The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

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Penguin Books Limited, Apr 3, 2008 - Business & Economics - 366 pages
78 Reviews

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's phenomenal international bestseller The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable shows us how to stop trying to predict everything - and take advantage of uncertainty.

What have the invention of the wheel, Pompeii, the Wall Street Crash, Harry Potter and the internet got in common? Why are all forecasters con-artists? What can Catherine the Great's lovers tell us about probability? Why should you never run for a train or read a newspaper?

This book is all about Black Swans: the random events that underlie our lives, from bestsellers to world disasters. Their impact is huge; they're impossible to predict; yet after they happen we always try to rationalize them.

'Taleb is a bouncy and even exhilarating guide ... I came to relish what he said, and even develop a sneaking affection for him as a person' Will Self, Independent on Sunday

'He leaps like some superhero of the mind' Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'Funny, quirky and thought-provoking ... confirms his status as a guru for every would-be Damien Hirst, George Soros and aspirant despot' John Cornwell, Sunday Times

'Idiosyncratically brilliant' Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph

'Great fun ... brash, stubborn, entertaining, opinionated, curious, cajoling' Stephen J. Dubner, Co-Author of Freakonomics

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Noisy - LibraryThing

Second edition: contains Postscript essay. This deserves a fuller review, but I'll keep it brief because it's taken me a long time to actually reach the end of the book and some of the detail is lost ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - marshapetry - LibraryThing

An enormously huge book to make a point that should not have taken this many pages to make. Over and over again. It was a good book but man, oh, man... did this guy get paid by the page? Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an uncompromizing no-nonsense thinker for our times. He has spent his life immersing himself in problems of luck, uncertainty, probability, and knowledge, and he has led three high-profile careers around his ideas, as a man of letters, as a businessman-trader, and as a university professor and researcher. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University's School of Engineering. He is the author of the 4-volume INCERTO (Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and The Bed of Procrustes). Taleb refuses all awards and honours as they debase knowledge by turning it into competitive sports.

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