Nicolas Taleb – O arauto da incerteza

Nicolas Taleb é uma das boas coisas que li ultimamente. Fooled by Randomness e The Black Swan deveriam ser lidos por todos, traria um pouco mais de humildade perante ao mundo.

Saiu um perfil dele na Times Online da Inglaterra. Depois de embolsar US$ 40 milhões como operador de bolsa, resolveu se voltar a filosofia e escrever um pouco. Ganhamos todos com isso.

O perfil:

Alguns extratos:

And what he knows does not sound good. The sub-prime crisis is not over and could get worse. Even if the US economy survives this one, it will remain a mountain of risk and delusion. “America is the greatest financial risk you can think of.”

He points out, chillingly, that banks make money from two sources. They take interest on our current accounts and charge us for services. This is easy, safe money. But they also take risks, big risks, with the whole panoply of loans, mortgages, derivatives and any other weird scam they can dream up. “Banks have never made a penny out of this, not a penny. They do well for a while and then lose it all in a big crash.”

The biggest danger to human society comes from civil servants in an environment like this. In their attempt to control the ecology, they don’t understand that the link between action and consequences can be more vicious. Civil servants say they need to make forecasts, but it’s totally irresponsible to make people rely on you without telling them you’re incompetent.

Don’t be tempted to play the stock market – “If people knew the risks they’d never invest.”

He believes in aristocratic – though not, he insists, elitist – values: elegance of manner and mind, grace under pressure, which is why you must shave before being executed.

Above all, accept randomness. Accept that the world is opaque, majestically unknown and unknowable. From its depths emerge the black swans that can destroy us or make us free.

Obs: Veja este post no “As Coisas – A probabilidade de envelhecer” falando sobre Nicolas Taleb e como vamos construindo certezas passadas que podem nos levar a desastres futuros.