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41 | 32 Comments | submitted 9 months ago by iam_we [Post Locked]
[-] TheRedPillMonkey 29 Points 9 months ago

So essentially he's saying really smart people have the capability to do really dumb things? To be blinded by ones own thoughts and look for confirmation bias? To focus intently on their opinions and disregard others? To see the world only through their lens?

Well yeah. They're human too. Even the author did it a few times in this article by assuming only his opinion was correct.

Also, what's the TRP theory here?

[-] bangalanga 15 Points 9 months ago

My understanding of this was people do not think for themselves. They aren't blinded by their own thoughts, but by everyone else's.

[-] TheRedPillMonkey 3 Points 9 months ago

The world is filled with input. You hear what others say and interpret it as you will. You agree with some, and disagree with others. That doesnt mean you blindly follow. It means you find echo chambers of agreement and disregard that which disagrees with you.

Did you come up with the red pill all on your own? No. You read about it and now are here discussing it and dismissing most who disagree. That doesn't make you an intellectual idiot. It just makes you human.

The hardest thing for all humans to do is change their opinion. It's not relagated to intellectuals.

[-] lala_xyyz 3 Points 9 months ago

The hardest thing for all humans to do is change their opinion. It's not relagated to intellectuals.

it's not about changing opinion, but being able to do so, i.e. not having any firmed opinion at all other than it being a logically coherent synthesis of your existing knowledge. To do that you must be able to critically examine data and change your "opinion" accordingly, if the data says so.

Personally I think Taleb is wee to much on a contrarian train in general.

Thinking logically however has to be trained for, unless you have a high IQ and the lack of ego.

[-] TheRedPillMonkey 1 Point 9 months ago

To do that you must be able to critically examine data and change your "opinion" accordingly, if the data says so.

Good point. As I mentioned in another comment, I think the issue here is human emotion. Changing ones opinion is equivalent to saying you were wrong, which hubris prevents.

[-] bangalanga 1 Point 9 months ago

Where do individual's beliefs and opinions come from? Environment and experience are a good place to start to answer that question. I'm not suggesting to follow blindly, I am suggesting human beings find their way into areas of society and want to stay there because it's comfortable. As a consequence they agree and disagree with certain ideas to fit their mold, thus following blindly, but in a more subtle way.

But who or what cast the mold? The answer to that question is better fit for a psychologist or sociologist, or a team of both. Ultimately I think that would be a waste of time, human beings as a group will take the easy way and remain comfortable. Ironically, I read this article and completely agreed with it because it fit what I believe.

[-] TheRedPillMonkey 1 Point 9 months ago

I also agree with the article. Well, I agree with the conclusion of the article. I disagree with the logic to get there.

I also agree with what you said, except for:

As a consequence they agree and disagree with certain ideas to fit their mold, thus following blindly, but in a more subtle way.

I would argue that's not following blindly. They conciously found people they agree and disagree with and chose to be a part of that tribe. They can choose to leave it just as eaisly.

[-] bangalanga 2 Points 9 months ago

Your last statement made it apparent I'm overlooking the significance of being able to "leave."

To amend what you said, I'm paraphrasing being on mobile, "the hardest thing for humans is to change their opinions," to: the hardest thing for humans to do is accept a new opinion, but dismissing is relatively easy.

[-] Unrealenting 1 Point 9 months ago

Which is why you don’t give a fuck what other people think. It’s made me wildly successful.

[-] NightwingTRP 9 Points 9 months ago

It's a little more than that. I strongly recommend both The Black Swan and Skin in the Game by the same author. It's explained clearly enough that you won't need formal education in statistics to understand where it's all coming from.

The TRP relevance is lesser in my opinion, but it's tangentially related. Taleb's writings do reveal hidden truths and allow you to try and bypass your own natural biases, which is useful self-improvement and will allow you to navigate the world better. (Relevant to building power, career advancement, financial independence etc.) Though this piece on what he calls the IYI is probably more relevant to the wider political sphere in which we are forced to operate. Part of the power of the falsehoods that SJWs and associated folks push is not always explained by malevolence or ignorance. It ultimately is that some of the best educated people in the world.... are totally fucking retarded... and cannot grasp this fact. Making them among the most infuriating people on the planet that we've still got to deal with in our lives and thus impacts parts of our sexual strategy.

