The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
In Black Swan: The Impact of The Highly Improbable, the author projects randomness and uncertainty as a single idea. He puts forth a theory that promotes the idea and value of a society that stands robust in the face of negative events, and manipulates the positive ones to its advantage.According to Taleb, a Black Swan event is a rare event that has large magnitude and powerful conse...more
This author is an a-hole. Full stop. He's dismissive, chronically insecure, unstructured and hostile towards his detractors. He engages in what may be the lowest form of rhetoric by pre-emptively attacking any critics (even before they've had the chance to come forward) as too ...more
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 book upon the idea that to be "hardened by the Gulag" means to become "harder" or "stronger" rather than its true meaning of someone who has become inured to certain difficulties, not necess ...more
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, most philosophers, and the way we incorporate news to allow us to make sense of events and everyday happenings. He wants us to unlearn the way we think and learn, while destroying th ...more
I continued to think Taleb is more a popularizer than an innovator. But even if so, that's not so shabby. He's trying to revolutionize the way we think, and the more we rehearse that, the better.
Nassim Nichol ...more
Taleb is actually on to something important if you can tolerate his self-importance enough to ...more
It's a book that should have been read by the quantitative analysts ("quants") working for the hedge funds and investment banks in early 2008; but it probably wouldn't have made much difference in the financial melt-do ...more
I put this book down after the first chapter, but thought I would give it another chance, that I was being unfair. When I read the second chapter (which is a metaphor for w ...more
(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 gloss it with some 21st century context.
It would be difficult for me to overstate the importance of the black swan problem in modern life and the degree to which we ar ...more
Mix in a heaping dose of storytelling and ...more
Ignoring disconfirming eviden/>Special ...more
The fact that the author displays a limited understanding of the topic, and ...more
More seriously, his writing style is terribly confusing, made worse by my own unfamiliarity with the subject and his insistence on personal jargon standing in for concepts. Very anectdotal as well as making use of "thought experiments" to illustrate concepts that could have done with more explanation and less story. Yes, I get his point that stories help us learn, but I would argue that stories work ...more
An anti-academic academic weaves a non-narrative narrative about predicting the unpredictable into the theory that rigid theories are bad.
Oh, and count on things you can't conceive of happening happening.
Something like that.
Taleb's observations on the expectations and biases we hold, especially when estimating risk or uncertainty, are pretty dead on.
His key practical point is about the need for a NON-parametr ...more
Taleb makes a strong case for his theory of black swans. It's an interesting and valuable theory but it's also one that could be communicated in a short conversation and does not need a whole book to contain it.
Taleb fills the rest of the pages by bragging about his own success and ridiculing established philosophers, economists, and anyone else he can think of. I'm not in any position to judge his opinions of the ...more
Taleb is a very smart guy. In the first book, he wrote fluidly, clearly, ...more
The second edition of which I was privileged to read ...more
This book "just wrote itself," Taleb says early on. I believe him. Rarely do you read anything so rambling, bouncing from anecdote to anecdote, with such wack-ass headings: Saw Another Red Mini! / Information is Bad for Knowledge / Don't Cross a River if It Is (on Average) Four Feet Deep / How to Look for Bird Poop / How Not to Be a Nerd / How Coffee Drinking Can Be Safe. On the internet this is called clickbait, and once you've clicked and realized how shallow the resulting story is, or how it ...more
|Is any of the readers applying anything from the book to decision making in their lives ? With what impact ?||6||206||Jun 26, 2017 11:20AM|
|Sustainability Bo...: This month's book: The Black Swan!||1||9||Apr 03, 2017 05:31AM|
|Black Swan - Thoughts? Discussions?||1||18||Mar 21, 2017 03:04AM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Quote needing correction of typos||2||19||Aug 16, 2015 08:48AM|
Taleb is the author of a multivolume essay, the Incerto (The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, and Skin in the Game) an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error ...more