“But again, leaving these points aside – Taleb is arguing with a nonexistent group of people here. He has somehow convinced himself that academic historians are a bunch of nerds sitting in library stacks, getting angry at current events, and channeling their frustration about the world into a vision of the past that sees everything as conflict, and ignores all the fun collaborations between barbers, prostitutes, and merchants. This is precisely the opposite of the vision of academic history that I got from grad school, and the vision that I teach in my classes at UC Santa Cruz. Now, keep in mind that I’m arguing from my own experiences here and those of my most outspoken friends, and hence I assume that Taleb, if he reads this, will accuse me of “overfitting” as well. But I have to wonder – what is he basing his expertise on? A public spat with Mary Beard and perhaps a few bad encounters in NYU hallways, squared against Taleb’s newfound love for Bloch, Braudel, and A History of Private Life.”
Summary: citations. Always include citations.
Original source: Res Obscura: Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs. Historians