Friday, May 1, 2015

Nassim Taleb quote

From Fooled by Randomness:
I learned quite a bit from Niederhoffer, mostly by contrast, and particularly from the last example: not to approach anything as a game to win, except, of course, if it is a game. Even then, I do not like the asphyxiating structure of competitive games and the diminishing aspect of deriving pride from a numerical performance. I also learned to stay away from people of competitive nature, as they have a tendency to commoditize and reduce the world to categories, like how many papers they publish in a given year or how they rank in the league tables. There is something non-philosophical about investing one’s pride and ego into a “my house/car/library is bigger than that of others in my category” – it is downright foolish to claim to be first in one’s category all the while sitting on a time bomb. 
To conclude, extreme empiricism, competitiveness, and an absence of logical structure to one's inference can be a quite explosive combination.