ISBN 10: 0141034599
ISBN 13: 9780141034591
Author : Nassim Nicholas
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb refers to the book variously as an essay or a narrative with one single idea: “our blindness with respect to randomness, particularly large deviations.” It is Taleb’s questioning of why this occurs and his explanations of it that drive the book forward. The book’s layout follows “a simple logic”moving from literary subjects in the beginning to scientific and mathematical subjects in the later portions.
Part One and the beginning of Part Two delve into Psychology. Taleb addresses science and business in the latter half of Part Two and Part Three. Part Four contains advice on how to approach the world in the face of uncertainty and still enjoy life. Taleb acknowledges a contradiction in the book. He uses an exact metaphor, Black Swan Idea to argue against the “unknown, the abstract, and imprecise uncertain–white ravens, pink elephants, or evaporating denizens of a remote planet orbiting Tau Ceti.” There is a contradiction; this book is a story, and more people prefer to use stories and vignettes to illustrate our gullibility about stories and our preference for the dangerous compression of narratives….
You need a story to displace a story. Metaphors and stories are far more potent (alas) than ideas; they are also easier to remember and more fun to read.