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Black Swan The Impact of the Highly Improbable

ISBN-10: 1400063515
ISBN-13: 9781400063512
Edition: 2nd 2007
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/17/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 480
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

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. Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications "The Black Swan" will change the way you look at the 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 probabilitytheory. "The Black Swan" is a landmark book-itself a black swan.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb was born in 1960 in Amioun, Lebanon. He is a researcher, essayist, trader, epistemologist, and former practitioner of mathematical finance. Taleb received his bachelors and masters degree in science from the University of Paris. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Paris- Dauphine. Taleb began his financial mathematics career in several of New York City's Wall Street firms before becoming a scholar in the epistemology of chance events, randomness, and the unknown. Taleb's book, Fooled by Randomness, was translated into 23 languages. His book, The Black Swan, was translated into 27 languages and spent several months on the New York Times Bestseller list. Taleb is a Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at Polytechnic Institute of New York University and visiting professor of Marketing (Cognitive Science) at London Business School. Taleb has also taught at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Courant Institute of New York University, and the Wharton Business School Financial Institutions Center. His title Bed of Procrustes made the N.Y. Times Bestseller List for 2010 and his title Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder made The 2012 New York Times Bestseller List.

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
Glacomo 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

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