The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

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Penguin Books Limited, Apr 3, 2008 - Philosophy - 400 pages
85 Reviews
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The phenomenal international bestseller that 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? 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

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kukulaj - LibraryThing

This is a tough book to review. It covers some of my favorite subjects, e.g. fat tails and critical point phenomena in statistical physics. That this book came out just before the great 2008 financial ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - scottjpearson - LibraryThing

For my job, I work in a technical field with high-level people in medical research who make important decisions that impact many. Thus, though I am not a primary decision-maker, anything I can do to ... 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.