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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Paperback – 28 Feb 2008
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Great fun … brash, stubborn, entertaining, opinionated, curious, cajoling (Freakonomics)
An idiosyncratically brilliant new book (Sunday Telegraph)
A fascinating study of how we are regularly taken for suckers by the unexpected (Guardian)
Like the conversation of a raconteur ... hugely enjoyable - compelling (Financial Times)
Confirms his status as a guru for every would-be Damien Hirst, George Soros and aspirant despot (Sunday Times)
In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and The Tipping Point (Time)
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? And, 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.See all Product description
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As such, it is a refreshing change from the superficial books expressing amazement by journalists or people who have never actually tested their theories in reality.
Assuming he is right, much of modern finance and indeed thinking about highly improbable (but not impossible) events is frighteningly wrong.
For anyone involved in business, investing (stocks, FX, bonds etc) -even if that is just your own pension -this is essential reading.
One of the most thought provoking books I've read for a long time.
This book will really annoy you if you are always totally focused and seek to keep the distractions to an absolute minimum. The book makes a compelling case for being receptive to large random events if and when they happen. Kind of go with the (Tsunami) flow sort of thing. A great read on asymmetry in modern life once again. Why is it we only hear about the successful startup stories , and never the lessons learned from the 99 failures that would be much more useful ??!! This book provides some insight.
The original thinking is important and enlightening but anyone capable of such gibberish does not deserve the attention this book demands.
You could easily find a great synthesis of this concepts on Kahneman's 'Thinking Fast and Slow' or Tahleb's 'Missbehaving' and miss nothing of importance.