The Colbert Report

Season 3 Episode 62

Nassim Taleb

Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM May 08, 2007 on Comedy Central
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Episode Summary

Nassim Taleb
Tonight Stephen welcomes financial trader and author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Nassim Taleb.
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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

    • QUOTES (3)

      • Stephen: …which brings us to tonight's Word: Rendered Moot. When I first heard the phase "rendered moot" I got pretty hungry. I thought rendered moot must be some delicious kind of clarified animal fat. (Lawyer lard?) Turns out I wasn't far off. Last week Hillary Clinton proposed legislation that would revoke the 2002 Iraq War authorization she voted for, de-authorizing the original authorization. ("Get back in that tube, toothpaste!") According to the New York Times: "The hope among her aides was that demands by anti-war voters for her to apologize for her [2002] vote would be rendered moot." Ladies and gentlemen, with this bill Hillary Clinton is attempting to build a legislative time machine! (Dr. Who is she kidding?) And if we've learned anything from Ray Bradbury, other than burning books is good, it's that messing with time is dangerous. (Too many people trying to kill Hitler) Let's face it the American people do not like this war, (Iraqis not thrilled either) and Hillary defended it hawkishly for years and she remains unapologetic for that stance. (Support the oops) And a person with that war record will have a very hard time making it to the Oval Office. (Unless on White House tour)

        But if Senator Clinton manages to reverse authorization for this war, she will effectively travel back to 2002 and erase her vote as if it had never happened, ripping the fabric of space and time, creating a parallel world with a parallel Hillary. How will we tell them apart? [Hillary with a goatee] This new Hillary will have a clean record on the war, this new Hillary can be elected. Now, as for the troops on the ground, no one really knows if this bill would change anything. If fact Hillary's aides said that in proposing this bill "Mrs. Clinton was not seeking a total withdrawal of troops from Iraq." But experts agree that her proposing this bill will spark some lively debate on the Sunday morning talk shows and quite possibly improve the Senator's anti-war credentials in the upcoming Democratic primaries. There's only one thing that would give this dangerous woman more credibility with Democratic voters and that would be if she came out and said her first vote was a mistake. (She-a culpa) But I think we all know, time travel is more likely than that.

        And that's the Word.

      • Stephen: Hey, transformers! Robots or cars, we're at war! Pick a side! This is the Colbert Report!

      • Stephen: My guest Nassim Nicholas Taleb has written a new book about the power of randomness. Fire truck, roast beef jack-hammer.

    • NOTES (1)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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