(2011-07-25) Taleb Paleo Diet And Exercise
Taleb has (PDF) concluded that the "moderate/steady" Diet And Exercise model is a case of linear thinking. Living organisms (whether the human body or the economy) need variability and randomness. What's more, they need the Extremistan type of variability, certain extreme stressors. Otherwise they become fragile.
- see related CrossFit model
After my Aha! flash, under guidance from Art de Vany, I embarked on an Extremistan barbell Life Style: long, very long, slow meditative (or conversational) walks in a stimulating urban setting, but with occasional (and random) very short sprints, making myself angry imagining I were chasing the bankster Robert Rubin with a big stick trying to catch him to bring him to human justice. I went to the weight lifting rooms in a random way for a completely stochastic workout --typically in a hotel when I was on the road. Like the Grey Swan event, these were very, very rare, but highly consequential weight lifting periods, after a day of semistarvation, leaving me completely exhausted, then I would be totally sedentary for weeks and hang around cafés. Even the duration of the workouts remained random --but most often very short, less than fifteen minutes. I put myself through thermal variability as well, exposed, on the occasion, to extreme cold without a coat. Thanks to transcontinental travel and jet lag, I underwent periods of sleep deprivation followed by excessive rest. When I went to places with good restaurants, like Italy, I ate in quantities that would have impressed Fat Tony himself, then skipped meals for a while without suffering. Then, after two and a half years of such apparently "unhealthy" regimen, I saw serious changes in my own physique on every possible criterion --the absence of unnecessary adipose tissue, the blood pressure of a 21 year old, etc. I also have a clearer, much more acute mind.