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The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a New Section: On Robustness and Fragility

Paperback - 11 May 2010
Rp 433,000
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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 thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb will change the way you look at the world, 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.

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. Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan is a landmark book--itself a black swan.

Customer Reviews

1 customer reviews Between 2−3 stars rating, 14 December 2017
NNT's mathematical statistical debut
By: Antonius B.

Nicholas Nassim Taleb gets a lot of bad reputation these days (mainly due to his political views), but there is something to be gained from this book. Idea such as Black Swan, Tail risk blindness have become ubiquitous (and interestingly enough, makes it less likely to happen). So why not read the book that started it all?

This book is a lot of mathematical models that you can skim by reading the first sentence in a meandering paragraph(seriously, NNT takes 50 sentence to back up each argument he is making). But the strength of the book is not the models or the originality of it but rather the comedic (and ironic) explanation he has written for us. Every hypothesis always stems from a anecdote that either he experienced or that someone else he knows experienced. 

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