To Be Virtuous

I first became aware of Nicholas Nassim Taleb from his book of Aphorisms which I picked up in a second-hand bookstore. It contains such wonderful quips as-

Someone who says “I am busy” is either declaring incompetence (and lack of control of his life) or trying to get rid of you

In your prayers substitute “Protect us from evil” with “Protect us from those who
improve things for a salary.”

I became more interested in him when I discovered that he’s seemingly revered and reviled by everyone. Depending on who you ask- he’s either an intellectual fraud, a talented if eccentric trader & business mind, or will be remembered as a preeminent philosopher. In between writing best selling books, and self-publishing mathematical papers of risk analysis, he is also known for his twitter rants on seemingly anything that catches his eye.

NNT published an excerpt from his forthcoming book where he laid out some principles of virtue-

If your private life conflicts with your intellectual opinion, it cancels your intellectual ideas, not your private life


If your private actions do not generalize then you cannot have general ideas

This is not strictly about ethics, but information transfer. If a car salesman tries to sell you a Detroit car while driving a Honda, he is signaling that it may have a problem.

Love him or hate him, and whatever you think of his abrasive style, he always packs a punch. Read more from the angriest man in finance at his Medium.

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