29 important insights from Nassim Taleb

Nassim Taleb became famous for his book The Black Swan that focuses on the extreme impact of unpredictable events on our economy.

He uses his Facebook page to share his quotes and philosophies.

Business Insider recently curated some of his important observations:

  • The only problem with the last laugh is that the winner has to laugh alone.nassim taleb
  • Intelligence without imagination: a deadly combination.
  • There is no more unmistakable sign of failure than that of a middle-aged man boasting of his successes in college.
  • Never trust a journalist unless she’s your mother.
  • One of life’s machinations is to make some people both rich and unhappy, that is, jointly fragile and deprived of hope.
  • [If] someone is making an effort to ignore you he is not ignoring you.
  • The danger of reading financial & other news (or econobullshit) is that things that don’t make sense at all start making sense to you after progressive immersion.
  • It’s a sign of weakness to worry about showing signs of weakness.
  • Friends, I wonder if someone has computed how much would be saved if we shut down economics and political science departments in universities. Those who need to research these subjects can do so on their private time.
  • I trust those who trust me and distrust those who are suspicious of others.
  • A good man is warm and respectful towards the waiter or people of lower rank.
  • Journalists feel contempt for those who fear them and a deep resentment for those who don’t.
  • When someone starts a sentence with the first half containing “I”, “not”, and “but”, the “not” should be removed and the “but” replaced with “therefore.”
  • The only valid political system is one that can handle an imbecile in power without suffering from it.
  • Journalists cannot grasp that what is interesting is not necessarily important; most cannot even grasp that what is sensational is not necessarily interesting.
  • Never buy a product that the owner of the company that makes it doesn’t use, or, in the case of, say, medication, wouldn’t contingently use.
  • Injuries done to us by others tend to be acute; the self-inflicted ones tend to be chronic.
  • We often benefit from harm done to us by others; almost never from self-inflicted injuries.
  • You will never know if someone is an arsehole until he becomes rich.
  • When someone writes “I dislike you but I agree with you”, I read “I dislike you because I agree with you.”
  • For a free person, the optimal – most opportunistic – route between two points should never be the shortest one.
  • What counts is not *what* people say, it is *how much* energy they spend saying it.
  • Used skillfully, a compliment will be much more offensive than any disparagement.
  • I trust those who are greedy for money a thousand time more than those who are greedy for credentials.
  • Just as eating cow-meat doesn’t turn you into a cow, studying philosophy doesn’t make you wiser.
  • It is a great compliment for an honest person to be mistaken for a crook by a crook.
  • Many want to learn how to memorize things; few seek that rare ability to forget.
  • The ultimate freedom lies in not having to explain “why” you did something.
  • A book that can be summarized should not be written as a book.


Also published on Medium.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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