Few phenomena modeled with the Gaussian distribution are actually normal unless you look at small samples. Major changes in stock market based on a few large moves (only looked at upwards moves… curious). Taleb worships Benoit Mandelbrot (sounds like a swell guy). Power laws seem to describe much more phenomena than normal distribution. Normal distribution only good for “non-scalable” phenomena, such as height; inadequate for “scalable” phenomena such as wealth, prices.