The Black Swan

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Random House, Oct 13, 2009 - 366 pages
6 Reviews
In the author's point of view, a black swan is an improbable event with three principal characteristics - It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don't know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the 'impossible'.

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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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