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Black Swan (English)

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Language: English
Length: 444 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
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Black Swan (English) By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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Black Swan (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.226

Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan is a concept that will change the way you look at the world. Black Swans underlie almost everything, from the rise of religions, to events in our own personal lives. A Black Swan is a highly improbable event with three principle characteristics: it is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random and more predictable than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan so was 9/11. And why do we always ignore the phenomenon of Black Swans until after they occur? As Nassim Nicholas Taleb reveals, we are hard-wired not to truly estimate risk, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the ‘impossible’. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and shows us how to face the world.

Specifications of Black Swan (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Book Details
Publisher Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
Imprint Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Year 2008 February
ISBN-13 9780141034591
ISBN-10 0141034599
Language English
Edition 01
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 444 Pages
Dimensions
Width 4.92 inch
Height 7.59 inch
Depth 1.14 inch
Weight 341 g
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Book Reviews of Black Swan (English)

TOP REVIEWS View All Top Reviews (20)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
23 Feb 2012
Pretentious Ego-trip that is Vastly Overrated

After reading "Fooled by Randomness" by Taleb, there is no mistaking that this book was intended as a haphazard rehash of his previous work. It's like a bad movie sequel, like Speed 2 or Basic Instinct 2, which were intended to fool the audience so that the studio can make a quick buck. This book is worse than those movies in many ways.

What made "Fooled by Randomness" a worthwhile read is Taleb's meaningful dissection of factors governing chance, luck and success in financial markets and life. It implored people not to confuse luck with success. It was thought provok...
()

After reading "Fooled by Randomness" by Taleb, there is no mistaking that this book was intended as a haphazard rehash of his previous work. It's like a bad movie sequel, like Speed 2 or Basic Instinct 2, which were intended to fool the audience so that the studio can make a quick buck. This book is worse than those movies in many ways.

What made "Fooled by Randomness" a worthwhile read is Taleb's meaningful dissection of factors governing chance, luck and success in financial markets and life. It implored people not to confuse luck with success. It was thought provok...
After reading "Fooled by Randomness" by Taleb, there is no mistaking that this book was intended as a haphazard rehash of his previous work. It's like a bad movie sequel, like Speed 2 or Basic Instinct 2, which were intended to fool the audience so that the studio can make a quick buck. This book is worse than those movies in many ways.

What made "Fooled by Randomness" a worthwhile read is Taleb's meaningful dissection of factors governing chance, luck and success in financial markets and life. It implored people not to confuse luck with success. It was thought provoking and un-superfluous writing which got me interested in this book: Black Swan.

However, this book is as pretentious as can be. Taleb's pathetic need for ego-trip can be seen on almost every page, and in every paragraph of this book; all of which boils down to praising his own "sheer brilliance" and his "know-it-all" mind.
Taleb's central contention is that existence of outliers invalidates a hypothesis. Any person who has an understanding of the (inductive and deductive) reasoning process would realize that his "brilliant" contention is flawed. He stresses that no one could have predicted the current Financial Crisis, which is absurd because knowledgeable people clearly saw it coming years before; his position that no one could foresee growth of internet, or the rise of Google, are equally ridiculous. Going by Taleb's "ingenious viewpoint" none of us should go to work because we can be run-over by a bus on the way; or eat outside, because we can be poisoned to death; or even get up from bed, because we can kill ourselves if we fall the wrong way. Taleb occasionally mentions the greats like Karl Popper and twists their broad philosophical underpinnings to further his own narrow (and many stupid) viewpoints.

"Absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence"; yes, we all know that because the idea is thousands of years old which can be traced back to the Greeks. Taleb, who has basically stolen the idea, pretentiously calls it the "Black Swan" to fool his readers. Even elementary statistics students know that many measures in nature do not follow Gaussian distribution, and all of us know that we cannot predict every single thing; we don't need Taleb using 300 pages full of extremely arrogant writing to repeat that.

