The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Read The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Online Free - 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. Now, in this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know. He offers surprisingly simple tricks for dealing with black swans and benefiting from them.

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.

The book also contains a 4-page glossary; 19 pages of notes; and, a 28-page bibliography in addition to an index.

Title : The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1400063515
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 401 pages


Nina rated it ★☆☆☆☆

January 12, 2008

It took a lot of willpower to not put this book down. This guy could have written a very interesting 5-page essay on his main idea, which is that people overestimate their ability to predict the future and that unexpected, extraordinary events - of whose occurrence we do not even know the probabi...

Nick rated it ★★★★★

August 11, 2008

This is a great book. And, to take a page from Taleb, anyone who doesn't think so is wrong. No, no, there are a number of problems with the book. A bit bloated, a bit repetitive. And NNT does make the misstep every once and a while. To take a very small instance, Taleb bases a short section of the...

rmn rated it ★★★☆☆

June 21, 2008

I can summarize this book in two words: Shit happens. Actually, I should be more fair since the author spent 300 pages laying out his beliefs and arguing his conclusions. The real summary of this book should be: Shit happens more often than you think. The author, Taleb, rails against economics, mos...

Aaron rated it ★★★☆☆

June 11, 2008

This is a book that raises a number of very important questions, but chief among them is definitely the question of how the interplay between a good idea and an insufferable author combine to effect the reading experience? This author is an a-hole. Full stop. He's dismissive, chronically insecure...

Jan rated it ★★★★★

September 14, 2015

The first time through, I listened to this book with my husband, usually while I was cooking. Although I tried to stop and mark important passages, I ended up thinking the book was not very systematic. The second time through, chapter by chapter, the method in his madness is more apparent. I cont...

Ted rated it ★★★☆☆

October 09, 2016

Taleb is a pretty good writer, but I thought this was a very uneven book. As I read it I was constantly alternating between "Wow, that's a really great insight, a great way of presenting it" and "Gee, who doesn't realize that?", or even "That just seems flat-out wrong". It's a book that should hav...

Greg rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 29, 2008

This book has diminishing returns on the time spent reading it. Taleb's jeremiad is directed against - well - everyone who is not as enlightened as he is. I trudged through this book because - well - everyone is reading it and enlightened people should know how to comment on it. There, I did it....

Mark rated it ★☆☆☆☆

February 18, 2013

First, a disclaimer. I am, professionally, a statistician. I do not have a Ph.D. in my field because I feel that statisticians with Ph.D.'s are devoid of practicality and usefulness to the real world. I work at a factory where I assist engineers in better understanding how processes work and maki...

Will rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 08, 2008

This review will be comprised of two parts: a review of the ideas presented and a review of the way in which it is written (A) The ideas There is no question here, Taleb is an erudite and intelligent scholar. His take on epistomology and the scientific method breathe fresh air into the subject and...

Daniel rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 23, 2008

I stopped reading this because the author is so pompous and annoying.

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