Priceless, Insightful Comment

I found this amazing comment at The Conservative Treehouse, where so many in the comments section are brilliant, funny, cutting, analytical, generous, & experienced in so much of real-world living.  Check out the CTH site, you might never leave!!!  Here is the location of the original post:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Discusses the U.S-China Trade Reset and Initiatives….

  1. Zippy says:

    Since we’re dealing with macroeconomics (a pseudo “science”), mentioning this guy seems appropriate. I really like his attitude and was reminded of him today by the use of his acronym IYI in a column I was reading. Excerpts from one of his classic columns:

    The Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI)
    by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    Sep 16, 2016


    What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policy making “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

    But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligentsia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities-but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

    The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities-most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

    The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term “uneducated”. What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the IYI, and “populism” when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. While rich people believe in one tax dollar one vote, more humanistic ones in one man one vote, Monsanto in one lobbyist one vote, the IYI believes in one Ivy League degree one-vote, with some equivalence for foreign elite schools and PhDs as these are needed in the club.

    More quotes from Nassim Taleb:

    “The *establishment* composed of journos, BS-Vending talking heads with well-formulated verbs, bureaucrato-cronies, lobbyists-in training, New Yorker-reading semi-intellectuals, image-conscious empty suits, Washington rent-seekers and other “well thinking” members of the vocal elites are not getting the point about what is happening and the sterility of their arguments. People are not voting for Trump (or Sanders). People are just voting, finally, to destroy the establishment.” – Facebook comment made on 7 Mar 2016 by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    “I propose that effectively what people resent – or should resent – is the person at the top who has no skin in the game; that is, because he doesn’t bear his allotted risk, he is immune to the possibility of falling from his pedestal, exiting the income or wealth bracket, and getting to the soup kitchen. On that account, the detractors of Donald Trump, when he was a candidate, failed to realize that, by advertising his episode of bankruptcy and his personal losses of close to a billion dollars, they removed the resentment one may have towards him. There is something respectable in losing a billion dollars, provided it is your own money.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, scholar, statistician, risk analyst, and author of the 36 week NYT best seller “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable”

    About Nassim Taleb:

    “Nassim Taleb is a prickly arrogant SOB who doesn’t give a crap what intellectuals, academics, and other establishment elitists think about him. He has an Ivy league MBA, but despises everything about the curriculum of Ivy League MBA programs. He has a PhD, but scorns academics and their worship of theories and models. Taleb has called for cancellation of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, saying that the damage from inevitably flawed economic theories can be devastating and he urges that banks be treated as utilities forbidden to take potentially lethal risk with depositor money. He enjoys poking holes in the storylines of the propaganda spewing corporate media. He glories in ridiculing the predictions of captured “experts” mouthing the talking points of whichever corporate interest is paying them blood money. He wrote his brilliant Black Swan book back in 2006, a book released in early 2007 which was a powerful tome predicting the financial collapse in 2008.”


Lurking at the Conservative Treehouse blog, including the comments section, might just be akin to getting a free Hillsdale College education!  Patriotic, Conservative, & often Christian insight & community abound!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s