Tuesday 3 April 2018

The Black Swan by Nicholas Taleb

"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."

I've been wanting to read this book  for a very long time. It takes the complex world of statistics and makes its applicable to real life. It also asks us important questions about why we don't allow for the possibility of these black swans, why we find ourselves stuck in certain ways of thinking, despite evidence to the contrary and proposes ways of dealing with our thinking shortfalls.

It's a story told in an engaging and witty style - perhaps not always very structured in the way it is arranged, and a little on the lengthy side, but thoroughly enjoyable. The audible narration is great - I found it clear and the pace of the reading was just right.

It has earned the accolade of being the definitive book on the topic. Taleb has done his homework and has the necessary expertise to make this a reference book on the improbable and how to deal with it.

4 stars

ISBN: 9781400063512

You may also enjoy The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman or Richard Thaler's Misbehaving


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