Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
This book is about luckor more precisely how we perceive and deal with luck in business and life.Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skillthe world of tradingFooled by Randomness is a captivating insight into one of the least... show more
This book is about luckor more precisely how we perceive and deal with luck in business and life.Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skillthe world of tradingFooled by Randomness is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Writing in an entertaining and narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling and explaining three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern world. The book is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: Yogi Berra, the baseball legend; Karl Popper, the philosopher of knowledge; Solon, the Ancient World's wisest man; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Ulysses. In addition we meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his trading life, but who also falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness. But the most recognizable character of all remains unnamedthe lucky fool in the right place at the right time. The embodiment of the "Survival of the Least Fit." Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru's insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained through chance. A monkey banging on a keyboard may eventually produce the Iliad, but would you sign him to write the sequel? Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover non-existent messages in random events? It may be impossible to guard ourselves against the vagaries of the Goddess Fortuna, but after reading Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared. Author Biography: Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the founder of Empirica Capital LLC, a crisis-hunting trading firm, and a fellow and adjunct professor at the Courant
Publish date: August 23rd 2005
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Pages no: 368
Edition language: English
Taleb would have done himself a favor by placing part III at the front of the book, then proceed to call everyone out. I am reminded of this scene in patch Adams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNN6FI1Gcr8Just because you are an intellectual, doesn't mean you have to be a jerk to make a point.
Interesting thought exercise - challenges how you think about every statistic you hear from now on.The book seemed to deal fairly with every topic and person covered. Some criticize the book for not providing enough "hard science", but that's part of the point of the book: "hard science" isn't bein...