Kindle Price: $13.99

Save $4.01 (22%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Incerto) by [Taleb, Nassim Nicholas]
Kindle App Ad

The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Incerto) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1,203 customer reviews

See all 25 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$13.99

Length: 444 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Part of the Incerto

click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bestselling author Nassim Nicholas Taleb continues his exploration of randomness in his fascinating new book, The Black Swan, in which he examines the influence of highly improbable and unpredictable events that have massive impact. Engaging and enlightening, The Black Swan is a book that may change the way you think about the world, a book that Chris Anderson calls, "a delightful romp through history, economics, and the frailties of human nature." See Anderson's entire guest review below.


Guest Reviewer: Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is editor-in-chief of Wired magazine and the author of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More.

Four hundred years ago, Francis Bacon warned that our minds are wired to deceive us. "Beware the fallacies into which undisciplined thinkers most easily fall--they are the real distorting prisms of human nature." Chief among them: "Assuming more order than exists in chaotic nature." Now consider the typical stock market report: "Today investors bid shares down out of concern over Iranian oil production." Sigh. We're still doing it.

Our brains are wired for narrative, not statistical uncertainty. And so we tell ourselves simple stories to explain complex thing we don't--and, most importantly, can't--know. The truth is that we have no idea why stock markets go up or down on any given day, and whatever reason we give is sure to be grossly simplified, if not flat out wrong.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb first made this argument in Fooled by Randomness, an engaging look at the history and reasons for our predilection for self-deception when it comes to statistics. Now, in The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable, he focuses on that most dismal of sciences, predicting the future. Forecasting is not just at the heart of Wall Street, but it’s something each of us does every time we make an insurance payment or strap on a seat belt.

The problem, Nassim explains, is that we place too much weight on the odds that past events will repeat (diligently trying to follow the path of the "millionaire next door," when unrepeatable chance is a better explanation). Instead, the really important events are rare and unpredictable. He calls them Black Swans, which is a reference to a 17th century philosophical thought experiment. In Europe all anyone had ever seen were white swans; indeed, "all swans are white" had long been used as the standard example of a scientific truth. So what was the chance of seeing a black one? Impossible to calculate, or at least they were until 1697, when explorers found Cygnus atratus in Australia.

Nassim argues that most of the really big events in our world are rare and unpredictable, and thus trying to extract generalizable stories to explain them may be emotionally satisfying, but it's practically useless. September 11th is one such example, and stock market crashes are another. Or, as he puts it, "History does not crawl, it jumps." Our assumptions grow out of the bell-curve predictability of what he calls "Mediocristan," while our world is really shaped by the wild powerlaw swings of "Extremistan."

In full disclosure, I'm a long admirer of Taleb's work and a few of my comments on drafts found their way into the book. I, too, look at the world through the powerlaw lens, and I too find that it reveals how many of our assumptions are wrong. But Taleb takes this to a new level with a delightful romp through history, economics, and the frailties of human nature. --Chris Anderson



From Booklist

In business and government, major money is spent on prediction. Uselessly, according to Taleb, who administers a severe thrashing to MBA- and Nobel Prize-credentialed experts who make their living from economic forecasting. A financial trader and current rebel with a cause, Taleb is mathematically oriented and alludes to statistical concepts that underlie models of prediction, while his expressive energy is expended on roller-coaster passages, bordering on gleeful diatribes, on why experts are wrong. They neglect Taleb's metaphor of "the black swan," whose discovery invalidated the theory that all swans are white. Taleb rides this manifestation of the unpredicted event into a range of phenomena, such as why a book becomes a best-seller or how an entrepreneur becomes a billionaire, taking pit stops with philosophers who have addressed the meaning of the unexpected and confounding. Taleb projects a strong presence here that will tempt outside-the-box thinkers into giving him a look. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • File Size: 5028 KB
  • Print Length: 444 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 081297381X
  • Publisher: Random House; 2 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Publication Date: May 11, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00139XTG4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?


Customer reviews

Rated by customers interested in
History
3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars

Top customer reviews

on February 27, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 19, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
11 comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 15, 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 21, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 15, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 18, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 26, 2014
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 6, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Most recent customer reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Incerto)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Incerto)