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Plus size 10 12 of dresses for sale. Apparently NNT failed to recognize that perhaps the systems in place so effectively prevented cheating that it was no longer a potential source of lost income. Perhaps if he had looked further back in time he would have seen the financial cost of cheating. It would be like criticizing a store for employing anti-shoplifting techniques when their biggest loses came from a lost shipment, a dishonest accountant and some other usaporiviafrancigena.comedictable and essentially unavoidable problem.
The suggestion from NNT must be that dealing with the things we can is stupid and we should focus on the things that we cannot predict and therefore cannot prevent.
NNT spends a whole chapter discussing luck and how every successful economist, banker, investor or other scalable professional is successful not due to skill, but to luck. I'm not going to debate that as the entire premise renders coherent arguments null and void you cannot disprove the assertion that someone is chronically lucky, well played NNT.
However, this luck doesn't apply to his favorite philosophers. NNT spends a chapter lauding Poincare for being a 'thinking mathematician' because he didn't rely on rigor, but rather intuition. NNT lambastes other mathematicians for criticizing Poincare by calling his techniques 'hand waving' which he decides is due to childishness on the part of the other 'nerd' mathematicians. But success due to intuition is not success due to skill and is therefore not success to be recognized or rewarded at least, that's the case with bankers and investors.
NNT doesn't understand the reason why mathematicians and other 'hard' scientists don't like hand waving is because there's no way to know if it's success or luck, it isn't repeatable and it isn't verifiable. Also, NNT ignores the silent evidence of intuition. He looks to Poincare as a savior and steward of his profession while ignoring the unmarked graves of all the other 'thinking mathematicians' who failed miserably in their intuitive hand waving.
For all of his experimental 'proof' offered in defense of claims about how we understand, learn and process things, NNT never gives more than one study as evidence although he will claim, without a footnote or other reference that many other studies have verified that particular claim. He accepts these theories as facts and bases large portions of his argument upon them, yet he criticizes doctors, biologists and other scientists for using experimental evidence to make theories on why things work instead of simply accepting that they do work.
How many times does he bring up 'anchoring' as a theory for why things happen, yet he cannot accept the fact that perhaps birds and humans use different brain regions to perform similar tasks? The study didn't prove that complex models are no different from simple ones, just that not all of them were better but no claim that they were ever worse. So why would I get rid of something that doesn't do worse but could do better?
If I buy a lottery ticket that is guaranteed to make me my money back and could make me more than what I paid, why wouldn't I buy it?
Now, I understand that predicting the future is foolhardy, and I'm not saying that it's something we should put a lot of stock into pun intended but past information can give us a general idea about the future, even if it doesn't give us a great one.
NNT passes himself off as some cool headed, rational thinker who sees beyond the noise and chaos of the world and invites the world to join him on the greener side of the pasture. But nearly all of his arguments are based on contradictions with other arguments that he has made. Further, the remaining arguments that are defensible are impossible to disprove because they impossible to prove.
Much like a believing person who argues that without empirical proof of man evolving from lower life or of the big bang, the scientist cannot be right, NNT argues that because models are not perfect, no one can use them to any benefit. The book is altogether too long given the core point of the book which is this: the most important things that happen or that don't happen are unknowable.
Because we cannot predict the future with certainty or even near certainty, we should not even try but rather just do whatever the heck we want because sometimes it's just as good. View all 16 comments.
Ricardo Gomes You forgot to mention that the book is boring as fuck. Sep 03, PM. The first time through, I listened to this book with my husband, usually while I was cooking.
Although I tried to stop and mark important passages, I ended up thinking the book was not very systematic. The second time through, chapter by chapter, the method in his madness is more apparent. I continued to think Taleb is more a popularizer than an innovator. But even if so, that's not so shabby. He's trying to revolutionize the way we think, and the more we rehearse that, the better. Nassim The first time through, I listened to this book with my husband, usually while I was cooking.
While they both have us investigating our thinking, for Kahneman, it's to make us own up, while Taleb has more direct emphasis on avoiding disaster. He would like for us to realize our overuse of normal-curve thinking, which makes us minimize risk and have no expectations out of the ordinary: like the turkey whose experience all goes to show how human beings love him and care about him and prove it by feeding him-until Thanksgiving day arrives and he's dinner.
The normal curve tells us that the further out from the mean we go, the rarity of unusual events rapidly increases. Fine-when it applies. We are not going to meet any foot tall people or anyone living to years old.
But the normal curve often doesn't apply.
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We can't predict which books will be best sellers or how how the sales count will go on one of them. We can't predict when a war will occur or just how one will transpire. The world is not fair. Unfairness and inequality are no epiphenomena but part and parcel of reality. Even in evolution, the fittest survive, thrive, and have more offspring. Take writing: before literacy, every town crier and performer had his day. With written methods, all the little guys are out of work.
