Inroads into Taleb

Mentioned in my previous post that I was actively catching-up on reading Nicholas Nassim Taleb whose best-selling Black Swan I already felt I knew from secondary references, and whose later (Antifragile) arguments (and the person) I was coming to know through social media and blogging links. As mentioned, I had received Antifragile first, but had … Continue reading “Inroads into Taleb”

Taking Care with Taleb

Skimming my blog dashboard I find I have several, a handful, of draft pieces with reference to Nassim Nicholas Taleb and things he’s published or linked to, that I’ve not quite had the courage to post yet. Like many, I find his argumentation style is so ruthless, he suffers no fools gladly, that even short supportive responses … Continue reading “Taking Care with Taleb”

Ole Peters on the Ergodicity Problem

I have had this 2019 paper by Ole Peters bookmarked for a while, and today, I re-read the abstract and dived into actually reading it. (Ergodicity is an important but little known topic, that became “my favourite word” back in 2017 but still seen few use the term since.) The 2019 paper is published in … Continue reading “Ole Peters on the Ergodicity Problem”


Dan Dennett has long been a hero of mine, the science-friendly philosopher who has synthesised both Darwin and Turing into his theories on the evolution of conscious will. Great 30 minute interview here with Jim AlKhalili on his “Life Scientific” on BBC Radio 4. A potential new hero here in John C Doyle of Caltech, … Continue reading “Heroes”

Baloney Generator #2 – The Most Stunning Result.

I first mentioned “the baloney generator” back in May 2003 – actually in this hand-crafted-html (!) review of Steven Pinker’s Blank Slate in December 2002. “The conscious mind — the self or soul — is a spin doctor, not the commander in chief.” The accusation being that the rational mind generates narratives – any old … Continue reading “Baloney Generator #2 – The Most Stunning Result.”

Suffer the Little Children

We were living in Oslo when Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and turned out to wish him well at the balcony of The Grand Hotel along with the rest of the crowds on Stortingata. At that time he’d written a hopeful book and won and election and he was clearly one of … Continue reading “Suffer the Little Children”


I’ve been using parts of the verb “moderate” in ambiguous contexts recently, but deliberately because, whatever its etymology, its different uses are surely related at root. Everything in moderation is a kind of plea for moderation, a middle-way between extremes – a good example here on dietary “fads” from Julian Baggini. He concludes – in … Continue reading “Moderation”

Poisoning the Environment

Just a quickie, a hold-that-thought post (prompted by the US Glyphosate court verdict, but not specifically about that): Two things – herbicides and pesticides, and controlling vermin. Humans are an intelligent evolved species. We didn’t get where we are by allowing the environment to take over our lives – we legitimately manage our environment in … Continue reading “Poisoning the Environment”