The language is repetitive, the reading monotonous, and the style overbearing and obnoxious. The author comes off as a miserable, loser-child bullying in the playground. The only reason this gets 2 stars is because of references provided at the end which are quite useful even when partially incorrectly cross-referenced.

81% of 27 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
21 Oct 2013
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certified buyer
Reality cannot be platonic

Platonic models which are used in financial markets are too theoretical whose assumptions just seems unreal and therefore they cannot predict they just can't. Ltcm,Russian debt crisis, credit crisis all came like a black swan as they were all unpredicatable, had great impact, and were very rare events. How can we project future using history it's just out of question and history can be explained in a variety of infinit explanations but we can't figure out the factual explanation that really led to the historical events then how can we project the future using those historical data when we d... ()

Platonic models which are used in financial markets are too theoretical whose assumptions just seems unreal and therefore they cannot predict they just can't. Ltcm,Russian debt crisis, credit crisis all came like a black swan as they were all unpredicatable, had great impact, and were very rare events. How can we project future using history it's just out of question and history can be explained in a variety of infinit explanations but we can't figure out the factual explanation that really led to the historical events then how can we project the future using those historical data when we d...
Platonic models which are used in financial markets are too theoretical whose assumptions just seems unreal and therefore they cannot predict they just can't. Ltcm,Russian debt crisis, credit crisis all came like a black swan as they were all unpredicatable, had great impact, and were very rare events. How can we project future using history it's just out of question and history can be explained in a variety of infinit explanations but we can't figure out the factual explanation that really led to the historical events then how can we project the future using those historical data when we don't know the actual cause of their occurence?beautiful book with a lot of dep content and something to think about.

2 of 2 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
21 Aug 2011
Its Second Edition

The whole world knows this book's awesomeness, needless to say anything about it.

Just that before ordering I was doubtful weather or not its 2nd edition, but it is the Second Edition. If you look closely at the book's image, at the top-right corner over the blue circular background its written that the book is 2nd edition.

This same book is also available from Random House (original publisher), see this:
www.flipkart.com/books/081297381x?affid=setu2kxyah

5 of 9 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
24 Dec 2011
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certified buyer
Perception Altering.

Great book. Brilliant observations.

If you're a thinker, this is the book for you. The observations and explanations of the perception of reality, what we think and why we think it, are something I've never come across.

2 of 3 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
31 Jul 2014
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certified buyer
Very good

Amazing read. Opens your mind to thinking differently. The examples are quite thought provoking. I have become a fan of Taleb after reading this book.

I would highly recommend this and its predecessor "Fooled by Randomness"

0 of 0 users found this review helpful.

Recent Top Reviews

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★★★★★
★★★★★
31 Jul 2014
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certified buyer
Very good

Amazing read. Opens your mind to thinking differently. The examples are quite thought provoking. I have become a fan of Taleb after reading this book.

I would highly recommend this and its predecessor "Fooled by Randomness"
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
15 Jul 2014
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certified buyer
The prose is awesome

The first thing you notice is the superb prose that the author uses. Every book is a fabric that an author creates using the words that he has in his arsenal to weave it. Nassim Nicholas Taleb has done a fantastic job at it and drives several points home. Great read if you are into books like these. (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
27 Mar 2014
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certified buyer
Book is worth reading for all those in risk taking business

Love the way, the author explore few improbable events that occurred in history.
& how some of the people in thinking business miscalculated the risks of such events.

Even some of noble prize winners who were apprised because of their ability to think through & suggest some economic solu...
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
25 Mar 2014
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certified buyer
The Black Swan

This book is a must read for those looking out on inspiration,introspection and self help sections. It talks about all the aspects of human behavior and examines the why's associated.
Ideally it will change your life.!!!!!
(View complete review)

    Book: Black Swan (English) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    ISBN Number: 0141034599, 9780141034591, 978-0141034591

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