Taleb and the language of risk

Last night, I read about Nicholas Nassim Taleb on English Language and Usage StackExchange (EL&U). Professor Taleb wants to introduce a new word to the vocabulary of global financial collapse, antifragility:

So let us coin the appellation “antifragile” for anything that, on average, (i.e. in expectation) benefits from variability.

Consensus on EL&U was that this was a creative but unnecessary neologism. I echo the concerns of other EL&U users: Antifragility might cause confusion (maybe it is “anti-fragility”). There are many adequate, extant words that Taleb could use, however, antifragility is a term that will be uniquely associated with him.

I am not convinced that there are many entities that actually thrive due to uncertainty. A delta hedge that is long volatility is the only construct that I can think of off-hand. Perhaps that was what Taleb had in mind.

The original Black Swan

book cover of black swan with navy background

The Black Swan by Thomas Mann; 1954 UK First Edition

There was a slightly less contemporary black swan, the novella written by Nobel-prize winner Thomas Mann toward the end of his long and distinguished literary career.

The plot of that short fiction work also pertained to an anomalous event, one that could be considered a statistical outlier. (more…)

Published in: on 1 February 2012 at 6:28 am  Comments (8)  
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Unintelligent Content


Originally sited and captured by Cayobo on Flickr.

It isn’t confined to the web.  Unintelligent content is alive and well, and seems to be THRIVING. Everywhere.

Published in: on 10 September 2010 at 2:09 pm  Comments (7)  

Scrabble for Web Developers

Scrabble Web 2.0 Version

Scrabble for Web Developers

Originally uploaded by FatSeth on Flickr, via Smashing Apps Scrabble

Here’s a Web 2.0 specific version of Scrabble. You decide: limited vocabulary or very clever?  It is a bit reminiscent of  Wordle, a fun javascript application by Jonathan Feinberg, Ph.D. of IBM.  A scrabble-style font would be a nice addition to Wordle, actually.

Buzzword Edition of Scrabble via http://extramblog.blogspot.com

Scrabble for Web Marketers: Buzz Word Mix

Update: I found a marketing buzz word version of Scrabble at Marketing Minds, while spending some time over at my Annex site on Blogger. The Annex started as my private sandbox for comparing digital publishing platforms for sites that are not self-hosted, e.g. here at WordPress.com, and evolved into a full-fledged blog in its own right.

Published in: on 19 July 2010 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wordle Finally Arrives…

I’ve found that works by T.S. Eliot are particularly suitable for wordl-ing.  This one is an excerpt from the Nobel Prize-winning poet’s The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock.  In order to view in full splendor, clicking on the image is unfortunate but necessary. as Wordle is covered by some rather specific licensing agreements. 

Wordle: Let us go then, you and I

Let us go then, you and I...

Published in: on 10 March 2010 at 1:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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