As so many have said before me, an interesting 30 page essay whipped into a 300 page souffle.

Taleb is not mathematically sophisticated and dismissesAs so many have said before me, an interesting 30 page essay whipped into a 300 page souffle.

Taleb is not mathematically sophisticated and dismisses such sophistication out of hand. Just a little mathematical sophistication would allow him to better make his case. I'm not talking about the full panoply of measure theoretic probability theory and stochastic processes here, just a more fundamental appreciation of probability theory, see Bruno De Finetti or Leonard Savage. Statistical theory has one foot in mathematics and the other in the real world. Forget about recipes for various statistical tests, it's the deeper theory behind it all that Taleb needs. The deeper concepts behind probability theory and statistical theory inform and infuse one another. Taleb consults every obscure philosopher and researcher in history but steadfastly refuses to acquaint himself sufficiently with the mathematics of uncertainty.

I know that this book was written for a general audience, but a chapter or two with a bit more mathematics would have been extremely beneficial. Taleb tries to fool the mathematically unsophisticated by suggesting they skip the more technical chapters or sections - it's just that there are no technical chapters or sections and therein lies the problem; he is incapable of writing them.

I would rather he had just told us in some detail how he made his money in 1987 and what his thinking was while he was doing it. That would do more for his thesis than all his nebulous philosophizing. ...more

This is the first Tom Piccirilli I've read. The more knowledgeable Goodreads reviewers haven't been as enthusiastic about November Mourns; I bow to thThis is the first Tom Piccirilli I've read. The more knowledgeable Goodreads reviewers haven't been as enthusiastic about November Mourns; I bow to their superior wisdom, but...

Reading is an intensely personal thing and somehow for me this was just the right book at just the right time. Good prose, good characterization where needed, good atmosphere, good story, and a wonderful ambiguity to it all.

What does it all mean? I ask myself that every night between drinks. I'm not likely to find out; just pass the moon.

I would/will read November Mourns again and that gets it five stars any day of the week....more