The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

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Penguin Books Limited, Apr 3, 2008 - Business & Economics - 366 pages
7 Reviews
The Black Swanis a concept that will change the way you look at the world. Black Swans underlie almost everything, from the rise of religions, to events in our own lives. A Black Swan is a highly improbable event with three principle characteristics: it's unpredictable; carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. Nassim Nicholas Taleb reveals that we are hard-wired not to truly estimate risk, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the 'impossible'. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don't know, and shows us how to face the world.

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Great extension of Fooled By Randomness

User Review  - Banker Bob - Borders

I read Fooled by Randomness first then I read this one. You don't, however, need to read Fooled by Randomness to enjoy The Black Swan. Not only is Taleb a great writer, he is a better "explainer ... Read full review

Couldn't finish it

User Review  - Pomona88 - Borders

I was intrigued by the premise and thought the opening chapter or two were solid. But after a while, it devolved into useless anecdotes and seemed to repeat his earlier book. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to immersing himself in problems of luck, uncertainty, probability and knowledge. Part literary essayist, part empiricist, part no-nonsense mathematical trader, he is currently Dean's Professor in the Science of Uncertainty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His last book, the bestseller Fooled by Randomness, has been published in eighteen languages and was selected by Fortunemagazine as one of "The Smartest Books of All Time". Taleb lives mostly in New York.

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