Avid procrastinator...Thanks audible.
Despite the somewhat jaded pretentiousness of Nassim and his highly intellectualized and name-dropping writing style, he makes excellent and eloquent observations which shatter the illusions regarding the extent of human knowledge as well man's ability to predict. I recommend this book to any CEO who outsources research to forecast future events, as he will be required to know what went awry when a black swan nullifies any plans. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book to someone in the financial sales-service industry as it has the potential to negatively impact the pitch spinning narrative sold to clients. In the end, as Nassim says "We don't know, what we-don't-know", but after listening, " The Black Swan" I feel more illuminated to the extent of those things which are truly unknowable and ironically have made me paranoid enough to plan accordingly.
for a University essay or something.
Very slow, the point is understood after chapter one, and one could deliver the message in half the time.
On the up side, I had a couple of very good naps with this one..
The idea is great, and parts of the book are fascinating and provoking; hwoever, this is unfortunately ruined by the constance deluge of self-congratulation, attempts at self-depracating humor which just show additional hubris, and just plain long sections which say virtually nothing. Its tiring hearing about the author's quips to "never teach from boring economic books written by nobel laureates", many of whom he disagrees with and of course have nothing of substance to say to counter his arguments, since he is so much brighter than any of them. Nothing like the summary, in which he says his response to black swans is to be worried about things which seem sure, while not worrying about high risk decisions, because you already know they are high risk. But here is the killer, the whole point of black swans is they are totally unpredictable. If they are predictable, they are no longer black swans.
This for me was just painful to listen to. It's a shame, because the basic concept is fascinating and thought provoking and potentially alters the way you think about things. unfortunately there is about 2 hours of interesting material in here, and the rest is just nauseating.
If you want to listen to some big vocabulary , and find out that you can't predict anything and that there is no sense in planning something than listen to this book if not, save yourself some time and listen to “Outliers “ by Maxwell
I don't know where they found the narrator of the book, he must be a friend of Taleb, because the way he narrates it's as if he's the embodiment of Taleb himself only 50% more douchey. I kept imagining him on top of a horse dressed as a foppish dandy.
I enjoyed the message and his thesis as I am an engineer and we use bell curves (i.e. Six Sigma) to show as if we can explain randomness in data and prove that we fixed a problem. While it is useful in explaining if something was improved, but there are so many other tricks that you can play that even if you did nothing, you could still show that you improved a process. I am guilty of using these little tricks like adjusting my standard deviation by moving the data set around, but what a crock the whole thing is. It just gives managers something to masturbate to.
The topic has lots of promise, but Taleb's execution is amateurish. The failure to synthesize and join threads is his biggest failing. And most annoying is that it is an autobiography in disguise. There are way too many personal anecdotes that end up clouding the points he is making.
At the end of the day you want an audiobook to be so compelling that you can't take your headphones off. I found that I had to force myself to get through it by erasing everything else off of my iPod; always hoping that Taleb would finally deliver a few minutes of memorable brillance that never came.
Professional librarian type, amateur historian.
I kept hearing the term 'black swans' on one of my favorite podcasts I figured I should give the book a try. It is informative and good, and I agreed with the author on certain points but it didn't fall under that 'can't stop listening' category of audiobooks, so thus less than 5 stars. The author's arrogant attitude was a negative .5 star and so rounding down this is a three star book for me. Listen then erase to save valuable space.
The arrogance and self-righteousness of the author completely negates his message for me. Not to mention that it's a full 40 minutes in intro and preface before the first chapter starts! He tells you what he's going to tell you, what he's going to cover in the chapters ahead, how he's going to lay out his arguments, then he repeats it again. I'm guessing that's because he thinks everyone is too stupid to understand what he's going to say. I gave up after an hour. There are too many good books out there to listen to. I give him the benefit of the doubt and give it 2 stars because I haven't finished it. The part I have heard isn't even worth one star.
This book is about philosophy, deep thinking and self-reflection. It does not have trading tips or predictions about the economy. It is about a paradigm that isn't considered in every day life; consideration of black swan events. There are many analogies to finance and criticisms of economics and policy. Yes, it is very negative. Yes, he comes across as pompous and arrogant. And yes, after awhile you get his point. But I must admit that this book opened my mind to new concepts and points of view. I see events in the market place and in my current field much differently now. If you like to think about abstract, philosophical ideas, then this is a good book. If you do not enjoy the act of thinking, then do not read this book.
Yes, the thesis is interesting, and in essence it's quite interesting. But he just goes on and on expostulating and expounding, repeating himself. It could all be said in about half the space (at most) and nothing would be missing. At the start I found it interesting. At the end I was just so tired of it I wanted him to finally stop.