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Problematic problems: some are good to have, some shouldn’t be solved.

This post is about problems: in proper “Writing my own User Manual” style, I’ll explore a few handy little mental tricks that make my life easier to manage. It’s a light interlude, I won’t delve into obscure philosophical problems and

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Posted in Politics, Psychology, Stupidity

Strong AI, utilitarianism and our limited minds

There is a fascinating discussion happening across a few of my favourite blogs, it is about the moral implications of the hypothetical emergence of strong artificial intelligence: should we grant rights to sentient machines? How will we ever be able

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Posted in Ethics, Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Psychology, Stupidity

R. Read and N.N. Taleb advocate religion as a risk-management system: I am not convinced.

My difficult relation with N.N. Taleb’s ideas has been the underlying thread of a significant proportion of posts, and I keep hoping this tension will generate useful insights. However sometimes my will to embrace ideological diversity is shaken vigorously… Rupert

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Posted in Ethics, Politics, Religion

Random thoughts on Antifragility (Part 2): the role of heuristics

How can we prepare for the unexpected? One of the central features of Nassim N. Taleb book “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder” is that the great big world is essentially (?!?) unpredictable, and that most attempts to tame it

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Posted in Ethics, Evolution, Philosophy, Science

Random thoughts on Antifragility (Part 1)

Nassim N. Taleb book “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder” is notoriously divisive: you either love it or hate it. In my case, it’s both: I loved reading it as much as I found it infuriating. I will start my

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Posted in Ethics, Evolution, Philosophy, Science

Antifragility: an introduction for Social Scientists and Policy Makers

This week I gave a seminar on Antifragility to my colleagues at the Social Science Research Unit. The concept of Antifragility was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and popularised through his “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder” book. The seminar

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Posted in Politics, Science
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