Then, one book may become a bestseller. It leaves even the other books in the dust. And when the author of the bestseller writes another book, it'll get more attention than those who didn't write a bestseller. When we think normal curves apply but they don't, we are confusing what the world is like with how we would like it to be. We are shoving reality into the Procrustean bed of our idealized thinking.
That distorts our vision of reality. By keeping an open mind, at least, we won't be walking blindly into risk.
We can't prevent the unexpected, but we can at least turn the black swans into grey swans. We are like the 13th fairy at the Sleeping Beauty's christening. We can't do away with the angry fairy's curse, but we can mitigate it. Grey swan, not black. The difficulty with many kinds of prognosticators in our world is that they are spinning theories that purport to predict, but their theories are stories, and their stories connect the plot points and only sound as though they are predictive.
We are lulled or, even worse, misled. We listen according to our preferred belief system. We listen to what we want to hear: confirmatory listening. We actively cherry pick reality to make it fit what we want to believe.
The solution? Try the opposite, finding something that doesn't fit. A plethora of confirmatory evidence is exactly what the turkey had before Thanksgiving.
Taleb lauds two unexpected types of practitioners: military people and financial managers. They will know if their predictions are wrong or right. If they are wrong, they'll have to face the music.
Their predictions matter. Not so the world of talking heads and stuffed shirts: they just adjust their stories and keep on going. What those stories are, are predictions of the past. If you see an ice cube sitting on a table you can predict the future: it will melt into a little puddle of water.
But if you see a puddle on the table, and that's all you see, there could be a thousand stories of what it is and how it came to be there. The correct explanation may be or one which will never be found. It could be that angry old fairy, melted. As I said, most of the stories are not explanations. But theories are sticky.
Once you have one you have a hard time seeing beyond it remembering that sometimes no theory is best, if the theory is wrong. So, he recommends an empirical approach with art and craft, a less grand theory, and always an eye toward outcomes. Right at the end it occurred to me that this is religion.
He tells you how to sustain yourself in the absence of worldly support, how to stand up to others and say your piece, how to wait and be patient, and about the merits of surrounding yourself with like-minded souls.
To close, a rousing rendition of Kipling's If He can't teach like Kahneman, but he gets it said. View all 89 comments. Dec 21, Greg rated it it was ok. This book has diminishing returns on the time spent reading it. Taleb's jeremiad is directed against - well - everyone who is not as enlightened as he is.
I trudged through this book because - well - everyone is reading it and enlightened people should know how to comment on it. There, I did it. Now I can look down on all those people out there who aren't enlightened like Taleb. And now, me. Taleb is actually on to something important if you can tolerate his self-importance enough to filter his This book has diminishing returns on the time spent reading it.
Taleb is actually on to something important if you can tolerate his self-importance enough to filter his verbage to get his good ideas. A central idea is that we assume everything in the world is Gaussian and then we base all our decisions about life on our Gaussian models. But the significant, life-changing, society-changing, events are outside the Gaussian.
Things like They belong to Extremestan, not Mediocristan. The ideas are interesting. Many are quite compelling.
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But it really seems Taleb's main point is "everyone else is an idiot. I did find quite useful a good line of thought regarding the importance of narrative in grasping truth. We are so drawn to narrative, that all retained "true" facts must fit into our constructed narrative.
Other data are ignored or made to fit.
We need to be on the watch for data that disproves rather than confirms our story. And perhaps we ought to learn better how to understand and speak in story. Mmm - God himself, in the person of Jesus, communicated truth in parables - narratives! No one else seems to have caught on.
Except Taleb, of course. View 2 comments. Jan 26, Ted rated it liked it Shelves: mathphilosophypsychologyeconomicsreviews-liked. Taleb is a pretty good writer, but I thought this was a very uneven book. As I read it I was constantly alternating between "Wow, that's a really great insight, a great way of presenting it" and "Gee, who doesn't realize that? It's a book that should have been read by the quantitative analysts "quants" working for the hedge funds and investment banks in early ; but it probably wouldn't have made much difference in the financial melt-down that Taleb is a pretty good writer, but I thought this was a very uneven book.
It's a book that should have been read by the quantitative analysts "quants" working for the hedge funds and investment banks in early ; but it probably wouldn't have made much difference in the financial melt-down that followed. The problem with all their quantitative analysis was, as Taleb rightly points out, that it assumed that everything that could happen in the markets belonged to the domain of bell-curve events, and that hence probabilities could be computed for any possible market outcome.
But "Black Swan" events very rare, not even things we think about happening, and not linked to the factors that determine day to day market swings do occur, they are of course usaporiviafrancigena.comedictable, and they can have massive effects.
Some sorts of usaporiviafrancigena.comedictable events such as unexpected conflict flareups, deaths of influential national leaders are not Black Swan events because they are events we know about, and they are not really unexpected - only the timing is in doubt.
But really, other than as a cautionary tale for those whose job it is to predict usaporiviafrancigena.comedictable things on a daily basis, these observations probably don't surprise most people who have thought much about the nature of reality and our grasp of the future.