Avoid Taleb's writings on IQ though. He doesn't grasp the topic of intelligence or the research. It's a bit like the time when Professor Brian Cox decided to venture out of physics to demonstrate his ignorance in the area of political philosophy. This last bit is just a sidenote.

[-] TheRedPillMonkey -2 Point 9 months ago

Thank you for the well thought out response.

I see his point, and while I don't disagree, I still take another direction with it. Again, even highly intellectual people are human, and the x factor of humanity is emotion.

We all get caught up in our own hubris, and I think it's fair to say that those who are told they are smarter than most in their field get caught up even more so, especially in topics they are as averagly versed as everyone else.

I think it can come down to the definition of intelligence. Is it about ability to retain knowledge? Ability to control emotion? Ability to think only logically and without emotion? Being more knowledgeable than most on a topic?

I just got the sense that this writing was the author saying "smart people aren't all that smart" as if he was shunned and disregarded by academia and had a chip on his shoulders.

Again, I see his own hubris shining through and the entire article to be a bit hypocritical.

[-] NightwingTRP 8 Points 9 months ago

Oh don't get me wrong. Taleb is a hugely arrogant individual. But he's one of these people who is arrogant rather than overconfident. He knows his stuff.

Psychologists still can't agree on the definition of intelligence at this stage. For the purposes of TRP, I'd suggest it's important to try and be well versed in most things. When you can surprise a woman with knowledge of an area that is considered socially "higher up" such as high end liquor, you can create some tingles in the sense of "this guy is probably in some higher circles if he knows about these things, has the spare time to learn about it" etc.

Though note it'll put off any woman who thinks she has no chance of ever locking you down and she'll behave like a child who's just been shown some sweets she can't have.

As mentioned, his works are well worth reading and ruminating on for wider purposes, but don't get too caught up in this particular area. The value is limited.

[-] TheRedPillMonkey 1 Point 9 months ago

Fair. I'm analyzing the single thing OP posted and not the body of his work so I only have this to go on. And I agree with you on what intelligence is in a trp context. I've been preaching that as well.

And again, I'm not disagreeing that there are a lot of retarded intelligent people out there. I just think this doesn't do a deep enough dive as to causality and fails to explore the intricacies of human emotion into why otherwise smart people can do dumb things.

Just look at intelligent billionaires who get married. Is it really logical? No. But we all know the emotion of oneitis.

[-] Krackor 2 Points 9 months ago

The deep dive you're looking for is in his book "Antifragile".

[-] Imperator_Red 6 Points 9 months ago

No, he's saying that the intellectual "elite" do not have any skin in the game and so they believe stupid things. Even if you are smart, if there is never any external check on what you believe then you can spin off into absurdities.

It's easy to love diversity when you don't live next to the ghetto and you face no danger from "diverse" communities, or when you know that you can get your kid a job at the accounting firm your buddy works for so he's not going to be passed over for a diversity hire.

It's easy to love free trade and unlimited immigration when your job isn't at risk.

It's easy to promote socialism when you work for a university with 100% job security and you produce nothing.

It's easy to support women in the police/fire/military when you aren't standing next to her and picking up her slack.

It's easy to make macroeconomic predictions when each macroeconomic event is a unique event, meaning that there is very little accountability for bad predictions.

[-] bjcm5891 6 Points 9 months ago

\^ This. Can't believe I had to scroll down this far until I found a comment from somebody (besides OP) who got what the article is about. The educated idiot is the person who thinks that because they went to university, read mainstream publications aimed at people like them and can regurgitate arguments at the drop of a hat, that this makes them smarter than most people and in a position to talk down to their inferiors who don't share their worldview. These are the people who were bewildered about how Trump got elected because "Nobody I know voted for him"...

The thing with these people is that while they're very well-versed in what to think, they're generally lacking in the department of how to think. Hence why it's equally hilarious and infuriating that they are (so often) unbearably smug and condescending.

[-] adam-l 2 Points 9 months ago


You do a nice job in describing the middle-class fears that drive them to reactionism.

