Tag Archives: NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB

THE LINGUISTIC BARRIER IN PHILOSOPHY

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All of the great philosophers reappropriated terms, changed or expanded definitions, or created new terms.  I refer to this as thought technology.  One of my favorite pieces was a philosopher whose name escapes me that suggested that rocks and objects perform in the act of their existing a type of thinking known as “prehension”.  Not comprehension but that which comes before actual thought, prehension.

Most people have a cognitive bias.  They look to prove themselves correct and they don’t look for new information, they are, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb says, “epistemically arrogant.”  People try to prove their world view correct because if it isn’t correct it has negative survival data for them.

People that are constantly pushing the boundaries of their understanding eventually break out of being trapped in the forms, the words, the ideas, that were created by others and given to us.  As long as you are trapped in the words you are only going to be able to see what others saw.  You are only going to be able to do what others have done.   Only wizards, linguistic philosophers, and drug addicts break through this barrier.  You have to give yourself permission to create terms and change definitions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_determinism

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THE BLACK SWAN

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THE BLACK SWAN $200 SHIPPING AND HANDLING NOT INCLUDED. http://www.etsy.com/shop/WisdomBeacons

 

http://lynnmarie1.tumblr.com/

I painted this piece with some Maori tribal designs and a sunset, it is very meaningful to me for many reasons not the least of which is the correlation with the in breaths and out breaths of Brahma, and his vamana being a swan.  I identify with the black swan.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, one of my favorite authors wrote a book called the black swan about unpredictable events being the major mover of the stock market.  The swan represents to me those unpredictable events.  People are epistemicly arrogant they over value what they know and they undervalue what they don’t know and they bias mine to prove themselves correct and ignore evidence that they are wrong.

There is also a cognitive bias associated with it.  If one thinks that all swans are white then anything that doesn’t directly confront that incorrect belief supports it.  Which means if you see a black crow, or a pink flamingo it confirms your incorrect belief that all swans are white.  This kind of thinking prevents people from detecting their own horse shit and it makes an environment rich for outliers, people and events you never see coming….

….LIKE MYSELF!!!

Just because it has never happened before that you know of, doesn’t mean that something is preventing it from happening.  Life doesn’t have any narrative that it has to fulfill.

Nihilo necesare sequitur, nothing necessarily follows.