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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 June 2007
Taleb gives in this book a correct framework for what one is facing when undertaking any kind of speculation. This book should be read before any other investigation of markets or learning from the other books on speculation is attempted. In essence it is an self-delusion avoiding manual.

I would agree with a previous review, as this book does get a bit tardy towards the end. Nevermind that, the first 80% is pure gold.
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on 25 September 2015
I really enjoyed this book as it made me think about probability in an entirely different way. The theory of probability is not intuitive for humans and it can lead people into some quite irrational routes. Very good book and well worth the read
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on 13 April 2014
Well, in case you do, I would invite you to read this book and see for yourself how deep the rabbit hole goes. In this case it is not about robots and AI but our very own brains and unconscious decisions which turn out to be highly irrational.
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on 25 October 2015
I really like this book. It is hard to explain the impact of reading this book without repeating much of its contents, but if you are making decisions in your personal or work life this book will change how you do that for the better.
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on 18 June 2013
This book certainly causes the reader to re-appraise the 'skill' of city traders/bankers, especially over an extended period.
The author clearly has a poor opinion of most of the guys in his line of work.
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on 16 March 2014
Great introduction to randomness and probabilities. Book gives an overview of many fascinating fields, including prospect theory. The author is a total intellectual snob, but don't let that put you off.
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on 13 May 2009
I have read his other book "The Black Swan" which was actually interesting. Although I should have realised that his writing style is a little annoying and self congratulatory, this book is just appalling. No serious derivatives trader or risk manager should go near this book. Not only could his "deep insights" be summarised in a few short paragraphs- "more money is made and lost on short unexpected events, so make sure that you don't get caught." and "all you dumb people are doing it wrong, only I'm a genius ("even though George Soros may have made a few good investments and had a few insights although most of the time he's an idiot too...")". I treasure all of my books; this is the first one which after reading from cover to cover, I tossed into the recycling bin so that no unsuspecting person will be unfortunate enough to find it in a charity shop. Seriously, do not buy this book. It will not give you any insights how to forecast these events either and will be as annoying as stubbing your toe, which coincidentally is free.
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on 21 June 2011
The author of this book is both incredibly ignorant and arrogant.

As has been mentioned in an older review; his central premise is deeply flawed. What he constantly refers to as 'randomness' is often 'chaotic'. Anyone that has studied maths or physics at degree level will spot this straight away. He then proceeds to construct oversimplified models that are often not particularly well suited to his examples to prove his point.

There are some interesting ideas but, nothing you wouldn't have heard about before or have just come across in a conversation in the pub.

The most irritating thing about this book though is not its innacuracy or its apparent lack of content. The Author insists on constantly reminding the reader that everyone else is stupid and he is a genius. The whole thing is one HUGE stroke of his completely misguided ego occasionally broken up by dropping the names of the authors / composers that he thinks makes him sound EVEN MORE above everyone else.

The author also falls into the very traps that he describes with incredible regularity.

Don't expect any actual evidence to back up his assertions (/sweeping generalisations) about psychology, peoples ability to handle statistics, (etc.) either.

In short: The author is a tool and has very little of interest to say. This truly is a waste of paper.

If you really want to understand randomness and statistics save yourself a few quid and just read Straight Statistics, Bad Science and the myriad other blogs on the subject. Each post will be filled with more useful information than is printed on the pages of this book.
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on 21 December 2008
This book is very badly written. The author's arrogance comes across in the preface when he claims he dismissed his editors suggestions to make his style 'better'.
There are some interesting ideas here but they are not worth the effort.
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on 26 May 2016
Hard Read but pretty spectacular.
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