[ by Charles Cameron — avoiding a tough piece of necessary writing by dealing with something simpler that conveniently fell into my hand ]
Why do I bother?
Recall that the more information you get, the more disproportionately higher the ratio of noise to signal. Say, a little bit of information, 50% noise; a lot, 99.9% noise.
Likewise, in any field, the higher the number of academic publications the higher the ratio of garbage.
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) December 28, 2019
Well, you know Nassim Nicholas Taleb, he gave us the concept of black swans, very bright guy because he questions, questions, and the answers he gets from reality don’t always match with the expectations routinely offered in answer to the same questions.
Well, Taleb‘s tweet cropped up in my feed within about a minute of Greg McMurry quoting the Oratorian priest Fr David Abernathy‘s tweeting a quotation from St Charbel, which seemed to convey a very similar notion, only expressed in terms of spiritual rather than secular ratios between loss and gain:
Their buildings rise, their morality sinks. Their worldly goods increase, their values diminish. Their speeches multiply, their prayers grow scarce…. An edifice based on man may well rise, but it ends up crushing him. St. Charbel pic.twitter.com/5iZChni2ia
— FrDavid AbernethyCO (@pghoratory) December 28, 2019
I bother because seeing parallelisms and oppositions and taking note of them is one of the prime “moves” in creativity, and I want to be as primed to recognize such parallelisms, particularly when they cross disciplinary boundaries, as readily as possible.
Bonus point because both St Charbel and Nassim Nicholas Taleb are of Lebanese origin.