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

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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Oct 20, 11

bookshelves: philosophy, economics, finance, 2011
Read from August 22 to October 20, 2011

Taleb has some really fascinating ideas, and he explains them clearly for readers with no background in statistics or economics (and also notes which sections will be too technical for the lay reader). His voice is pretentious, but amusingly so; his rambling, digressive style will be irritating to many, though I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I knocked off an entire star because there are two chapters which consist entirely of Taleb bragging about how he's the Only Sane Man in the entire world, how he's smarter than Nobel Prize winners (or "Nobel" winners, as he calls them), and how literally every person responding to his arguments has been so overwhelmed by their staggering rightness that they could only resort to personal attacks. Plus, they're right at the end of the book, so I went from enjoying a thought-provoking read to wanting to throw the book against the wall. Skip the second-to-last chapter and first half of the second edition's added essay if you have a low tolerance for smugness.
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