Nassim Nicholas Taleb Quotes


Best 303 Quotes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Page 1 of 11

“A Stoic is someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”

“Charm is the ability to insult people without offending them; nerdiness the reverse.”

“I've never met a rich nitpicker.”

“If you do something you don't like, it sort of corrupts your personality.”

“If you need others to know that you are doing well, you're not doing well.”

“If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.”

“Many people drive two miles to the gym in order to walk two miles on a treadmill. Just walk.”

“Never take any advice from someone you didn't ask for advice.”

“Never take any financial advice from someone who has to work for a living.”

“People focus on role models; it is more effective to find anti-models – people you don't want to resemble when you grow up.”

“Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg didn't finish college. Too much emphasis is placed on formal education. I told my children not to worry about their grades but to enjoy learning.”

“Stoicism is about the domestication of emotions, not their elimination.”

“The best researcher is the one who hates academia, the best politician the one who hates politics, best bureaucrat one who hates bureaucracy.”

“The only thing a business school professor can teach you is how to become a business school professor.”

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”

“When you have trial and error you outperform someone who knows because convexity matters a lot more than knowledge.”

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“Avoid stock expressions (like the plague, as William Safire used to say) and repetitions.

Don't say that as a boy your grandmother used to read to you, unless at that stage of her life she really was a boy, in which case you have probably thrown away a better intro.

If something is worth hearing or listening to, it's very probably worth reading. So, this above all: Find your own voice.”

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“You will be civilized on the day you can spend a long period doing nothing, learning nothing, and improving nothing, without feeling the slightest amount of guilt.”

Antifragile Quotes

“A man is honorable in proportion to the personal risks he takes for his opinion.”


“A Stoic is a Buddhist with attitude, one who says 'f*ck you' to fate.”


“Abundance is harder for us to handle than scarcity.”


“Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”


“Authors, artists, and even philosophers are much better off having a very small number of fanatics behind them than a large number of people who appreciate their work.

The number of persons who dislike the work don’t count — there is no such thing as the opposite of buying your book.”


“Avoidance of boredom is the only worthy mode of action. Life otherwise is not worth living.”


“Books to me are not expanded journal articles, but reading experiences, and the academics who tend to read in order to cite in their writing – rather than read for enjoyment, curiosity, or simply because they like to read – tend to be frustrated when they can't rapidly scan the text and summarize it in one sentence that connects it to some existing discourse in which they have been involved.”


“Curiosity is antifragile, like an addiction, and is magnified by attempts to satisfy it. Books have a secret mission and ability to multiply, as everyone who has wall-to-wall bookshelves knows well.”


“Difficulty is what wakes up the genius.”


“Few understand that procrastination is our natural defense, letting things take care of themselves and exercise their antifragility; it results from some ecological or naturalistic wisdom, and is not always bad – at an existential level, it is my body rebelling against its entrapment. It is my soul fighting the Procrustean bed of modernity.”


“Further, my characterization of a loser is someone who, after making a mistake, doesn’t introspect, doesn’t exploit it, feels embarrassed and defensive rather than enriched with a new piece of information, and tries to explain why he made the mistake rather than moving on.

These types often consider themselves the 'victims' of some large plot, a bad boss, or bad weather.”


“Had Prozac been available last century, Baudelaire's 'spleen', Edgar Allan Poe's moods, the poetry of Sylvia Plath, the lamentations of so many other poets, everything with a soul would have been silenced.

If large pharmaceutical companies were able to eliminate the seasons, they would probably do so – for profit, of course.”


“He tends to mistake the unknown for the nonexistent.”


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“There are similarities between absolute power and absolute faith: a demand for absolute obedience, a readiness to attempt the impossible, a bias for simple solutionsto cut the knot rather than unravel it, the viewing of compromise as surrender. Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence, absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.”

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