Wired recently published an opinion piece by Nassim N. Taleb, well known for writing books such as The Black Swan and Anti-Fragile.
I am not saying here that there is no information in big data. There is plenty of information. The problem — the central issue — is that the needle comes in an increasingly larger haystack.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with the best selling author and thinker, about a year ago. Having just published Anti-Fragile, Mr. Taleb and I ended up talking about data and it’s growing influence.
This being a rainy weekend, I ended up looking into my old notebooks and found some disjointed bits from that conversation. This particular one stood out, for no apparent reason — though at the time I must have thought these pronouncements were important, and thus needed to be scribbled down in my notebook. (I am not even sure if the quotes are complete, but for some odd reason I am overcome by a desire to share these with you.
Nassim N. Taleb: There is a secret relationship between humans and writing, the soothing effect of writing longhand. Between human hands and the book there’s a style; a rational empathy we cannot capture or your eyes can’t see.
Me: So, you slow down the time when you’re writing with ink? When you say “time” what do you mean by “time”?
NNT: No, I meant time as a history, a historical process. Time is volatility, the way I define it. Time is cleaner of fragilities.