Friday, 21 August 2009

Fooled by Randomness: David Cameron

Tory leader David Cameron does not have a big reputation for intellectual gravitas. Indeed, intellectually he's probably on a par with Blair, and that's not a great thing.

So curious it was to see Cameron share a platform with Nassem Nicolas Taleb, provocative intellectual and author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.

I hear many anecdotal stories indicating there is some truth in critics' claims that Cameron lacks solidity in his policymaking, and is prone to cherrypick inconsistently.

So it was hardly surprising that Labour -- moving back to a anti-intellectual position -- seized the opportunity of Cameron's Taleb meeting to smear one with the other.

A Guardian front page story highlighted Taleb's thought crimes ("Cameron's guru"), including his apparent denial of man-made climate change and his strong position on the need for banks to face the reality of insolvency. Larry Elliott then weighed in with his own clearly unbiased view ("economics editor" indeed!).

Here's a reasonable overview of the issue.

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