The diet that really works Bryan Appleyard thinks he has found a diet that really works: it took him three weeks to shed 14lb with healthy ease. But he had to go back 5,000 years to discover the science behind it This isn’t just background, it is essential to an understanding of Arthur’s approach to diet and fitness. It is very rigorous and thoughtful – which is why Nassim’s [Nicholas Taleb] advocacy got me on the diet. The first point is that economics happens inside the body as well as outside. His work is all about the dynamics of complex, adaptive systems; he calls himself a complexity scientist. Central to this is the overthrow of old statistical models. Basically, we have all been taught that events – human wealth, earthquakes, blockbuster movies – cluster round an average forming a graph in the shape of a bell curve. This is an illusion and the concept of the average leads to fatal errors. In reality, almost all events of significance follow what are known as “power laws”. This means, to simplify, that what are thought of as rare events are, in fact, more important than any average. We think of bank crises,…
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