The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
ISBN: 0141034599
EAN13: 9780141034591
Language: English
Pages: 480
Dimensions: 1.02" H x 8.19" L x 5.04" W
Weight: 0.66 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

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The most influential book of the past seventy-five years: a groundbreaking exploration of everything we know about what we don't know, now with a new section called On Robustness and Fragility.

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 Read More chevron_right

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