“The beginning of the end of the Trump presidency…”
“The tipping point…”
“The walls are closing in…”
“Trump’s going down…”
“He will not serve out his term…”
After two years of the mainstream media breathlessly floating ‘Russiagate’ conspiracies on a daily basis to see just what will stick, Trump remains comfortably in the White House, and as journalist Aaron Maté notes for The Nation, with just days to the midterms, Russiagate is MIA.
And how goes the endless echo chamber of predictions foretelling Trump’s imminent demise? Nassim Taleb recounts the barrage of “intellectuals” and pundits who told him Trump “will last 3 months at best”.
According to Skin in the Game author Nassim Nicholas Taleb:
An illustration of how little journalists & “intellectuals” understand the world: their predictions of events related to Trump’s presidency. How many people I didn’t know were idiots have emphatically told me “he will last 3 months at best”…
To illustrate, Taleb links to the below epic “news” compilation…
And now for a definition from Taleb’s crucial lexicon…
What’s a IYI? Defines Taleb:
Intellectual Yet Idiot: semi-erudite bureaucrat who thinks he is an erudite; pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand not realizing it is his understanding that may be limited; imparts normative ideas to others: thinks people should act according to their best interests *and* he knows their interests, particularly if they are uneducated “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class.
And further, per Taleb…
More socially, the IYI subscribes to The New Yorker. He never curses on twitter. He speaks of “equality of races” and “economic equality” but never went out drinking with a minority cab driver. Those in the U.K. have been taken for a ride by Tony Blair. The modern IYI has attended more than one TEDx talks in person or watched more than two TED talks on Youtube.
Not only will he vote for Hillary Monsanto-Malmaison because she seems electable and some other such circular reasoning, but holds that anyone who doesn’t do so is mentally ill.
The IYI has a copy of the first hardback edition of The Black Swan on his shelves, but mistakes absence of evidence for evidence of absence. He believes that GMOs are “science”, that the “technology” is not different from conventional breeding as a result of his readiness to confuse science with scientism.
Typically, the IYI get the first order logic right, but not second-order (or higher) effects making him totally incompetent in complex domains. In the comfort of his suburban home with 2-car garage, he advocated the “removal” of Gadhafi because he was “a dictator”, not realizing that removals have consequences (recall that he has no skin in the game and doesn’t pay for results).
The IYI is member of a club to get traveling privileges; if social scientist he uses statistics without knowing how they are derived (like Steven Pinker and psycholophasters in general); when in the UK, he goes to literary festivals; he drinks red wine with steak (never white); he used to believe that fat was harmful and has now completely reversed; he takes statins because his doctor told him so; he fails to understand ergodicity and when explained to him, he forgets about it soon later; he doesn’t use Yiddish words even when talking business; he studies grammar before speaking a language; he has a cousin who worked with someone who knows the Queen; he has never read Frederic Dard, Libanius Antiochus, Michael Oakeshot, John Gray, Amianus Marcellinus, Ibn Battuta, Saadiah Gaon, or Joseph De Maistre; he has never gotten drunk with Russians; he never drank to the point when one starts breaking glasses (or, preferably, chairs); he doesn’t know the difference between Hecate and Hecuba; he doesn’t know that there is no difference between “pseudointellectual” and “intellectual” in the absence of skin in the game; has mentioned quantum mechanics at least twice in the past 5 years in conversations that had nothing to do with physics; he knows at any point in time what his words or actions are doing to his reputation.
But a much easier marker: he doesn’t deadlift.
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