When the middle-class are in fear, most often than not, they react rather than act. They try to turn back history, because taking it forward would still be into the unknown, and hence fearsome.

Like women, having secured survival, the middle-class are pissed when their opportunities at optimizing are frustrated. And, like women, they have no concern whatsoever for anything outside what they perceive as their own in-group, making them unfit to base any meaningful social change on them.

It was Mussolini and Trotsky, from the opposite sides of the political spectrum, that about a century ago asserted that the middle-class cannot have its own politics: they are condemned to either follow and serve the interests of the elite, or side with those below and contribute to a revolutionary process.

Only, in the first case, they do so unwittingly: the middle-class reactionary thinks himself as a revolutionary.

[-] neasonal 0 Points 9 months ago

You’re fundamentally misunderstanding. He’s arguing that they aren’t intelligent.

Credentialists (appeal to authority) should be ignored. They rely on unmeasured/untested theory (scientism) rather than proven results (science) because they lack, consciously or not, the ability to actually produce anything.

It’s actually an efficient strategy and common pattern for people who are average to slightly above average but not clmpetitive.

[-] OkPhilosophy1 11 Points 9 months ago

Skin in the Game should be required reading. It explains a lot about modern society very quickly.

[-] Whisper 7 Points 9 months ago

This is simply my article on Scienceism in Taleb-speak.

As an additional observation, the reason that rednecks are so frequently right, and academic experts so frequently wrong is that the there is a hierarchy of knowledge, in order of usefulness:

  1. Specific experience about the exact problem under discussion.
  2. Specific experience with other very similar problems in the same field.
  3. Specific experience with analogous problems.
  4. General expertise about the field of the problem.
  5. Being highly intelligent.
  6. Being highly educated in some other field.
  7. Having a degree from an Ivy League school that naive people still think admits students based on merit.
  8. Sounding intelligent by reading a teleprompter well like Barrack Obama.

The split between rednecks who get shit done, and academics who come up with grandiose theories and break stuff, generally happens around #4.

This is, for example, is hwy the newly-formed Soviet Union decided to teach the peasants how to grow food. After all, they were educated men with fancy degrees, and the peasants were just a bunch of yokels who could barely read and hadn't done anything for generations except... grow food.

[-] himsenior 1 Point 9 months ago

I'd add this one:

  1. Making lists that finish by taking a swipe against "Barrack" Obama.

I highly doubt most people could get through an hour long interview and discuss the range of topics he does with his depth.

Read here, Obama listening to a wide ranging criticism against his presidency - that he may have abused the executive - and makes clear that he understands those nuanced objections which differ across the political spectrum. And in a long form response, he systematically goes through several objections and then ties it back to earlier points in he made in the conversation about how different power brokers affect his decision making.

Frankly, it's insane to me that people have the perception that Obama's erudite reputation is nothing more than an ability to read from a teleprompter. That's simply wrong.

Let's stipulate that you feel that what you did was clearly within the law. The question for me is has the presidency become too powerful in your view?

I distinguish between domestic policy and foreign policy. I think on foreign policy, the concern I have right now is because we're in a nontraditional war. It's what we call the war on terrorism, although terrorism to some degree is a tactic. We're in a war against a non-state, a set of non-state actors that are operating in the shadows, are in nooks and crannies and crevices around the world.

And what that means is that you're never going to have a scene of surrender like we had with the Emperor [Hirohito] and Gen. MacArthur, where you don't have a clear start and finish to the use of force. The danger is that over time, Congress starts feeling pretty comfortable with just having the president do all this stuff and not really having to weigh in.

So for example, we're still operating in our fight against ISIL without a new congressional authorization. It's the authorization that dates back to 9/11. And I think that is an area that we have to worry about. The president and the executive branch are always going to have greater latitude and greater authority when it comes to protecting America, because sometimes you just have to respond quickly and not everything that is a danger can be publicized and be subject to open debate.

But there have to be some guardrails. And what we've had to do on things like drones, or the NSA, or a number of the tools that we use to penetrate terrorist networks, what we've had to do is to build the guard rails internally. Essentially set up a whole series of processes to guard against government overreach, to reform some practices that I thought over time would threaten civil liberties.

