Articles tagged with: randomness

The Black Swan

20 April 2009 Michael Szumielewski 430 Comments Books

The Black Swan

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a book about randomness in life and economy, concentrating and explaining the Black Swan phenomenon. Basically the Black Swan is a highly improbable event with huge influence on it’s surroundings. Although not foreseeable, the book teaches the reader how to deal with randomness and gives valuable tips on how to live a life which is open to opportunity.

Throughout the first chapters of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable you get an introduction to randomness and Black Swans. The author describes various situations where randomness is a huge factor and unleashes some common mistakes in human thinking regarding this topic. Nassim Taleb explains why so called experts are wrong and why the future can not be predicted by looking at the past. Instead, the really important events are rare and unpredictable, he calls them Black Swans.

The book goes on until you can’t take it any longer and start to have the nagging question in your head: “Dear author, what the heck should I do then?” The answer is provided in the practical chapter with some simple rules to handle life better with the knowledge of random events and their effects.

The book ends with some chapters about formulas and theory. Although there is a technical part, this book is not at all technical. If you are not interested in formulas, just skip these chapters, the author himself recommends that.

All in all, the Black Swan highly influenced my thinking about randomness and I think you should read it, too.

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