12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
There are no simple answers: trust common sense not theories,
This review is from: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Paperback)
Like most of the other reviewers, I found author's style grating at first. But after a while I clicked with NNT's sense of humour and did end up laughing a number of times through the book (especially at the footnotes).
As I understood it, his central point is: Most of the key changes in all social economic fields occur owing to a very small number of extreme events. Invariably, these events are completely missed by the people you are paid to predict the future and identify the consequences of actions of governments and banks for example, signally fail to do so.
NNT is questioning the self supporting academic and professional business establishment who seem not to care that they consistently fail to predict events - with devastating consequences.
As far as the "rambling style" other mention: i thought that this was part of his point; we should not seek to explain Black Swam randomness with a elegant theory or impressive model, since these devices seek to reduce and simplify the complex reality.
There is no formula for working out this kind of randomness. We are invited to open our minds and trust in our common sense and perhaps think more defensively about the possibility of the unknown unknown.