You know, there are some critics on the left who would argue we haven't gone far enough on that. I would argue that we've gotten it about right, although I'm the first one to admit that we didn't get it all right on day one. There were times where, for example, with respect to drones, that I had to kind of stop the system for a second, and say "You know what? We're getting too comfortable with our ability to take kinetic strikes around the world without having enough process to avoid consistently the kinds of civilian casualties that can end up actually hurting us in the war against radicalization."

On the domestic side, the truth is that, you know, there hasn't been a radical change between what I did and what George Bush did and what Bill Clinton did and what the first George Bush did. It's, you know, the issue of big agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Labor, having to take laws that have been passed, like the Clean Air Act, which is hugely complicated and very technical, and fill in the gaps and figure out our "What does this mean and how do we apply this to new circumstances?" That's not new. Having federal bureaucracies and federal regulations, that's not new. I think that what's happened that I do worry about is that Congress has become so dysfunctional, that more and more of a burden is placed on the agencies to fill in the gaps, and the gaps get bigger and bigger because they're not constantly refreshed and tweaked.

Let's go back to something like the Affordable Care Act. I could not be prouder of the fact that the uninsured rate has never been lower. That 20 million people have health insurance that we didn't have before. But I said when the bill passed that it wasn't perfect. Over the course of six years of implementing a very complicated piece of legislation that affects one-sixth of the economy, that there were going to be things we learned that would allow us to improve it. And I don't know how many times I've said to Republicans, both publicly and privately, in State of the Union speeches, in town halls around the country, that if they're willing to engage and work with me, then we can identify ways to tweak and improve this system so that more people have health insurance and it works even better and it's more stable, and build on the things that seemed to have worked. For example, the fact that we've actually slowed the growth of health care costs since the bill passed. And each time I've said this, the basic Republican response has been "No, all we want to do is repeal it. And we'll replace it with something later."

And they're still saying that now post-election, although as we've seen, the best independent estimates are if you just repeal and you don't replace you're going to have 30 million people without health insurance, not to mention people who already have health insurance suddenly losing a lot of the benefits that individually are very popular though people don't know that they're part of Obamacare, like making sure that you don't get barred from getting insurance if you have a pre-existing condition, or keeping your kid on your health care until they're 26 years old. So the fierce partisanship, the unwillingness to engage in amending laws, fixing laws. That then leads to agencies having to scramble to do more work.

And the bottom line is, if you want to right-size executive power relative to the other branches of government, the best way to do that is to have a healthy Congress in which the two parties are debating, disagreeing but also occasionally working together to pass legislation.

[-] Whisper 1 Point 9 months ago

Did you really expect to read TRP and not eventually smell the mouthwatering aroma of your particular sacred cow being barbequed?

The lesson here is don't have sacred cows.

Wise men can be my teachers, because I can see their wisdom and emulate it. And fools can be my teachers as well, because I can see their foolishness and avoid it. And then I can realize that every man has elements of both the wise man and the fool, and every man can be my teacher, if only by example rather than design.

If I wanted to sound erudite, I might listen to Barrack Obama for an example of what to do. If I wanted to make wise decisions about leadership with long-term good outcomes, I might look at him as an example of what not to do.

Don't form sentimental attachments to people you don't know. We are all prone to both halo effect and its reverse, but we need not embrace it.

[-] [deleted] 9 months ago
[-] TheBadGoy 1 Point 9 months ago

Bad example, since you're implying the "Soviet Union" wanted to feed the peasants.

[-] FieldLine 4 Points 9 months ago

If you liked this you'd also like Tom Wolfe's Commencement Address to the Boston University Class of 2000

(Start from about half way down from the paragraph "Now, we must be careful to make a distinction....")

[-] Kurush559 3 Points 9 months ago

That final line was brilliant.

[-] CatoTheHungry 2 Points 9 months ago

One of the best writers ever

[-] chazthundergut 1 Point 9 months ago

If you havent read Anti-Fragile yet, go read it

[-] chronogumbo 1 Point 9 months ago

This dude comes off like the people he's trying to insult

[-] [deleted] 9 months ago
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[-] UnbreakableButts 1 Point 9 months ago

This sounds like an angrier but funnier Thomas Sowell. He even uses the term intelligentsia. I'll definitely check out his books.