In a way NNT reflects the original hacker ethos in all of its pristine and glorious ugliness.
-It's basically a HBD blog. HBD proponents love to pretend they're doing "science" by posting huge walls of texts that masquerade as papers but would be thrown out of any respectable peer-reviewed popgen journal. (popgen, not psychology.). Here's an example of titles on this blog: "The Catholic Church and Western Genetics", "Racial Ancestry and IQ", "Population Differences in IQ-Related Genes", "Expert Surveys on Race and IQ". Note that at no point in any of those posts, any actual geneticist is mentioned, only "intelligence researchers". Many of these, like Lynn, Rushton and Kanazawa were found to be guilty of conducting absolute trash science or outright fraud (https://medium.com/@evopsychgoogle/a-critique-of-rushton-and..., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3332228/, http://risk-resilience.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/jour...). Many of these researchers also get funding from very shady sources like the Pioneer Fund. This alone should send all kinds of warnings about the motivated agenda of the people putting forward arguments here.
-It does nothing to address any of the points raised by Taleb, such as nonlinearity and convexity. This sentence right here shows how mathematically illiterate the author is:
>I’ll say more about this below, but here note in passing that Taleb never explains why a non-linear trend would invalidate IQ in the first place.
The author also doesn't seem to understand that covariance between a fat-tailed distribution and a gaussian one isn't well-defined in the first place and as such measuring samples' covariance makes no sense. You don't need "a study" to prove it, it's just math.
-It basically parrots the same points over and over again, distorting the word "predict" to the point of meaninglessness: IQ predicts this, IQ predicts that. Well of course when we live in a society where many of your life outcomes are somehow tied to your ability to sit down and take a pen and paper test, IQ is going to correlate well with these! "An artifact number that drives a bunch of correlates" is not what normal people (read, people outside the Pioneer Fund buddies) mean by intelligence! In fact, nobody really agrees what is meant by intelligence, which is why AI isn't a thing and likely won't be within our lifetimes.
-You're basically a one-reply account, who posted just so that challenges to your debunked notion of IQ wouldn't get the last word. Again, let me doubt good faith is involved here.
What really draws people to him is that controversial overconfidence, mostly from folks who don't understand the math anyway but are drawn to the personality. It's the standard confidence con frankly not much more sophisticated than Alex Jones. He mostly got lucky publishing a book about market crashes right as the market crashed, that's pretty much the extent of what his fans understand about the matter.
Maybe you’ll ultimately find value in it, or maybe not. But you won’t know for sure if you’re spending most of your CPU cycles on hating the messenger.
It’s annoying to have to do, but a useful skill to work out and keep fit from time to time, not just for dealing with Taleb but plenty of other irksome sources in life.
The most salient anecdote Taleb tells about himself is the one where he's going onstage to debate an opponent. He asks his publisher if punching the other guy in the face would be against his contract, and his publisher notes that it would be very good for book sales.
All Taleb does is punch people in the face nowadays. It's probably very good for book sales. He notes elsewhere, rightly I think, that the goal of anybody seeking PR should be to get the attention of somebody more famous then them: since it's much easier to pick fights than make friendships, and either will do, he picks fights with anybody he thinks has prominence. I believe it's a persona, and he's a very good method actor.
We get it, you don't like academics and The Establishment. But do you have to mention it every other paragraph like a teenage boy?
Guess nobody gave him the Kill Your Darlings writing advice.
He takes the swipes, but he'll show up with a truckload of evidence supporting them if you push back.
For each their own I suppose. I found it unnecessary and also entertaining.
I've not regretted reading some of his books, but I strongly advise anyone who wants to maintain some respect for him to avoid his Twitter feed at all costs. And I'm one of those highly analytical types that isn't overly burdened by emotional sensitivity. The man really is just that grating in real time. I get the impression that in his books he does some rewriting to limit his more egregious impulses.
While assuming normality will very often lead you to underestimate risk, fat tails can easily cause you to over estimate your risk.
Or think about the case of "robust" regression in which errors in a linear model are assumed to be from a fat tailed distribution like Student's T. This means that your model is not suprised by outliers. The consequence of this is that your model assumes that mode data is near the center and ignores extreme observations.
As a philosophical device fat tails are very helpful and interesting, but as a practical tool for modeling they are far from a panacea