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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
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3.38 250
A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan;... show more
A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.   Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.”   For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.   Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan.   Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb   “The most prophetic voice of all.”—GQ   Praise for The Black Swan   “[A book] that altered modern thinking.”—The Times (London)   “A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail   “Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times   “The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate   “[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.”—The Wall Street Journal   “Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”—Financial Times   “Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9781400063512 (1400063515)
ASIN: 1400063515
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Pages no: 480
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Just Another Reader
Just Another Reader rated it
1.5 The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
I don't know if I was just not in the mood for this or what, but writing this over a week after reading it (and reading more in between) does not help me write a review. I took this from the summary: "A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictab...
Bettie's Books
Bettie's Books rated it
1.0 The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
bookshelves: abandoned, nonfiction Read in November, 2007 A brash and at times almost hysterical tirade against those who take no account of, or leave no room for, improbabilities in their forecasting. This Levantine says that we are being lied to every time someone puts before us a prediction t...
The Boat Was My Friend
The Boat Was My Friend rated it
1.0 There is a fine line between witty sarcasm and self-embarrassment
Nassim Nicholas Taleb boasts about showing up at an international think tank on the theory of prediction with his speech written on “five restaurant napkins, some stained”. Half a paragraph later he stresses the importance of being humble and not overestimating our confidence in any acquired knowled...
XOX
XOX rated it
0.5 Black Swan - the outside of bell curve and scale-able data
I have been duped. This writer is a jerk and I don't think I could trust what he said anymore. (updated on 5 Jan 2016) I bought this in 2009, that's 4 years ago, and it has been sitting on the shelf, waiting for me read it. Well, I finally did. It is a good book. Another thinking person book, lik...
Tolle Lege!.
Tolle Lege!. rated it
5.0 The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
The author says he's a mathematician philosopher trader and if you tend towards that mode of thinking as I do this book will forever change your world view.The book was written a year before the financial crisis of 2008 and really predicts that kind of event completely. His bottom line is that most ...
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