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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Why do things always seem clearer in hindsight? How do we understand in retrospect that which we have missed previously? These are the precise questions “The Black Swan” seeks to answer. As Nassim explains it, The Black Swan”First, it is an outler, as it lies outside the realm of regular expections…Second, it carries and extreme impact…Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.” Isn’t this the basis for so many government hearings? So much of science? Isn’t this the stuff of making sense of history?

Why should we care? As Taleb explains, we are dominated by the extreme, unknown and improbable. Social science and the uniformity of the expected, of bell curves and statisticians that tell us about “averages” keep us from seeing the outliers. Taleb offers a way out, a different way of thinking, that offers us a way out.


Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Random House



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