Move over, Newton

It is any really surprise Taleb believes this

This is coming from someone who has no original, novel insights or findings in regard to economics, mathematics, or finance in his name. The handful of papers Taleb has published are in bottom-ranked journals or trade magazines, and demonstrate no original insights or findings. Go ahead on Twitter and ask Taleb, politely, what original findings he has made in economics or finance, and assuming he does not ban you, the answer is none. He cannot answer the question because he knows he has produced nothing despite being held up as a genius by the liberal media and by his throngs of followers on Twitter and That is why he is constantly ranting against professors and academia, because he so badly wants to be accepted by the very people he openly despises. He despise them not because he is superior to them, but because he cannot join their club. Unlike his hundreds of thousands of average-IQ twitter followers, they [these academics] are unimpressed by Talab’s Mathematica-rendered PDF preprints of fat-tailed distributions. Taleb knows he is sorta a fraud (as in being overhyped and propped up by the media despite having produced nothing original or substantive), so him ranting against academia is him projecting this insecurity.

Taleb continues to submit papers to journals, which is evidence that he is trying to be accepted by academia despite at the same time on Twitter dismissing academia and publishing as worthless. The main problem Taleb has is that his papers, to put it bluntly, suck, and are published in bottom-ranked journals. On his CV, his latest paper is titled:

2020 N N Taleb, Y Bar-Yam P Cirillo, On Single Point Forecasts for Fat-Tailed Variables, International Journal of Forecasting [Probability, Risk Management]

The Journal of International Journal of Forecasting ranks 118th in economics journals, which is a very poor ranking. It means few people are going to read or see it. If Taleb and his co-author could have published it in a better journal, they would, but the quality of his work is not good enough. Skimming the paper, it is just 9 pages, with 40 citations for such an unimpressive paper. It reads as if it was taken from one of his books, and alludes to the Black Swan and various aphorisms he has coined (such as ‘never cross a river that is on average 4 feet deep’), as opposed to a rigorous academic paper.

The conclusion does not give actual scientific/quantitative findings contained within the paper, but rather reads like an opinion piece:

To conclude, as the trader lore transmitted by generations of operators goes, “if you must panic, it pays to panic early.” The Ottoman Empire integrated Byzantine knowledge accumulated since at least the Plague of Justinian; it is sad to see ancient cultures more risk-conscious, better learners from history, and economically more effective than modern governments. They avoided modern “evidence based” reductions that, as we saw, are insulting to both science and wisdom. And, had it not been for such a collective ancestral risk-awareness and
understanding of asymmetry, we doubt that many of us would be here today. Now, what did we learn from the pandemic? That an intelligent application of the precautionary principle [23] consists
in formulating decisions that are wise in both foresight and hindsight. Here again, this is ancient: it maps to Aristotle’s phronesis as presented in his Nichomachean Ethics.

To put is tersely, the level of scholarship is poor, and this is for all of his papers. He generates some formulas and graphs using Mathematica, embeds them in a PDF, and takes a screenshot which he posts to Twitter where his followers are awestruck by his purported brilliance, and calls it ‘research’.

A response by one of Taleb’s most loyal fans, Michael Harris, who runs an overpriced trading system despite pretending to be an expert and having nothing to show for it, likens Taleb to Newton:

That just shows you how deep the delusion runs among these people. Except that Newton produced actually quantifiable, meritorious results. I think being the first person ever to devise the correct mathematical formulation of non-relativistic gravity (and a bunch of other stuff such as co-inventing calculus), is a pretty noteworthy accomplishment. But Talab invented the black swan concept, so move over Newton.