Mark's Reviews > The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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M 50x66
's review
Dec 17, 11

bookshelves: economics, philosophy
Read in October, 2011

Honestly, i couldn't finish the last 100 pages of this book. I loved it and the concepts that Taleb presents have critically enhanced the way I see the world. I wish, I really wish, he would have gotten to some constructive philosophy before the last 15 pages (which I skipped to!), because he gets the reader so desperately stuck in a ditch of disillusionment.

Basically, he argues that history is driven by unpredictable, powerful and random events - events that he calls black swans because they fundamentally alter the way we see something. It forces the reader to consider carefully one's relationship with uncertainty, and to humbly revise one's perceived ability to change, plan for, or create the future. In the end, his stoicism is refreshingly clear.

On a side note, I really wish people would stop trying to write like Mr. Gladwell. There are better ways of writing than streaming together a hundred bits of anecdote. It's boring. Taleb could have smooshed this down to 120-130 pages, without missing much.

Fantastic read - just make sure you get to those last 15 pages so that you don't walk around cynical for months, like I did.

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