Is ERE akin to Taleb's antifragility?

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Is ERE akin to Taleb's antifragility?

Post by stand@desk » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:09 pm

I am reading Taleb's book "Antifragility" right now, about 50 pages into it. It seems very much like the ERE Philosophy, but perhaps even more so? ERE to me has been built around the meaning of "robustness" and "unbreakability." Taleb's meaning of antifragility is growth under the right type and right amount of stressors in an environment. Perhaps this topic may have been covered in a previous thread, but I am curious for those who have read Taleb's book how they would compare the two disciplines. And has Taleb had any discourses on the topic of ERE?

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Re: Is ERE akin to Taleb's antifragility?

Post by DSKla » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:15 pm

I've read it, and once you internalize all the concepts in the book, it's very compatible with ERE. I wouldn't say antifrgaility necessarily has anything to do with retiring early, but you can certainly apply it to your system in order to accomplish that goal. Reducing fragilities and collecting minimal risk/potentially very high reward options would be helpful for just about any goal.

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Re: Is ERE akin to Taleb's antifragility?

Post by jacob » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:34 pm

I've read it and lived it (I traded options as a quant). Oh .. I also wrote the other half some years ago.

I usually compare ERE to a time-dependent version of permaculture although running a portfolio of options is a much better metaphor for how I think about things. However, there are more people familiar with permaculture than there people are familiar with trading gamma (risk-convexity), so I usually refer to permaculture.

I consider this advanced ERE level stuff ... also advanced risk trading. Most don't have a deep appreciation of risk-convexity. Also ERE is the other side of the trade that made Taleb rich---more about collecting income from other people's risk aversion than the other way around. Blargh .. I hate to say this because I'm sure there'll be at least one lurker who will take it out context in the wrong way ... but I will state it for the record: "Random lurker. Meet underside of the proverbial bus.". There is however no point in me going into a discourse on the finer points of risk trading. ERE is much more peasant-oriented (=> practical) than high finance.

Anyhoo, if you do ERE like I do, it's antifragile. If you think of ERE as early-early retirement via the 4% rule, it's the opposite and very fragile. I have no doubt that I could explain to Taleb how I see ERE in 5 minutes or less. On the other hand, if you're getting your options-experience from a popularized book on antifragility, I think whatever I have to say about more likely to be misleading than enlightening. It would (and has been) much easier for me to explain ERE to other option-traders than it has been to explain it to the 4%-index crowd.

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Re: Is ERE akin to Taleb's antifragility?

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:56 pm

I see antifragility as a property of some systems and ERE as the application of systems thinking to personal finance.

This seems like a good place to bring up "Survival+". I just finished this book yesterday and it is like ERE's more theoretical cousin (with a more pessimistic, doomsday twist). I am surprised that it is so rarely mentioned on the form, but I did see that Jacob was reading through the bibliography (something I want to do as well).

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Re: Is ERE akin to Taleb's antifragility?

Post by jennypenny » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:24 pm

An older thread that's tangentially related ... viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3003 .

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Re: Is ERE akin to Taleb's antifragility?

Post by Dragline » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:48 pm

stand@desk wrote:
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:09 pm
And has Taleb had any discourses on the topic of ERE?
Fame has made Taleb more weird by the year. It's like the metaphor of "absolute power corrupts absolutely" transmuted into "absolute fame perverts absolutely." His personal about his homeland (Syria/Lebanon) and attacking intellectuals seem to dominate his thought processes these days.

jacob speaks for the correlation issue.

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Re: Is ERE akin to Taleb's antifragility?

Post by ThisDinosaur » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:15 am

I discovered both books around the same time. So the similarity of the philosophies was obvious to me. ERE is like the practical workbook to Taleb's primary text. I probably would have been much more critical of Antifragile if the author hadn't made a few fortunes on the ideas inside. Especially because of, as Dragline said, his constant attacking of intellectuals.

As somebody who worships at the altar of science, I had to hold a very open mind as his whole series of books craps all over academics in general in favor of old wives tales and inherited cultural wisdom. Its well argued, and its pretty in line with John Michael Greer's thinking, too. ... atism.html
Specifically, the idea that the uneducated yokel skeptics in the monster movies who say things like "man should not play god" are usually right.

I've been incorporating this way of thinking into my world view. For example, Taleb's explanation of the Precautionary Principle has changed my mind on GMOs.

On the other hand, this essay from slatestarcodex sums up why you shouldn't dismiss all ivory tower eggheads just because one trader made more money than all of them combined. ... they-dont/

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