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

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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's review
Oct 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: books-that-changed-my-thinking
Read from August 27 to October 12, 2010

This book is in my top 10 list now. I'm adding it to my Books-That-Changed-My-Thinking shelf here, although more accurately it should be Books-That-Clarified-And-Informed-My-Thinking. I won't go much into what it's about as I'm sure there are plenty of reviews covering that. For me personally it was a wonderful experience because Taleb, through the deep research allowed by being a gentleman scholar (unfettered from academic career or financial constraints), explores a philosophy toward which I intuitively have groped for much of my life. He convincingly reveals a sound foundation for a structure of thought that for me has been mostly a mist shrouded vision, perhaps even disconnected structures.

The book is written with the snarky smug attitude of someone who has been repeatedly slighted by people whom he considers intellectually inferior. I'm ok with that. His scathing critiques on statistics and Nobel Prize winning economists are important and fundamentally correct if not polite or politically correct. Studies he mentions, such as the one showing you may well be better off trusting a cab driver's financial advice than that of the Federal Reserve chairman, should be popularized more. The importance to the general public of having a better understanding of the true risks in our world, especially in financial matters, is now readily apparent since the 2008 economic collapse, which Taleb accurately predicted in this book published in 2007.
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Reading Progress

09/11 page 31
8.0% "5 pages in, I thought I might not finish this book. There is something mildly jarring or uncomfortable about the writing style. A few pages later I was hooked. And now I think I like the style; it's a little bit tricky. He plays little tricks on you, but that is actually the perfect thing in this book. I'm starting to treat everything he says with a little suspicion. If he did this on purpose it's genius."
05/17 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Cola Hash I think he meant to challenge the reader to truly test his ideas. It's fun!

Cola Hash I think he meant to challenge the reader to truly test his ideas. It's fun!

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