Posts Tagged ‘ Nassim Nicholas Taleb ’

Half the creeps on cyberspace followed him

Aug 7th, 2017 8:28 am | By

Nick Cohen responds to the ill-mannered Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

The spat would not be worth mentioning if it did not show how nothing is now free from the culture war. That nothing includes the skin colours of the population of Roman Britain.

You may need to bear with me as I explain. In December, BBC Teach released on YouTube a video about life in Roman Britain. Shockingly, as it was to turn out, it featured a Roman with dark skin. An editor working for Infowars went on the attack. ‘Thank God the BBC is portraying Roman Britain as ethnically diverse. I mean, who cares about historical accuracy, right?’ Infowars, in case you haven’t heard of it either, is run

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Every kind of source must be interpreted

Aug 5th, 2017 4:54 pm | By

Sarah Zhang at the Atlantic takes off from Taleb’s rudeness to Mary Beard to talk about what we don’t know about genetics.

In December, the BBC released on YouTube an old animated video about life in Roman Britain, which featured a family with a dark-skinned father. This depiction recently caught the ire of an Infowars editor, who tweeted, “Thank God the BBC is portraying Roman Britain as ethnically diverse. I mean, who cares about historical accuracy, right?”

To which Mary Beard—best known as a classicist at Cambridge, and more recently known for taking on internet trolls—replied, “this is indeed pretty accurate, there’s plenty of firm evidence for ethnic diversity in Roman Britain.” To which Nassim Nicholas Taleb—best-known for

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Did Quintus Lollius Urbicus sneak across the border?

Aug 5th, 2017 4:16 pm | By

Mary Beard looks at another bizarre Twitter storm, this one set off by outrage at The Very Idea that there were any not entirely white people in Roman Britain.

It all started when an “alt-right” commenter picked up on a BBC schools video that featured a family in Roman Britain in which the father, a high ranking  soldier, was presented as black (as it is a cartoon it is harder to be more precise than that). The commenter objected both on twitter and on an online site. ‘The left’ he wrote, ‘ is literally trying to rewrite history to pretend Britain always had mass immigration.’

Several people objected to this criticism before me, notable Mike Stuchbery, who  pointed

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