Daily Archives: June 15, 2020


Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The Masks Masquerade

Naked Capitalism has posted the article Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The Masks Masquerade.

Incompetence and Errors in Reasoning Around Face Covering

SIX ERRORS: 1) missing the compounding effects of masks, 2) missing the nonlinearity of the probability of infection to viral exposures, 3) missing absence of evidence (of benefits of mask wearing) for evidence of absence (of benefits of mask wearing), 4) missing the point that people do not need governments to produce facial covering: they can make their own, 5) missing the compounding effects of statistical signals, 6) ignoring the Non-Aggression Principle by pseudolibertarians (masks are also to protect others from you; it’s a multiplicative process: every person you infect will infect others).

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has a better understanding of the implications of probability in determining sensible reactions than many mathematicians. He touches on some of the problems I have always had with practical application of probability. Of course, his understanding is way beyond mine.