Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an author of several interesting books that we think every trader should get acquainted with. We have read some of them, and we are familiar with the gist of all of them. He has made a little fortune trading, which may explain why he is now mostly retired, save for writing books or papers and being a conference speaker.
He is also a Ph.D., though most people may not know it, as he does not display it next to his name. Not all Ph.D.’s do so. We suspect that those who did well outside the halls of Academia are less likely to brandish their doctoral degrees, though we admit this is a pretty simplistic rule. Waldemar Puszkarz, one of our favorite Ph.D.’s, is another example of that. While you can find his name on every page of his site, there is no “Ph.D.” next to it. And he certainly can trade too; check out his Twitter feed. We like people like that.
Modesty aside, there might be another reason why brandishing your Ph.D. in America may not be such a good idea. America is a pretty anti-intellectual country compared to many other developed countries, such as Canada or countries in Western Europe. Not to mention many Asian countries (except, perhaps, those predominantly Muslim), where there is something of a cult of intelligence. In the country where being dumb has become a virtue, being a Ph.D. may actually be frown upon. However, being dumb can make you very welcome on the Big Mike Trading forum, the only trading forum for people with a competitively low IQ.
There’s, of course, nothing wrong with being a Ph.D. or even using these 3 letters next to your name, if you wish so, provided you truly earned that degree.
Some people didn’t. These days, most of them seem to gravitate towards the posts in the German government. That was a joke, but it is true that more than one member of Angela Merkel’s cabinet had to resign recently because they were accused of plagiarizing their dissertations, and one of them was even stripped off of his doctoral degree.
Then there are those who got their “Dr. diplomas” (M.D.’s or even Ph.D.’s) from institutions that are not even accredited to bestow such degrees. You can bet that those are most likely to use them. Some of them love to refer to themselves as “doctor” on their sites, in their webinars or podcasts. One “Dr.” Burns springs to mind. The “good doctor,” just like Big Mike, aims at the dumbest of the dumb, we suspect.
If you check out Dr. Taleb’s website (see also the image below), you will see a very humble page, apparently created by himself.
And that’s just fine. Substance and form are two different things. Or, as someone once put it, “you can tell a real man even if he is completely naked.” A fancy site, in our opinion, correlates positively with more BS, though we admit to be somewhat opinionated. But we tend to be well-informed too.
He is also on Twitter, where he tweets quite a bit, and we agree with most of it. We follow him there. We also often re-tweet him.
Here’s one of his more recent tweets that we particularly agree with, as you can see from our response to it.
Speaking of this sort of education, we cannot help but direct you to an excellent article about trading forums’ education on Dr. Puszkarz’s site. We guarantee you will be as amused as we were when reading it or your money back.
Dr. Taleb seems to be quite capable of spotting German trickery too, which we will certainly not use against him (see another of his tweets that we embedded below).
Note: to enlarge the images above or in any other page of this blog, just click on them.
The Big Mike Trading Forum mentioned or discussed here is now futuresio or futures.io. But it is still the same sham as before for the reasons mentioned here and in other posts on this blog. Read more about it in the first article dedicated specifically to Michael Boulter’s latest fraudulent reinvention.