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

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction

Not as overbearingly arrogant as others claim; in fact, often very self depreciating.

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 best as analogies on the mythical or fable level, or when a single analogy perfectly illustrates an entire principle such as Scroedinger's cat.

Update: cannot get through this muddled mess of a book. Surrendering and returning to the library.
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Reading Progress

February 8, 2011 – Started Reading
February 8, 2011 – Shelved
March 21, 2011 – Finished Reading
May 3, 2011 – Shelved as: non-fiction

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Radiantflux (new) - added it

Radiantflux thanks. i was about to buy this... ;(


carol. You might do much better with this than I did, as I think you are more technically/academically/statistically versed than I. :) For pop-science, it was fairly unreadable for me. Outliers: The Story of Success might be better. I'm also checking out The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger and Death.


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