Nassim Taleb: Real life is a risk

I was once at a dinner party. Across from me at a large round table sat a polite young man named David.

The owner, Edgar, was a physicist, and the evening was devoted to a certain author, former Secretary of the great Borges, so that all, except David, were dressed as people who read Borges.

David same all kind has shown that he doesn't know that people are reading, among other authors, Borges, getting it together, dress a certain way.



At some point during dinner, he suddenly pulled out a knife, ice pick and pierced his palm. I had no idea who this guy is, and did not know that Edgar is interested in tricks.

It turned out that my neighbor, the famous illusionist David blaine.

I knew very little about magic and suggested that they are dealing with an optical illusion, but at the end of the party saw how David takes the coat he was holding a handkerchief to a drop of blood fell on the floor. So he really was stabbed in the hand with a knife to ice — with all the attendant risks.

In my eyes he became a completely different person. He became real. He risked his skin.

A few months later we met again and trying to shake his hand, I saw the scar.


The thousand-year dispute , This episode helped me to understand the concept of the Trinity.

Christianity throughout its development, in all cathedrals, continued and continues to insist on the dual nature of Jesus Christ. Theologically it would be easier if God was God, and Jesus a man, one of the prophets — by the way, for Muslims it is.

But no, he must be both God and man, and this duality is so important that it is saved and refined for two thousand years:

  • the Orthodox believe that these two pieces constitute a single entity
  • Monothelite — they have one will,
  • and the Monophysites — that they are of the same nature.

Representatives of other monotheistic religions see the Christian Trinity echoes of paganism that cost the lives of many Christians, captured by ISIS.

Looks like the first Christians, it was important that Christ really risked and gave their lives, really suffered on the cross and suffered death. He risked, and more importantly for our story, sacrificed himself for others.

God in this situation would be nothing to risk, he would suffer, and if we could, then it would have been much man.

God, not really suffering on the cross is a magician, not a person really prutkovski his arm.

The Orthodox Church goes further, raising of man to God. In the fourth century Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria wrote: "Jesus Christ became incarnate, that we might become God."

It is the human nature of Jesus enables us mortals to access God and to merge with him, become part of it in order to partake of the divine. This merger is called deification, and human nature of Christ makes it possible for all of us.



In philosophy there is a famous thought experiment: the so-called machine experience.

It works like this: you sit in a certain device, the technician connects to your head leads, and you will experience some "experience".

You feel as if the event had actually happened, although in fact it was only in your head.

Alas, to believe that such experiences can be compared with reality, can only modern philosopher who has never used things risk.

Why? Because, I repeat, life is to sacrifice themselves and to take risks, even without this can hardly be called existence, life. If your adventure does not imply the possibility of reversible or irreversible damage, what is this adventure?

There is a subtlety (but don't try to argue with the philosopher). One can say that the people inside the car sincerely believes that the risks, and may experience pain and regret. But it is on the inside and the outside of the machine there is no danger of irreversible harm? Sleep does not equal reality, and even if you Wake up after falling off of a skyscraper, life goes on.

Next, we'll talk about the advantage of demonstrating deficiencies.



I often turn on the TV without sound. Seeing Donald trump along with other candidates during the Republican primaries, I realized that whatever he said or did, the victory belongs to him.

Why do I think that? Because his flaws are visible to the naked eye. He is real, and people who have to take risks, always vote for a living person who was able to stick his hand in the ice. To specifically to play this, it needs to be a great actor, worthy of the Greek tragedies.

Many say that trump has repeatedly failed as an entrepreneur, but it just supports my position: better than a real person, not just suffered a defeat, than a disembodied Ghost, and every scar, every spot or flaw makes the person more real.published


© Nassim Taleb

P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©

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