No one that I know owns a crystal ball. As the esteemed Donald not Trump, the other one pointed out, in one of his rare truly insightful comments, there are the unknowns that we know about, and the unknowns that we don't know about. It's the latter part of reality where the Black Swans live. Of course, they also live in Australia, which is how the phrase got its meaning. View all 10 comments.
Aug 23, Daniel rated it it was ok. I stopped reading this because the author is so pompous and annoying. View all 5 comments. Jul 17, Will rated it it was ok. This review will be comprised of two parts: a review of the ideas presented and a review of the way in which it is written A The ideas There is no question here, Taleb is an erudite and intelligent scholar.
His take on epistomology and the scientific method breathe fresh air into the subject and gloss it with some 21st century context. It would be difficult for me to overstate the importance of the black swan problem in modern life and the degree to which we are, as societies, unaware of its This review will be comprised of two parts: a review of the ideas presented and a review of the way in which it is written A The ideas There is no question here, Taleb is an erudite and intelligent scholar.
It would be difficult for me to overstate the importance of the black swan problem in modern life and the degree to which we are, as societies, unaware of its impact.
However, anybody with half a background in statistics, chaos theory or the philosophy of science will have encountered most of the concepts in this book before and will have cogitated at length over them. Still, Taleb's text acts both as a refresher course and a collection of intelligent new perspectives on the subject which make for a decent think-a-thon. For that reason somebody with an interest should give this book a go. B The execution This book could have been a third of its length.
Taleb comes across as insufferable and fustian.
His one-page-per-topic writing style flits between ideas without exploring or explaining them properly. The narrative is disjoint and underdeveloped. Only at the end of the book does he even begin to make some positive suggestions for replacing the intellectual institutions he rightly criticises. Anybody who has read Richard Dawkins will be familiar with the arrogance with which Taleb states his claims and dismisses the thinking of others.
It is almost enough to make one toss the book away. So I gave this book two stars. I valued the content but it is most definitely not groundbreaking and it most definitely is not well written. Mar 08, Ben rated it did not like it Shelves: shit. If you skipped your Systems, Statistics, or Random Variables classes in college, or if you think you know more than everyone else on Wall Street, then read this book.
It will reaffirm what you already know. To the rest of you: this book will reaffirm what you thought you knew when you were 5 or I put this book down after the first chapter, but thought I would give it another chance, that I was being unfair.
When I read the second chapter which is a metaphor for If you skipped your Systems, Statistics, or Random Variables classes in college, or if you think you know more than everyone else on Wall Street, then read this book. When I read the second chapter which is a metaphor for what Taleb thinks is him I puked in my shirt.
This man is the most conceited person I think I've discovered through reading his garbage hypothesis. If I met Taleb, I would recommend that he read some other theories on random variables why does he use Gaussian distribution as the only example of random distribution?
He apparently was sleeping though these discussions. Thank God I am not an editor. View all 11 comments. Feb 21, Bonnie rated it did not like it Shelves: nonfiction. Most importantly, perhaps, was that it was dull and a chore to read. In the little footnotes suggesting a chapter was unneccessary for a nontechnical reader and could be skipped read: you are too dumb to understand this chapter, so don't even botherlike Chapter 15, I gladly took his advice because it meant one This felt like it was trying to be the next The Tipping Point or Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything and just failed spectacularly, on all counts.
In the little footnotes suggesting a chapter was unneccessary for a nontechnical reader and could be skipped read: you are too dumb to understand this chapter, so don't even botherlike Chapter 15, I gladly took his advice because it meant one less chapter to slog through.
I finished it out of a perverse desire to finish things, nothing more. My biggest complaint with the book, though, was that the author came across as a giant tool. He loves to use sarcastic quotes to criticize things like "prestigious" institutions despite mentioning multiple times that he himself attended the prestigious Wharton School.
Whether his hatreds are justified or not, the way he does it comes across as terribly juvenile and he never misses a cheap shot. He appears to see himself as some kind of persecuted genius, taking on the establishment.
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He loves nothing more than describing how some so-called "expert" goes apopleptic when confronted with his brilliant Black Swan idea which he keeps reminding you he came up with at the age of 22 and fantasizes about dropping rats down overly serious people's shirts to watch them squirm is he actually 12 or just a bastard?
Why does he have to make her up? The publishing industry is littered with these people, it would be simple to use a real person. But not only does he make her up and does not even bother to tell you she is fake until the following chapter but he gives several pages to her biography, invents fake friends and THEIR biographies and then comes back to her AGAIN, all with no real relevance.
These fictional characters could've been cut out entirely or replaced with real people and not affected the book at all. They are simply another one of his petty self-indulgences.
I could have saved time, money and my blood pressure level and probably been more entertained by simply reading the book's entry on Wikipedia. The central idea is good, but the execution oh-so-isn't. View all 3 comments. Jan 25, Gendou rated it did not like it Shelves: fictionhumor. This book profoundly nasty and intellectually demented.
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