Ethereum ETH/USD co-creator Vitalik Buterin wanted to know if reading long-form books was “virtuous or even necessary” and he got ‘schooled’ on the topic by the author of the ‘Black Swan’ Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
What Happened: Buterin asked his Twitter followers if podcasts were an “acceptable substitute” for reading books. He also wanted to know the difference between a podcast and an audiobook saying he listened to both.
Taleb invoked the 10 World Series baseball championship winner Yogi Berra in response to Buterin’s question and took a dig at Buterin.
As Yogi Berra would say: “You can’t tell them if they don’t know.” https://t.co/KLPP7eq3xo
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) November 26, 2022
The author said he used to go “postal” at people who would see him holding a book and ask him if it was “useful?”
He also brought up “Auto da Fé” a novel by German-language author Elias Canetti. The title of the book is a reference to the burning of heretics by the Inquisition.
Taleb said, “This reminds me of a novel by Elias Canetti: an erudite scholar lives in a library, in emotional communion with his 20K books. Then he marries his maid who finds his books superfluous…”
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Why It Matters: Last week, Taleb took veiled potshots at Buterin saying he was optimistic that the world will not be “run by cadaverous pencilneck cryptocrats out of a 1964 black & white Dracula movie.”
Buterin’s question on books also attracted the attention of some other notables on Twitter, who seemed more inclined to support diversity in means of literary consumption.
Timothy Stebbing, the product lead for the foundation behind Dogecoin DOGE/USD, said in response to Buterin that if people like books they should “shut up” and read them.
Why argue, if people like books, shut up and read books? If people like consuming content via YouTube vids.. great? Why is everything about virtue signalling these days. IMO do what you like.. but do get educated or people will scam you. History is super important to learn from!
— Timothy Stebbing (@tjstebbing) November 27, 2022
Idk why everyone in tech obsessed with this. Just consume whatever media you enjoy and enriches your life. There are tons of incredible books out there and it’s worth trying to enjoy them but if you don’t just do whatever you learn from and makes you happy.
— Dr. Parik Patel, BA, CFA, ACCA Esq. (@ParikPatelCFA) November 26, 2022