philosopher kings

Black Swan Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb Is the Incredible Hulk

Photo: Corbis and Universal Pictures

You know that guy at your gym who is so, so punchable? The guy who walks around drinking flaxseed oil shakes and touting the benefits of the slow-chewing movement?

Well, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the influential scholar whose 2007 book The Black Swan is probably sitting unread on your shelf right now, is much, much worse than that guy. In an Economist review of his new philosophical treatise, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, Taleb reveals the secrets of his toned physique:

He is a weightlifter and calls himself “an intellectual who has the appearance of a bodyguard.” He avoids fruit that does not have an ancient Greek or Hebrew name and drinks no liquid that has not been in existence for at least 1,000 years.

So, no clementines or Pepsi Max, I guess.

Taleb also revealed, in an interview with the New Scientist, that he is not some pantywaist writer dweeb. He is literally — literally! — invincible.

I lift stones and do weightlifting. I don’t go to the doctor except when I’m very ill, and when I go to India, I drink a drop of local water. Things like this harness the body’s antifragility. I have never had personal debt and never will. I also picked a profession in which I am antifragile, because any attack makes me stronger.

He drinks a drop of Indian water! Any attack makes him stronger! Might explain why Samuel L. Jackson has been following him around in a wheelchair.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Hulk Delusions