HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly…
Loading...

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (edition 2008)

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,674135752 (3.72)1 / 88
Member:mikerut
Title:The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Authors:Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Info:Penguin (2008), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Recently added byollin, private library, FrankJLucatelli, christinejorja, daachi, tyomero, PJW9779, ZoneSeek
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (123)  Spanish (3)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  German (1)  Czech (1)  Swedish (1)  All (135)
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
Second edition: contains Postscript essay.

This deserves a fuller review, but I'll keep it brief because it's taken me a long time to actually reach the end of the book and some of the detail is lost. And there lies part of the problem, because this book started out as a five-star work because of the quality of the writing and the impact of the message but drifted down in my estimation the further I progressed. I think it was just the repetition of the message that wore me down, because at the end of each of the four parts I was considering knocking half-a-star off my final evaluation. In the end, the Postscript essay NNT (yep, that's how he refers to himself) added in the revised edition pulls it back to make a solid four-star evaluation.

So, here's a self-confident and erudite chap pulling down the walls of the economic establishment. Or at least trying to, because the overly self-confident and nowhere near as erudite members of that establishment just carry on blithely ignorant of the message about the Black Swan event ('all swans are white' until you actually travel to the southern hemisphere and expose that fallacy) that lurks around the corner if you put your trust in economic models. And the message is that stark - all economic models, not just some. I recently saw NNT on television (Newsnight, BBC2) where he moderated that somewhat by saying models can be effective at the micro level, but break down at the macro level.

He convinced me; but that was pushing at an open door. I've designed a computer system to support money market traders, and the rules I was given convinced me it's just the same as a casino. Except the '0' (and '00' for those in some locations) mean that you don't just lose your stake but your whole wad.

Read it, then, but I'll quite understand if you abandon the attempt part way through because of the arrogance on display. The second edition with the additional essay saved it for me, so please use that by preference. Note that it will be your loss if you don't stay the course. ( )
1 vote Noisy | Mar 10, 2017 |
An enormously huge book to make a point that should not have taken this many pages to make. Over and over again. It was a good book but man, oh, man... did this guy get paid by the page? ( )
  marshapetry | Oct 14, 2016 |
At times an arduous read, not made any easier by the author's arrogant mannerism, but he does get us to question our desire to find top-down patterns, to make predictions, to force things into Gaussian Bell curves. While I still believe some form of framework is necessary to help in the decision-making process, my personal takeaway comes in his call for us to embrace randomness, and a return to common sense, simplicity and real-world pragmatism. In the end, it's really just all about balancing between empiricism and (learned) intuition. ( )
  perhapstoopink | Sep 25, 2016 |
At times an arduous read, not made any easier by the author's arrogant mannerism, but he does get us to question our desire to find top-down patterns, to make predictions, to force things into Gaussian Bell curves. While I still believe some form of framework is necessary to help in the decision-making process, my personal takeaway comes in his call for us to embrace randomness, and a return to common sense, simplicity and real-world pragmatism. In the end, it's really just all about balancing between empiricism and (learned) intuition. ( )
  perhapstoopink | Sep 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
Since the book was written prior to the current situation, many of the insights will seem prophetic. For instance, “regulators in the banking business are prone to a severe expert problem and they tend to condone reckless but (hidden) risk taking.” Some might think that the book specifically predicted the current market and economic crisis—wrong. The book is about the expectation that it could occur.
added by dtw42 | editBusiness Economics, Gerald L Musgrave (pay site) (Aug 11, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nassim Nicholas Talebprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pietiläinen, KimmoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Benoît Mandelbrot, a Greek among Romans
First words
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.
Quotations
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Die beste Strategie besteht also darin, möglichst viel auszuprobieren und möglichst viele Chancen, aus den sich Schwarze Schwäne ergeben könnten, zu ergreifen.
Die narrative Verzerrung ist Ausdruck unserer eingeschränkten Fähigkeit, Reihen von Fakten zu betrachten, ohne eine Erklärung in sie hineinzuweben oder, was dasselbe bedeutet, gewaltsam eine logische Verknüpfung, einen Beziehungspfeil zwischen ihnen herzustellen. Erklärungen binden Fakten zusammen. Sie sorgen dafür, dass wir uns viel leichter an sie erinnern können, dass sie mehr Sinn ergeben. Diese Neigung kann uns aber in die Irre führen, wenn sie unseren Eindruck, dass wir verstehen, verstärkt.
Wir sind soziale Tiere; die Hölle sind andere Menschen.
Last words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Book description
Table of Contents from Worldcat:

Umberto Eco's antilibrary, or how we seek validation. The apprenticeship of an empirical skeptic ; Yevgenia's black swan ; The speculator and the prostitute ; One thousand and one days, or how not to be a sucker ; Confirmation shmonfirmation! ; The narrative fallacy ; Living in the antechamber of hope ; Giacomo Casanova's unfailing luck : the problem of silent evidence ; The Ludic fallacy, or the uncertainty of the nerd -- We just can't predict. The scandal of prediction ; How to look for bird poop ; Epistemocracy, a dream ; Appelles the Painter, or what do you do if you cannot predict? -- Those gray swans of Extremistan. From Mediocristan to Extremistan and back ; The bell curve, that great intellectual fraud ; The aesthetics of randomness ; Locke's madmen, or bell curves in the wrong places ; The uncertainty of the phony -- The end. Half and half, or how to get even with the black swan -- Epilogue : Yevgenia's white swans.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"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. Now, in this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don't know. He offers surprisingly simple tricks for dealing with black swans and benefiting from them."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 avail.
1054 wanted
5 pay13 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.72)
0.5 3
1 40
1.5 8
2 86
2.5 23
3 252
3.5 61
4 366
4.5 38
5 294

Audible.com

4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 113,177,864 books! | Top bar: Always visible