Dear Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb



上にぶれるものを選び、下にぶれるものを避ける - HPO機密日誌


Dear Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb,

Please forgive my impoliteness. This is my first time to send a mail to you from Japan. I am Hideki H. I have read your books, "Fooled by Randomness" and "The Black Swan." I was interested in your books. They are very exciting. Mr. Mochizuki's translation carries flavor of your knowledge and love to classical literatures. Through your books, I got sure the power-law distribution decides not only financial problems and political issues, but also natural phenomena and even the structure of galaxies.

I found your suggestions have some common sense with our Japanese traditional moral beliefs and that is why I send you a mail to know if I share some intellectual problems with you.

Before getting to the point, as you see, I cannot read and write English well. It is very kind if you kindly read my ungrammatical English paragraphs and get my ideas.

You suggested "avoid something blurs below, choose something above." I also know that you wisely avoided mountains of risks which so-called financial professionals could not see and you took agonic possibilities for many years to take the millions of dollars last year, in the deep crisis and recession where millions of those who call themselves "professional" got astrological loss. The Black Swan did fly.

No matter how people strive to avoid, Black Swan start to fly anyway. It is wise to avoid the place or business where "black" Black Swan which may cause astrological loss, and to choose "white" Black Swan which is rarer than "black" Black Swan and make the world totally different. Making "black" Black Swan looks "white" for you means you have to pay small loss of special options everyday.

This kind of living sounds same with the teaching of Confucian, Moral Sutra in China, and the living tradition of Buddha.

In oriental teachings, for example the purpose of KAI of Buddhism, commandments of Confucian, is to avoid actions and statements that may cause evil results. Also, the purpose of TOKU, the moral actions, is to do good and avid evil. Such moral actions may lead us to good results, sometimes may not. But we believe in them and try to keep KAI and TOKU. Evil practice straightly lead you to "black" Black Swan.

In oriental saying, 「諸悪莫作・衆善奉行」(悪いことをするな、善いことをせよ〕"Avoid evil, and do good."

I recently stop drinking. Stop drinking and stay in calm might lead good, according to KAI and TOKU. Drinking practice makes you feel good. People do like feeling drunken. But it may cause severe illness. However, even after stop drinking, I caught cold and have possibility where I might get cancer and die soon.

I am not suggesting "good" means superficial morality. I am not suggesting "evil" as devil's practice or commands of executives in Wall Street to have lead the financial crisis. In Buddhism and Confucianism, "Good" and "Evil" comes from the calm wisdom of Buddha and Confucian. It split from the deep ZEN, or calm meditation, or walking mediation like yours.

Taking examples for investments, buying and selling COD is evil because COD may give a born of Black Swan. Buying small option you made is good because your option comes from deep wisdom. Your option is bitter painful and COD (at least) was sweet. But seeing the results we are sure which is evil and which is good.

In my town, there was a business founder who had built hidden good, INTOKU. He passed away more than half a century ago, but we do not forget his name. He has been respected for many years because there is few roads that he did not made or not touched. He had done an enormous contribution before passing away. Cannot I say that he rode on "white" Black Swan?

Living in Japan where people believe the sun is setting, the effect of Black Swan and Power-Law seems quite sever to ordinal people. It will be my honor if you find some sympathy in oriental practices.