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Not a turkey.
Opens new vistas, and may even reduce Black Swan events for those of us in the turkey population. Even the history is fascinating.

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The Black Swan” is a critique of the society which fails to expect extreme events and the considerable impact that these highly improbable events have in the same society. The point is well made in the first 70 pages. but the book has 480 pages, all of them rehashing the same point.
Mr. Taleb criticizes Wall Streeters that come up with models to forecast stock prices; and failing to predict the unpredictable (or highly improbable). But trying to forecast a trend based in business statistics is precisely what we pay them to do. Naturally models are based on statistics and they do not take into account huge outliers. The ignoring of possible outliers is after all a risk based decision. However the book reminds us that given the recent failures in the real estate and financial markets, such risk decisions are rarely taken into account.
Net: The book then makes the case that the unpredictable is unpredictable. And that the impact of these "Black Swan" events are sometimes very large. It is a reasonable book that makes a sensible point. Yet it unnecessarily rehashes the same point through its 480 pages.

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In the Black Swan, Taleb explores how certain outports can unexpectedly impact our lives. These phenomena can help us understand and predict how we think and respond to reality. Taleb explains, from his own experiences in war-torn Lebanon & his own studies of randomness, that we can be blind to these life-changing events. This is a readable and lucid account of Taleb's worldview, and he asks some valid and intriguing questions: What is the value of planning if we cannot predict precisely? Can we predict with some precision to add some value? How can we prepare for the "next " Black Swan event?
By making the reader ask these questions, Taleb invites us to evaluate our own philosophy. Any book that does that does a service to the reader. For example, one could question the author's seeming advocacy for empiricism because he does not seem to back it up with proportional documentation. And yet, he also supports his argument by focusing on quantitative & qualitative discussions of his main points. In pondering this, I realized that he really challenges the reader to a see how we actually predict and think about life-changing events--often without the precision we desire. Well done!

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Taleb's idea of Large Impact, Hard-to-predict and Rare Events (aka Black Swans) comes at a time when the world at large is experiencing it. He is a profound thinker of our times and one whose views will definitely influence the thinking of our and future generations. Economics, as a profession, would find it hard to not consider the 'Black Swan'.
Some people find his style of writing objectionable. That may be so but his message is what gripped my attention.

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this is a review of the 1st edition: "excellent book on probability and thinking in general. The book is divided into 3 parts. The first part is about the assymetry of knowledge i.e. what we know is little and what we don't know is a lot and as a consequence has a greater influence on our lives. But, as humans we like to ignore what we do not know and therefore do not see Black Swans i.e. rare events that have huge impact. Due to our propensity to look back and attribute causes to past events although we lack complete knowledge, we have a tendency to fail to consider future Black Swans."  

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All reviews - 89