Steve Bradshaw's Reviews > Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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's review
Nov 20, 2011

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bookshelves: investment
Read in June, 2011

Nassim Taleb has to be a strong contender for the title of Most Pretentious Author of the 21st century. Despite his obnoxious writing style, he has created an interesting synthesis of existing ideas that speak powerfully to societies inability to appreciate the role of chance when looking back at events, and to underweight the probability of extremely unlikely outcomes.

Unfortunately these ideas come littered with classical references, none of them properly explained, that do little to strengthen the arguments and seem to have been included only to show the author's unrelated prowess in classical literature and history. The author also relishes his self-cast role of mis-understood and sidelined academic, laughable considering all his ideas come from the mainstream academic literature (see Randall Falkenberg's blog post for full detail).

On balance, Fooled by Randomness is worth reading, perhaps with Google nearby to lookup unexplained references.
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