The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$5.16
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by AZ_Fulfillment
Condition: :
Comment: [Solid Condition Paperback. Cover has wear. May contain writing/markings. May be ex-library copy. Expedited Shipping Available]
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility" Paperback – Bargain Price, May 11, 2010


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price, May 11, 2010
$8.91 $5.14

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Spring Books
The Big Books of Spring
See our editors' picks for the books you'll want to read this season, from blockbusters and biographies to new fiction and children's books.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; 2 edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081297381X
  • ASIN: B005OHWJIU
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (964 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,098,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate
 
“Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”—Financial Times
 
“A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail 
 
“Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to immersing himself in problems of luck, randomness, human error, probability, and the philosophy of knowledge. He managed to transform his interests into three successful careers, as a man of letters, businessman-trader-risk manager, and university professor. Although he spends most of his time as a flâneur, meditating in cafés across the planet, he is currently Distinguished Professor at New York University's Polytechnic Institute and Principal of Universa. His books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan have been published in 31 languages. He is widely recognized as the foremost thinker on probability and uncertainty. Taleb lives mostly in New York.

Customer Reviews

The problem I had with the book was the writing style (too ponderous).
Marcel van Os
They aren't getting published because they are too good and too innovative and ONE DAY, their awful little book will find a publisher and make everyone a ton of money.
Tim Lieder
I've decided to do a very long review, as this is one of the most important books I have read in the last three years.
Robert David STEELE Vivas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,480 of 1,604 people found the following review helpful By The Dilettante on April 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If, as Socrates would have it, the only true knowledge is knowledge of one's own ignorance, then Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the world's greatest living teacher. In The Black Swan, Taleb's second book for laypeople, he gives a full treatment to concepts briefly explored in his first book "Fooled by Randomness." The Black Swan is basically a sequel to that book, but much more focused, detailed and scholarly. This is a book of serious philosophy that reads like a stand-up comedy routine. (Think Larry David...)

The Black Swan is probably the strongest statement of enlightened empiricism since Ernst Mach refused to acknowledge the existence of the atom. Of course, in theory, everyone today is supposed to be an empiricist - all right-thinking intellectuals claim to base their views solely on positive scientific observation. But very few sincerely confront the implications of rigorous empiricism. Specifically, few confront "the problem of induction," illustrated here by the story of the black swan.

Briefly: observing an event once does not predict it will occur again in the future. This remains true regardless of the number of observations one adds to the pile. Or, as Taleb, recapitulating David Hume, has it: the observation of even a million white swans does not justify the statement "all swans are white." There is no way to know that somewhere out there a black swan is not hiding, disproving the rule and nullifying our "knowledge" of swans. The problem of induction tells us that we cannot really learn from our experiences. It makes knowledge very problematic, if not impossible. And yet, humans do behave -almost without exception- as though they believe that experience teaches us lessons. This is forgivable; there is no better path to knowledge.
Read more ›
67 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
967 of 1,048 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on July 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Starting with the good (chapters 15 - 17), within chapter 15 Taleb explains where the Bell curve works and where it does not. The Bell curve captures well variables that don't deviate much from the mean. Otherwise, it does not work. Taleb suggests we often fool ourselves in believing that correlation, regression coefficients, or standard deviation convey much information. This is because those coefficients are unstable (and can flip sign when possible) depending on the time selected. This is because the underlying variables are often not stationary enough for these coefficients to be stable.

Chapter 16 is excellent as an introduction to Mandelbrot's fractal geometry as an alternative to Gaussian based investment theory. He supports well that these mathematical tools do capture randomness (of non-stationary variables) far better than the Normal distribution. However, he admits that Mandelbrotian models are not predictive. When looking at the same data set, he and numerous colleagues each came up with different underlying parameters to build fractal-like models. And a small difference in such parameters makes a huge difference in outcome. That's why you will not hear much of fractal geometry within the quantitative financial community. Nevertheless, this is a fascinating subject that deserves further exploration. For this purpose, I recommend Mandelbrot's The Misbehavior of Markets

Within Chapter 17, Taleb further elaborates on the flaws of the Normal distribution. He underlines that half of the return of the stock market over the past 50 years was associated with just 10 days with the greatest daily change.
Read more ›
96 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1,007 of 1,109 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining and enlightening book, and fairly easy to read. It has an important message regarding how the world works; that the world is governed not by the predictable and the average, but by the random, the unknownable, the unpredictable -- big events or discoveries or unusual people that have big consequences. Change comes not uniformly but in unpredictable spurts. These are the Black Swans of the title: completedly unexpected and rare events or novel ideas or technologies that have a huge impact on the world. Indeed, Taleb argues that history itself is primarly driven by these Black Swans.

It is convincing argument, entertainingly presented with plenty of sarcasm, and indeed, anger, by Taleb. For example he rails against the academic community, economists (including specific names), and Nobel Prize committee. Considerable numbers of his arguments "ring true" to me, that is my experience in life confirms that they are more accurate than the traditional approach. Like any important work, 90% of what is in the book is not original; that does not make it less important. Taleb's contribution is in integrating the material together, and showing how these different ideas are tied to the Black Swan.

The themes include: winner-take-all phenonomen, numerous effects of randomness on the world, the invalidity of the Gaussian Bell Curve to most things in world, concepts of scalablity, numerous instabilities in the world, especially the modern world where information travels so quickly, the fallacies about people's inability to predict the future.
Read more ›
34 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again