or, how to kick your addiction to the Internet’s biggest asshole.

Photo by S. Hermann & F Richter, via Pixabay


Nam Talebam quidem Amioun ego ipse oculis meis vidi stupe page, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σιβυλλα τι θελεις; respondebat illa: αποθανειν θελω.




“Never call someone an imbecile (or fucking idiot) unless he causes harm to others/system; there must be a moral dimension to insults.”

· Nassim Taleb

Things are never complicated if one has principles.”

· Nassim Taleb

If you want to punish an enemy, put him on a pedestal. He will hurt himself falling from it.”

· Nassim Taleb

“Old friends don’t attack…

a bitesize read on Taleb’s Bitcoin Derangement Syndrome to celebrate the one year anniversary

If you are somehow unaware of this (and in which case, how on earth did you end up here?) one year ago today I published my magnum opus, A Tale Of Two Talebs, or, how to kick your addiction to the Internet’s biggest asshole:

I was fairly nervous about this at the time, as Taleb is big and scary and has fans who are literally insane and could easily find out where I live if they wanted to. But I manned up, went through with it…

an attempt to stir up hatred against the most evil law of which I have ever been a subject

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

- Alice

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland


On March 11th, the Scottish National Party’s infamous Hate Crime And Public Order Bill was passed by overwhelming majority by the SNP, Labour, “Liberal” Democrats, and Greens in the Scottish Parliament. …

Or, why do intellectuals oppose Bitcoin?

the single most important thing in the universe. allegedly.

I should start off by saying that I have nothing against Eric Weinstein. Readers need not worry that this is another Talebenning. It’s a little suspicious that Weinstein claims Taleb is “incredibly subtle”, but we all have our foibles. I liked Taleb once, too, after all.

Unlike Taleb, who is a bullying, cowardly, bullshitting charlatan, Weinstein seems like a perfectly nice and well-intentioned guy. He is certainly extraordinarily intelligent, which might seem like it makes this whole episode all the more bizarre, but I think it points to a deeper truth.

Being smart doesn’t…

we don’t trust; we verify

photo by Leo Manjarrez, via Unsplash

Tumbling down the rabbit hole is hard. It’s disorienting. It’s uncomfortable. It requires genuine humility as you realize all the things you never really understood properly in the first place.

But it’s also fun. It’s a highly effective filter for the truly open-minded, curious, and disciplined. There is a good amount of arrogance and disagreeableness too, but that’s trade-offs for you. Nothing is perfect.

Economics and engineering alike give rise to hard choices and opportunity costs. If you don’t like the choices that have been made, that’s absolutely fine. Nobody is forcing you to be…

or, how to check your fiat privilege

Lenz’s Law states that a current induced by a changing magnetic field flows in the direction such that the magnetic field created by the current opposes the change in the flux of the magnetic field that induced it. One could dive into all kinds of fun electrodynamics to explore its importance; that it explains the negative sign in Faraday’s Law, for example. But we needn’t do so here. …

What it is and how to fight it

Fiat privilege is a concept that highlights the unfair societal advantages that people with proximity to the money printer have over people of savings. With roots in the physics envy prevalent in twentieth-century macroeconomics and the widespread financialization made possible by the severing of the dollar’s peg to gold, fiat privilege has developed in circumstances that have broadly sought to protect the interests of those who most directly benefit from unconscious inflationism.

Fiat privilege denotes both obvious and less obvious passive advantages that people of proximity may not recognize they have, which…

Part XIV and Finale of the Bitgenstein Serialization

“Of the various centres in which republican ideas continued to be discussed and celebrated throughout the later Renaissance, the one with the most enduring commitment to the traditional values of independence and self-government was Venice. While the rest of Italy succumbed to the rule of the signori, the Venetians never relinquished their traditional liberties.”

- Quentin Skinner

I tend to find Bitcoin analogies that aren’t transparently rhetorical to inevitably have some fatal flaw that ultimately makes them more confusing than they are helpful. And yet, Venice has an enigmatic appeal that I…

Part XIII of the Bitgenstein Serialization

photo by Aaron Burden, via Unsplash

“To imagine a language is to imagine a form of life.”

- Ludwig Wittgenstein

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman infamously said on the Tim Ferris podcast that Bitcoin is like a Wittgenstein language game, with no elaboration whatsoever! Were I to pick up the baton, I would refer to Philosophical Investigations and the dictum that, “the meaning of a word is its use in the language.” …

Part XII of the Bitgenstein Serialization

picture by Wikilmages, via Pixabay

“An amount of money lent to a government, and the interest amount charged, is assumed to be risk-free because it is in turn assumed that a government can tax, borrow, or print further amounts of money to pay its debt. These three options are indeed available to a modern government, but one must not ignore the fact that the government has no access to risk-free rates of return when investing the borrowed money. …

allen farrington

maybe a squirrel. maybe not. views my own, not my employer’s.

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