life’s barbells (via Nassim Taleb)

132- Life’s Barbells

(Barbells are more robust than monomodal strategies.)

Walk most of the time, sprint as fast as you can on the occasion; never jog.

Fast for long periods of famine, then feast; never diet.

Endorse Nick Clegg & David Cameron, in combination, never labor.

For social life, a linear combination of Fat Tony & philosophers outperforms the frequentation of middle brows.

Go for city-states under loose empires, never nation-states.

Be a flåneur, lounging most of the time; then work as intensely as possible for a maximum of one hour; never work at low intensity –the 4-Hour Workweek.

Do nothing most of the time, then workout like a nut as intensely & unpredictably as possible.

Invest mostly in close to no-risk, (cash inflation protected, 80-90%), and maximal risk securities (10-20%); never in medium risk.

Read trashy gossip magazines and classics or sophisticated works; never the New York Times (or something even more aberrant, Newsweek).

Talk to graduate students or the highest caliber scholars; never, never, never medium academics.

Lose all your money, never half of it.

Respect those who make a living lying down or standing up, never those who do so sitting down.

Separate the holy and the profane.

Do crazy things (break furniture once in a while), like the Greeks and stay “rational” in larger decisions.

If you dislike someone, leave him alone or eliminate him; don’t attack him verbally.

I hope Taleb doesn’t care that I’m reposting this. Even if he does, I figure I have a high chance of being left alone and only a slim chance of utter annihilation.

I don’t follow most of this advice, by the way, although the feast/famine bit may be working — it’s too soon to tell and my famine compliance has been poor in recent weeks. My workouts will start to follow the barbell pattern as I add weight — 3 short sessions of heavy lifting per week, with taiji and walking the rest of the time. I’m adding steadily, but at the weights I’m currently lifting it’s really just form practice. Overall there seems to be good evidence for doing it Taleb’s way at least regarding nutrition and exercise.

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