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The payoff of a human venture is, in general, inversely proportional to what it is expected to be.
4,309 Kindle readers highlighted this
First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact (unlike the bird). Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.
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Another way to rephrase the general distinction is as follows: Mediocristan is where we must endure the tyranny of the collective, the routine, the obvious, and the predicted; Extremistan is where we are subjected to the tyranny of the singular, the accidental, the unseen, and the unpredicted.
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The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility" (Incerto) Paperback – May 11, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb
 
“The most prophetic voice of all.”—GQ
 
Praise for The Black Swan
 
“[A book] that altered modern thinking.”The Times (London)
 
“A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail
 
“Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times
 
The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate
 
“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”Financial Times
 
“Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge. He spent nearly two decades as a businessman and quantitative trader before becoming a full-time philosophical essayist and academic researcher in 2006. Although he spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flâneur meditating in cafés, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. His main subject matter is “decision making under opacity”—that is, a map and a protocol on how we should live in a world we don’t understand.
 
Taleb’s books have been published in forty-one languages.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Publishing Group; 2nd ed. edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 444 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 081297381X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0812973815
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.7 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 3,531 ratings

About the author

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
3,531 global ratings
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Dr W. H. Konarzewski
3.0 out of 5 stars Self-indulgent ramble - but amusing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2019
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Anmol Sarma
3.0 out of 5 stars Skip the book, listen to a lecture
Reviewed in India on September 9, 2018
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Andreas
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book I read for a while
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 19, 2019
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BoltThrower
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype - it's an awful read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 11, 2020
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sweavo
2.0 out of 5 stars Get to the point.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2016
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