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Fooled by Randomness Audiobook

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill, the world of trading, this audiobook is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors of all our lives. In an entertaining narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern word. Taleb uses stories and anecdotes to illustrate our overestimation of causality and the heuristics that make us view the world as far more explainable than it actually is.

The audiobook is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: Yogi Berra, the baseball legend; Karl Popper, the philosopher of knowledge; Solon, the ancient world's wisest man; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Ulysses. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life, but who also falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

But the most recognizable character remains unnamed, the lucky fool in the right place at the right time - the embodiment of the "Survival of the Least Fit". Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru's insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained through chance.

It may be impossible to guard against the vagaries of the Goddess Fortuna, but after listening to Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared.

©2004 Nassim Nicholas Taleb; (P)2008 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"[Taleb is] Wall Street's principal dissident....[Fooled by Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther's ninety-nine theses were to the Catholic Church." (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker)
"An articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider." (Amazon.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1797 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard 03-16-16
    Richard 03-16-16
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "Slow slog."

    Couldn't finish it. I almost ran off the road while listening in the car because the narrator, as well as the author, pretty much put me to sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Las Vegas , Nv. 03-14-16
    Amazon Customer Las Vegas , Nv. 03-14-16 Member Since 2015

    eddyrome

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    "simply creative "

    very interesting book, I cannot imagine one written better and choosing the best reader as well.!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Rincon Bogota, Colombia 03-13-16
    Carlos Rincon Bogota, Colombia 03-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    Story
    "Pearls of wisdom if you can stomach the sermon."
    What did you like best about this story?

    This is by no means a trivial book as it deals with a subject that steers fascination and it includes many pearls of wisdom that are applicable to every day life. The only drawback is that the author seems particularly intent on driving home a point over and over and over again.

    I have not tried the abridged version nor know if theres actually one but if you can listen beyond the unnecessary rhetoric theres more than one takeaway here.


    Any additional comments?

    Better served in small doses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 02-17-16
    James 02-17-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Better the second time"

    I didn't fully appreciate this book until much later. He makes a reasoned argument intentionally without graphs and charts but writes with stories. Well reasoned and helpful for not just economic philosophy but a true life lesson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Winterman 11-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Egotistical and small minded"

    Doesn't bother to cite sources, insults his editors, expects us to applaud his and his friends narrow minded definitions of success while he spits on other, more popular definitions. This book is a total waste of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 11-19-15
    William 11-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Boring"

    I love numbers. But this is just narcissistic dribble of how wonderful Taleb is and how dumb everyone else is. Says nothing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ska 10-12-15
    ska 10-12-15 Member Since 2012
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    3
    3
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    "Interesting concept"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Interesting and thought provoking concepts. However difficult to follow at time. Flight of ideas. Story line changes at times rather unexpectedly..


    What could Nassim Nicholas Taleb have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Use fewer concepts and explain them.


    Was Fooled by Randomness worth the listening time?

    No. Can be shortened without authors anecdotes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendon Villalobos 09-14-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Decent content - but insufferably pretentious"

    The writer is incredibly condescending. Written disdainfully for the layman. That said, the takeaway message isn't bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Jose, CA United States 08-06-15
    David San Jose, CA United States 08-06-15 Member Since 2012
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    "To be human"

    I'm already a fan, so perhaps, my thoughts are biased. What I enjoy most is the challenge he offers to my own thoughts and ways of being. I will say he sets a high bar for skepticism, and I deeply appreciate taking to task those that try to apply science inappropriately. I too often hear the word "quantum" used to try and give some "science" to an otherwise completely fanciful set of ideas. The author may be one of the most smug and most humble of men. What was good to see if when he recognized that it might be relevant to comment on something outside his own expertise and explicitly pass on the opportunity. The importance of his work is to remind of us of the roll of randomness, and our own human pattern making penchant. This is a counter argument to the idea of "common sense." "Common sense" the author I think would agree has it's place, but, there are times when our gut will lead us astray, when the world, and events are counter intuitive. I had to take a step back because I've been demanding of the philosophers I've been reading to be grounded in empiricism, because it can take wonderful ideas and make them worse than useless when they don't match the capabilities of the human form. So the author makes this a non-empirical book which speaks directly to the need to match our philosophy to human capacities. Bravo, and well done. I don't expect the author to read my comments, but I suspect he'll be happy to be praised, by his own admission, even when I may have missed the boat entirely. Ah, to be human.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leo 07-01-15
    Leo 07-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Mandatory"

    This book is mandatory not only to people involved in wal st. buy anyone that wants to learn more about oneself and improve as business and personal life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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