in Marginalia

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on frauds

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Sarah Josephine Taleb, Wikipedia)

Modernity has replaced ethics with legalese, and the law can be gamed with a good lawyer.
So I will expose the transfer of fragility, or rather the theft of anti-fragility, by people “arbitraging” the system. These people will be named by name. Poets and painters are free, liberi poetae et pictores, and there are severe moral imperatives that come with such freedom. First ethical rule:

If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.

Just as being nice to the arrogant is no better than being arrogant to the nice, being accommodating toward anyone committing a nefarious action condones it.
Further, many writers and scholars speak in private, say, after half a bottle of wine, differently from the way they do in print. Their writing is certifiably fake, fake. And many of the problems of society come from the agument “other people are doing it.” So if I call someone a dangerous ethically challenged fragilista in private after the third glass of Lebanese wine (white), I will be obligated to do so here. [See: Fragilista]
Calling people and institutions fraudulent in print when they are not (yet) called so by others carries a cost, but is too small to be a deterrent.
Compromising is condoning. The only modern dictum I follow is one by George Santayana: A man is morally free when…he judges the world, and judges other men, with uncompromising sincerity. This is not just an aim but an obligation.

— Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder [See: Taleb]

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