The book was for me, a 'black swan experience'. Audible's statistical rating system does not allow for due credit. I would have given it 10 stars!
In this book, among other things, Taleb tries too hard to prove that he's personally made it, perhaps, as an evidence of his "hyper conservative" approach to investing. I'm sure he knows that had he started his carrier in early 1930s, he would be broke before he had the opportunity to write a book about hyper conservatism. His obsession with randomness to the point of elevating it to "the reason" for almost anyone's success is border line absurd. He argues that a group of incompetent investors (20% win, 80% loss) can produce a few winners by pure luck, but he seems to ignore the other side of the argument. A group of highly competent investors (80% win, 20% loss) will produce the same results over time. The end result can not be used to label everybody a lucky fool. A competent investor will be the victim of own success since everybody will imitate his strategy causing opportunists to diminish hence requiring ever greater risk taking to match previous earnings. This endless re-use of the same formula for success is what ultimately will do him in.
In another example, he sees Microsoft vs. Apple dominance in personal computers as another random luck. Perhaps he despises economists so much he's forgot to apply basic economics to the situation. Apple didn't succeed not because people didn't know how great it was, it didn't because it was too expensive and people, myself included, couldn't afford it.
If you see randomness everywhere you look, stop looking. Making fun of business people because they're too uptight is not too convincing when it comes from somebody who has the luxury of pondering philosophical points while sipping latte in a cafe near by a Swiss ski resort. He just needs to be thankful for how lucky he is, period.
This author and this 'diatribe' will waste your time.
The meat is about 10 pages, while the rest is pure fat. After the first hour of listening you'll be asking yourself, "So when does the book start?"
Sweeping pronouncements of all types are made with little or nothing to back them up. Poorly written. The author obviously thought he was smarter than anyone who might be of help in creating an actual book.
I read it in one sitting the first time 10 years ago. be willing to listen when an open mind, wrestle with the ideas and premises and make them your own. Now that I have this on Audible I will probably listen to it annually.
Yes! Nassim Taleb has a grasp and acceptance of a concept many claim to have but few do in reality. I would have like a little more specifics on his exact definition of randomness (he mentions in a few places what it is NOT). However, it works as is.
The Drunkards Walk,
Clear, understandable, and unpretentious.
EVERYONE should read this book. Though most examples come from the world of Wall Street, it applies to EVERYTHING in life.
To be honest, I didn't finish the book. I didn't want to waste any more of my time after 3h of listening. While Taleb's writing style is poor, what really put me off is that this book felt more like a confused ramble. Did he put some serious thought in it, or did he just write down whatever random thought came to his mind? It's a shame, because the topic is interesting. To summarize what I assume he was trying to say: There is a lot more randomness is in our life than we assume and that we are not good in thinking probabilistically. We also easily mix up correlation with causation. All together I couldn't find any new insight that was worth while. In addition he keeps going on about how smart he is compared to his bosses and journalists and whoever else. It was just very terrible to listen to.
mostly good performance, some strange long pauses though.
One of the areas of study that I find most fascinating is seeking to understand cognitive biases. This book addresses many of these human blind spots. It has great rigor, and breadth as well as depth. But a self-deprecating sense of humor accompanies the journey, and the travel is fun as well as enlightening.
I especially enjoyed the author's expert treatment of social science concepts in a business context. Heartily Recommended.