Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a conservative political philosopher and former investment banker who writes about socio-economic structures, probability and unforeseen events. His ideas have influenced David Cameron and his close advisors, who see his notion of building a 'robust society' as justifying their notion of the 'Big Society'. The Conservative Party approached Taleb whilst in opposition and on 18 August 2009 he spoke with David Cameron at the Royal Society for the Arts in London.

In a programme for BBC Radio 4, Janan Ganesh of The Economist described a day walking in London's Hampstead Heath with Steve Hilton, Rohan Silva and Taleb:

As we walked through the heath, Taleb invoked his own intellectual heroes: Edmund Burke, Michael Oakeshott, Karl Popper. These thinkers represent an old fashioned type of conservatism that we haven't seen since before Thatcher. They question how much we can ever really know and they prefer the small and the local over the big and the central. And that is when it dawned on me that Taleb, despite being a creature of the modern age, is actually quite a traditional sort of conservative [1]


  1. Analysis - Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Downing Street guru, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 8:30PM Mon, 12 March 2012