Empiricism and how far we are from it---markets and weight loss

I believe that one of the most intelligent men of our times is Nassim Taleb. His site here.
He opens our eyes to brute empiricism, applicable to not just the financial markets but all walks of life. From his writings you learn specific, practical things to operate in your life more rationally and intelligently-which is what human development is all about. To operate with increasing reason and sound judgment is a wonderful achievement of humanity-and Mr. Taleb is a major contributor in this.


On financial markets-stock market is nothing but a game between humans. The numbers called stock prices keep going up and down; and other humans want to take your money. It hasn't got much to do with the economy in the short term---as much as they would like you to believe it. In the long term it does-but what is long term? If 25 years is long term-I dont want to "invest"--I am happy getting in and out at different times from the market-trying to be a trader catching the market's moves. It is only sometimes that I can see clearly where the game prices (stock market prices) are headed-and that's when I bet. Bet big, sometimes; that's been my general mantra for success. Probably 10% of my trades account form 90% of my profits over the last decade or so that I have been involved in the financial markets.

Now to weight loss. Here's some interesting empirical observations on it.
People will go on diets, start doing exercise, etc. etc. but I have found that they always revert back to their normal weight. From empirical observations-I can say with good confidence that the weight of a human being can't be changed by "conscious" behavior; it is probably determined by their genome.

For one human being-let's say a male-his weight is an increasing function of age. As he gets older; he will get weightier. The individual's weight will vary only maybe +-3-5% from this function-which is determined by their genes. They can't control it-it is the same as trying to control your temperature or your heart beat. For short periods of time they might lose or gain lots of weight (short period would be a few weeks) but then they will revert back to their natural weight, +-5%. Dieting, exercising etc. dont help-I know plenty of cases where they have failed to say that you can't lose weight by doing that. I also have plenty of cases where slim individuals I know take no special diets or do special exercises.

Another important observation is that just as you can't lose weight beyond maybe 3%, u can't raise it more than 3% either by conscious behavior (dieting, exercising). Their is a natural upper limit---regardless of the tasty food you have at hand.

Liposuction is probably a solution. But it is temporary-u will pick it back up.

These are some empirical observations on weight. Don't try to lose weight-u will lose that battle.
See this post here for more on weight loss and the silliness of low fat foods.

Sanjay