About Joshua Rosenblum

Phlegmatic paladin of the Enlightenment, Defender of Liberty hither and yon!

Public Notes


Recent Activity

  • Joshua shared from The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Fragility" (Incerto) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    Let us apply this reasoning to September 11, 2001. Around twenty-five hundred people were directly killed by bin Laden’s group in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Their families benefited from the support of all manner of agencies and charities, as they should. But, according to researchers, during the remaining three months of the year, close to one thousand people died as silent victims of the terrorists. How? Those who were afraid of flying and switched to driving ran an increased risk of death. There was evidence of an increase of casualties on the road during that period; the...
  • Joshua shared from The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Fragility" (Incerto) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    In his essay “What We See and What We Don’t See,” Bastiat offered the following idea: we can see what governments do, and therefore sing their praises—but we do not see the alternative. But there is an alternative; it is less obvious and remains unseen. Recall the confirmation fallacy: governments are great at telling you what they did, but not what they did not do. In fact, they engage in what could be labeled as phony “philanthropy,” the activity of helping people in a visible and sensational way without taking into account the unseen cemetery of invisible consequences. Bastiat inspired...
  • Joshua shared from The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Fragility" (Incerto) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    Consider the nature of information: of the millions, maybe even trillions, of small facts that prevail before an event occurs, only a few will turn out to be relevant later to your understanding of what happened. Because your memory is limited and filtered, you will be inclined to remember those data that subsequently match the facts, unless you are like the eponymous Funes in the short story by Jorge Luis Borges, “Funes, the Memorious,” who forgets nothing and seems condemned to live with the burden of the accumulation of unprocessed information. (He does not manage to live too long.)
  • Joshua shared from The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Fragility" (Incerto) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    Our inability to predict in environments subjected to the Black Swan, coupled with a general lack of the awareness of this state of affairs, means that certain professionals, while believing they are experts, are in fact not.
  • Joshua shared from The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Fragility" (Incerto) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact (unlike the bird). Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.
(Kandahar, Afghanistan)
Joshua Rosenblum