Greek god. Philosopher. Adonis. The only person on earth who has earned the right to have an opinion about anything. All appropriate characterizations of one Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and the way at least three-quarters of all living homo sapiens have described NNT in their conversations with friends and in their diaries. And while his many admirers have surely studied him in great detail in the hopes of one day having the opportunity to unlock his heart or simply bask in his reflected glory for a moment or two, not everyone has a comprehensive list of the things that rev Taleb’s engine and, more importantly, that tick him off. Luckily, a recent profile by Chronicle writer Tom Bartlett has produced a near-complete guide to the likes and dislikes of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Read it, print it out, carry it in your pocket– but really, consider taking the time to commit it to memory. Your chance may only come along once and you don’t want to fuck it up by fumbling around your notes because you can’t remember what his thoughts are on “bourgeois bohemian bonus earners” or fruit.
Pumping iron (“He writes in Antifragile that readers, upon meeting him, ‘have a rough time dealing with an intellectual who has the appearance of a bodyguard.’ I wouldn’t have guessed bodyguard, though he is thicker—thanks to a newfound love of weightlifting”)
People with “skin in the game”
Guessing games (“He asked me how much I thought he made during the crisis. ‘I don’t know,’ I said. ‘Guess.’ ‘Five million?’ He laughed. ‘Try times 10,’ he said.”)
Business schools (“specifically the one at Harvard,” which “lectures birds to fly and then arrogantly claim credit when the fledglings become airborne”)
Fruits without Greek or Hebrew names
Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig
“Unctuous, fawning travel assistants”
“Bourgeois bohemian bonus earners”
Federal Reserve bankers
Economists (“weak, ignorant, fearful, and generally pathetic”)
Robert C. Merton
“The inexorable disloyalty of Mother Nature”
Hope this was helpful. Good luck out there.
This Is Not A Profile Of Nassim Taleb [Chronicle]
Related: Nassim Nicholas Taleb Became The Chiseled Adonis You See Before You Through A Strict Regimen Of Picking Up Rocks And Lying In Bed For Two Years