The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

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Penguin Books Limited, Apr 3, 2008 - Philosophy - 400 pages
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. A rallying cry to ignore the 'experts', The Black Swan shows us how to stop trying to predict everything - and take advantage of uncertainty.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aadyer - LibraryThing

At times this is a difficult to read polemic on uncertainty. Paragraph whilst the authors charm and obvious erudition come through it is not the easiest of books to read. I do find some parts of it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Brown - LibraryThing

I cannot recall another book where the author praises himself more while continually dismissing the work of others. This running comparison of the author's brilliance with the incompetence of others ... 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.