INFP friend recommended Black Swan by Nassim Taleb. It happened to become her eventual favorite thought-provoking book. She knows my out-of-the-box line of thinking even if she doesn't know MBTI at that time, let alone my MBTI type.

    When I read it, I just came to realize how much Nassim is like an INTP on steroids. The way he deconstructs the (Si/Ni)/Te constructed woldview is amusing, to say the least.

    What do you INTPs here think of him and the idea he advocates?
    Last edited by Cypocalypse; 04-17-2010 at 02:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    I guess I'll have to read it. I don't know what his position is. Thanks for the recommendation.



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    Loved it. Three thumbs up!
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    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    It's funny how he was credited with being some kind of genius for rpedicting the financial crisis, when nearly all marxists had been predicting it for years (Robert Brenner perhaps the most famous).

    I think the reason for this is that his ideas are more easily taken on to serve the interests of the ruling class. David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party in the UK, is a professed fan.

    Apart from that, I know little about him specifically.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  5. #5
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    He points out, repeatedly, that in all things there are generalizations and exceptions to these generalizations (and implicitly encourages people to focus their mental energy on the "exceptions" end of the spectrum rather than seeking balance toward the center).

    I'd hardly call that "deconstruction".
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  6. #6
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Not technical enough for my taste. I mean, everything he says in that book is kind of obvious. Much better:

    Amazon.com: Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems (9780691118505): Didier Sornette: Books
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypocalypse View Post
    A couple of months ago, an INFP friend recommended Black Swan by Nassim Taleb. It happened to become her eventual favorite thought-provoking book. She knows my out-of-the-box line of thinking even if she doesn't know MBTI at that time, let alone my MBTI type.

    When I read it, I just came to realize how much Nassim is like an INTP on steroids. The way he deconstructs the (Si/Ni)/Te constructed woldview is amusing, to say the least.

    What do you INTPs here think of him and the idea he advocates?
    Taleb is an ENFP.

    When related to this dichotomy, Taleb emerges as a staunch anti-theorist and self-proclaimed anti-Platonist. By his own account, he dislikes “pure mathematics” and “pure ideas,” saying, as we saw in the beginning of this article, that they seduce because the real world is rarely that neat. In spite of his habit of heaping scorn on traditional statisticians and modern-day Aristotelians, Taleb actually does throw his lot in with the quantitative crowd.[5] Like the Te types, Taleb places stock in frequency and statistical measurements, but he turns the matter on its head by championing the outlier, the rarity, the underdog – the sole black swan that stands alone in a sea of unsurprising, “business as usual” white swans. Taleb does indeed use Te, but in the organization of Taleb’s psyche, Te comes trailing after Fi.

    Conclusion: ENFP as Maverick and Sage

    As a trader, Nassim Taleb was known for pursuing unconventional investment strategies which made him lose money most of the time, but which were designed to score the jackpot in the event of “unexpected” financial crashes – black swans. He has been accused of not making enough money by his fellow bankers on Wall Street and by scholars of being too applied and crafty: Of heaping scorn on the traditional statistical theories without offering a comprehensively viable alternative. This composite nature of Nassim Taleb’s interests and work illustrates many points of what an ENFP looks like when engaged in the role of science popularizer and innovative rogue (a role which people usually reserve for ENTPs).

    Too quirky and nonconformist for the business world, the ENFP popularizer will on the other hand often be found to be too passionate and imaginative for the world of rank-and-file science reporting. An unconventional seeker, and self-seeker, it will often be the lot of such ENFPs to be a rolling stone and a free lance – someone who doesn’t quite fit into any of the preconceived categories of society. At once a wandering bard and a critical philosopher, they seem to go on long digressions that make you question their relevance, only to suddenly hit you with an unexpected insight of the greatest seriousness. Pensive yet passionate, silly and suddenly serious, it is this kind of ENFP that illustrates the intellectual contributions of the type as a raconteur and a deeply serious critic, a maverick and a sage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Not technical enough for my taste. I mean, everything he says in that book is kind of obvious. Much better:

    Amazon.com: Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems (9780691118505): Didier Sornette: Books
    Not accurate enough for my taste. You may want to ask what Didier's predictions were for the crises of 2008 and 2009 say in 2004-05-06-07. Taleb's preference is for calling these crashes before they happen AND profiting from them in the process.

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