I dislike Taleb – i don’t like his tone, and his ideas aren’t original. He is not the genius he thinks he is…
Thus i was pleased to read this review (by Larry Wasserman, someone who is actually very smart):
I really wanted to like this book … The problem is the tone. The somewhat arrogant tone of his previous books has evolved into a kind of belligerent yelling. The “I am smart and everyone else is an idiot” shtick gets tiresome.
The book is full bragging; there are continuous references to his amazing wonderful travels, all the cafe’s he has been in around the world, zillions of references to historical and philosophical texts and a steady stream of his likes and dislikes. He particularly dislikes academics, business schools, and especially Harvard. He often talks about the Harvard-Soviet empire. He got an MBA for Wharton where he credits an un-named professor for teaching him about options. But, of course, the professor did not really understand what he was teaching.
We find out that Taleb hates TV, air-conditioning, sissies, and most economists. He has taken up weightlifting and, using a training technique he learned from “Lenny Cake” he can deadlift 350 pounds. He is now so strong that people mistake him for a bodyguard. You can’t make this stuff up.