Customer Review

45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read + thoughtful ideas, March 11, 2002
This review is from: Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life (Hardcover)
I am a trader myself, and ran into this book as, ironically, a lucky coincidence: I happened to read the emerging markets chapter as a draft that was getting emailed around the office, and enjoyed it so much i purchased the rest of the book...
I found the book to be well written, opinionated and with some great ideas that frankly are hard to argue against. His book, at the core, is about the problem of induction. Statistics, for how useful they may be day to day, certainly do not solve this problem, and indeed, luck and skill are hard to differentiate in the markets.
He exposes a problem of a philosophical nature, and he is certainly not suggesting to drop all induced laws and redefine a day to day life full of uncertainty and incapable of establishing practical rules.
This book is not meant to be a textbook so i am not sure why Taleb's flair as a writer is getting attacked so repeatedly here. I think his writing style is elegant, amusing and smooth. This book is about opinion, so accusing him of having an opinion seems a misplaced objection. Also, i believe his writing is being somewhat misinterpreted. While there is an undertone of arrogance, it is self mocking. He does not claim to know better. His only, somewhat socratic claim is that he at least knows he does not know...I am surrounded by arrogance at work, and i can tell you, Taleb's ain't so!
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