Reader Review: Great book if you are in and out of the Risk Management Scenario. It makes you really think on the Real Meaning of Risk Management. His use of narrative and quotes where very creative and useful to understand his way of thinking.
A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.
Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.”
For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.
Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan.
Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“The most prophetic voice of all.” —GQ
Praise for The Black Swan
“[A book] that altered modern thinking.”— The Times (London)
“A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail
“Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times
“ The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate
“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”— Financial Times
“Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.” —The New York Times Book Review
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: The Black Swan: Second Edition|
|Release Date: 05-11-2010|
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|Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks|
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The Black Swan: Second Edition
ON THE PLUMAGE OF BIRDS
Before the discovery of Australia, people in the old world were convinced that all swans were white, an unassailable belief as it seemed completely confirmed by empirical evidence. The sighting of the first black swan might have been an interesting surprise for a few ornithologists (and others extremely concerned with the coloring of birds), but that is not where the significance of the story lies. It illustrates a severe limitation to our learning from observations or experience and the fragility of our knowledge. One single observation can invalidate a general statement derived from millennia of confirmatory sightings of millions of white swans. All you need is one single (and, I am told, quite ugly) black bird.*
I push one step beyond this philosophical-logical question into an empirical reality, and one that has obsessed me since childhood. What we call here a Black Swan (and capitalize it) is an event with the following three attributes.
First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.
I stop and summarize the triplet: rarity, extreme impact, and retrospective (though not prospective) predictability.* A small number of Black Swans explain almost everything in our world, from the success of ideas and religions, to the dynamics of historical events, to elements of our own personal lives. Ever since we left the Pleistocene, some ten millennia ago, the effect o...
Title: The Black Swan: Second Edition June 30, 2012 Great book if you are in and out of the Risk Management Scenario. It makes you really think on the Real Meaning of Risk Management. His use of narrative and quotes where very creative and useful to understand his way of thinking.
Average Customer Review:
Number of Comments: 2 Rating(s) 1 Review(s)
Reviewer: A reader from SEATTLE, WA USA
June 30, 2012
Great book if you are in and out of the Risk Management Scenario. It makes you really think on the Real Meaning of Risk Management. His use of narrative and quotes where very creative and useful to understand his way of thinking.
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