A writing piece from Scott P. Scheper.
Daily Issue No. 121
Scott P. Scheper
One American Plaza
Downtown San Diego, CA
You (i.e. the person reading this now)
Thursday, 5:30 pm
Yesterday in my Daily Issue No. 120, I wrote about the Amazon public profile page of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I then asked you to review his Amazon profile page. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please read it now: Issue No. 120 (The Scott Scheper Daily)
Before you read any further...
Have you read Daily Issue No. 120?
If No: then read my opening paragraph.
If Yes: then continue below!
OK, so I left you with a cliffhanger yesterday. I asked you to think about what makes Taleb's profile page noteworthy and important.
Without further ado, I will now tell you what it is.
It's one word: polarity. Yes, polarity.
He gives ratings of either five-stars, or the polar opposite: 1-star.
Taleb's profile page contains 20 written book reviews, only one of which, by the way, is NOT a five-star or one-star review! What is it? A two-star review of the book Taleb calls, "Junk Science: severely flawed thesis/handling of data". The author of such an atrocious book? None other than Steven Pinker, the Harvard University professor and author of many bestsellers (spanning cognitive psychology, linguistics, and science).
Taleb's other noteworthy book reviews:
- "Shockingly ignorant book full of elementary errors, absence of scholarship"
- "[T]he authors are clueless about risk and are dangerously so, promoting silly risk bearing"
- "[The author]" produces a remarkable ignorance of the tools he is discussing.
Why is Taleb so extreme?
Why do his opinions sit at polar ends?
Here's one answer...
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is...
a pedantic curmudgeon...
who is out-of-touch with reality...
and will soon be out-of-touch with relevance...
to his doctrinaire demeanor.
In other words...
Taleb is a complete and total prick!
Or, perhaps not...
Attributing Taleb's polarity to a prickly personality is vulnerable. To what, you ask? Vulnerable to this: a type of errant thinking known as, Fundamental Attribution Error ("FAE").
FAE is a cognitive fallacy that you will learn about much if you're a subscriber of my monthly publication, The Scott Scheper Journal, made available in physical format only, and delivered via first-class mail. (Why physical format only? I explain in the footnotes section. Hint: it's not for legal and piracy reasons).
Anyway, back to it...
The lesson is this: attributing Taleb's polar disposition to his personality stands rather trite and errant.
If his vehement polarity doesn't stem from his personality, however, then where does it come from?
Answer: his environment.
In other words, Taleb is conditioned by the environment he operates in. It rewards him for adopting polar stances, and polar opinions.
Why? It's simple——polarity gets results.
If Taleb's opinions were moderate, we wouldn't know of him. His books? They would not find popularity. His media presence? Fractional of today's.
Polarity is effective. Period.
To attract attention, you must be prolific. You must avoid boring.
On the opposite end of boring is crazy. Many delude themselves into The Crazy Zone. You must also avoid this.
You must strive to live in a different zone: The Prolific Zone.
How do you know if you're in The Prolific Zone? How does one live in The Prolific Zone?
These, my dear reader, or my dear friend (in the case you're a Monthly Review subscriber)——such questions are best kept for a future issue of The Scott Scheper Journal.
Peace and love,
Scott P. Scheper
Thursday, 11:14 pm
Ethics Unwrapped. “Fundamental Attribution Error.” Accessed May 20, 2021. http://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/glossary/fundamental-attribution-error. ↩︎
Why is The Scott Scheper Journal only available in physical format? Because it is a hand-crafted labor of love. Every detail and every word is deliberately agonized over. Each concept is the output of work from my physical notes dating as far back as 2006. The paper, ink, font, and layout are explicitly chosen to capture a desired texture, smell, touch, sound, and even taste! Every single one is personally signed by myself. ↩︎
Or perhaps otherwise known by equivocal and/or analagous terms: the world, society, culture, the broader system, and the whole, which comprises the parts. ↩︎
Brunson, Russell. Expert Secrets the Underground Playbook to Find Your Message, Build a Tribe, and Change the World, 2017. ↩︎
Scott P. Scheper