The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Hardcover)
 
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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Hardcover)

Overall Rating Rating 4.3  |  3 reviews  |  Write a review
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Item #: 10443608
    A black swan is a highly 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. The as......more

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A black swan is a highly 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. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.

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.”

For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.

Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan.

Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“The most prophetic voice of all.”—GQ
...

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to 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. Although he spends most of his time as a flaneur, meditating in cafes across the planet, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. His work has been published in thirty-three languages.

Author:
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas
Genre:
PHILOSOPHY / Epistemology
Audience:
General/trade
Format:
Hardcover
Pages:
366
Language:
English
Publisher:
Random House Inc
Publish Date:
04/17/2007
Copyright Year:
2007
ISBN:
9781400063512
Height:
9.25 in
Wdth:
6.25 in
Thickness:
1.25 in
Unit weight:
1.6 lb
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  • The Black Swan

    Not as good as Fooled by Randomness, but what he added here building on that first book was really interesting. He also has a style and outlook that is quite amusing. He's very iconoclastic and contrarian. Lot's of fun. Check it out.

    • Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes
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