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

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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Nov 26, 07

Read in June, 2007

Perhaps the problem was that I began with high expectations.

Taleb, who I presume can understand Arabic at its most elementary level, regularly refers to Muslims as \"Moslems,\" which irritates me to no end.

The book became tedious and self-contradictory at times, and I felt that it had an engrossing theory, yes, but it was poorly executed. The prose did not capture my interest, and his examples seemed to imitate (badly) the anecdotal style of Blink or Freakonomics.

His postulation is not original--indeed \"black swans\" and the other jargon that Taleb invents are merely the repurposing of well-known psychological/economical laws and whathaveyou.

The book should have been more cursive. It was .. somewhat disorganized, not aesthetically but intellectually.

He spoke at length about something which was actually an embellished version of the \"confirmation bias,\" etc.

He demonstrated that the \"narrative fallacy\" is something to be avoided at all costs, but all the corroborative evidence in this book is buttressed by NARRATIVE.

What!
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Mike When I decided to read this, the friend who mentioned it said it was probably the worst-written of his books.


message 2: by Cara (new) - added it

Cara I'm glad I'm not the only person who was irrationally irritated by "Moslem"!


message 3: by Andrew (new) - added it

Andrew Georgiadis As you likely know, "Moslem" is an older phonetic transliteration from Arabic, as is "Koran" ("Qur'an" being widely used today). Not sure if this represents a substantive critique of the book.


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