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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

4.3 (2222 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jonathan Maskaly 10-18-17 Member Since 2015
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    29
    1
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    Story
    "heading"

    long gaps in the audio file make it hard to listen to and confusing. sultry and performance are good though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Torrey Kim 10-10-17
    Torrey Kim 10-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    11
    4
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    Story
    "Intelligence Masked by Arrogance & Elitism"

    I am deeply disappointed by this book.

    There are brief moments of clarity and insight that I found interesting. But, those moments are overshadowed by the haughty, elitist language and observations of a person who has disdain for people outside of his high income bracket.

    Taleb refers incessantly to being an options trader, a world traveler, a dropper of names, and an aristocrat. You could take many passages of this book and transplant them as jokes on the old TV sitcom Frasier. But, Taleb isn't kidding! He really lives the life of Niles Crane!

    Why Taleb thinks being part of today's aristocracy would give him adequate perspective/training on human nature or randomness is beyond my comprehension. I hoped that each chapter would reveal a life experience that would make the read worthwhile. But, it never came.

    If you are intrigued by randomness and wish to gain some new insight, this book is not for you. More importantly, if you value the dignity of other humans based on the quality of their personality instead of their material wealth, then don't bother with this book. It will leave you disillusioned and sad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-09-17 Member Since 2014
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    5
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    "Masterpiece!"

    I love this book. It's precise! No word is spared. Probability, practical uncertainty, are handled in a magisterial way. Mille merci nassim.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Potter 08-27-17
    H. Potter 08-27-17 Member Since 2015
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    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    "Great book, problems with the audio"

    This is a really well written book and the narration is clear. However there are big gaps of silence between chapters and sections. It's not you or your app, it is the recording.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suraj Pokhriyal 08-24-17
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    1
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    "Not easy to understand or grasp authors view"

    It was good for me because, I have survived 2008 major downtrend and was present for upside from there on. He speaks about black swan those who have survived crashing market could relate what he is trying to say. Overall good if you want to broaden your horizon of thinking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crueldad 08-19-17
    crueldad 08-19-17 Member Since 2016
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    7
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    "smart but conceided"

    A well educated author who loves tooting his own horn, and condescending others, his work is admirable, but he expresses truth about randomness but his character resonates in the book and is a turn off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamal Yousuf 08-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "taleb is able to articulate​ wisdom in a funny way"

    taleb is the man, the narrator is good also.
    agree with his ideas and crtiquie of modernity. I like that he picks on people who take themself so seriously. yet he takes himself so seriously

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johan 07-26-17
    Johan 07-26-17 Member Since 2017
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    11
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    "Awesome"

    This book really opens your mind to new perspectives. And makes sure you dont take life and randomness too seriously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivan Bezovan 07-17-17
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    8
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    "Great book"

    Listening to this book was very interesting and educational experience. I have listened the audio book twice. Highly recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Kemp 07-07-17
    Nathan Kemp 07-07-17
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    7
    3
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    Story
    "A man too smart for me. "

    I had the sense at many points Nassim was simply talking to himself,that this was not in fact a book but his journal. I came away from it feeling rather stupid, but clearly that's just my problem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Ben Stubbens
    2/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Self righteous rambling"

    While the book may read well this unfortunately doesn't translate into a good audiobook. It comes across as very self righteous as he sneers at the mere mortals who don't appreciate randomness. Furthermore this book lacks any kind of structure and seems to be a collection of thoughts as they've come into the author's head. I was very disappointed

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mathew
    10/7/17
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    Performance
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    "Left feeling rather fooled"

    There’s a part in the book where the author dismisses reviews by anyone other than those he personally respects. I can’t help but wonder if the comment was intended as enticement or not. Either way I’m compelled to write one, when I usually wouldn’t, as this was a remarkably pedestrian and indulgent book. Almost adolescent in manner. Certainly masturbatory in its selfish teenage diary like style. This is a shame though, as I enjoyed The Black Swan and expected much from the same mind. Alas. However... there’s another point in the book, where Nassim mentions algorithms which write philosophical sounding rubbish that comes across as clever. Like his mention of idiots writing comments then, I’m interpreting this note as a hint to who really wrote the book. Nice try Taleb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Preston Pickles
    London, United Kingdom
    9/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful and interesting"

    Many reviewers dock the author points for the arrogant and sometimes contemptuous tone of the writing.
    While these elements are certainly present -exacerbated by the narrator- I feel the author is entitled to present his ideas in whatever style he sees fit and it is moreover an interesting insight into the mind of the man as well as the well presented ideas on the role of randomness in life.
    One of the key messages of this book is that we are not designed to understand randomness because the environment in which we encounter it in the modern world is far removed from our evolutionary roots. This idea when explored, along with other very interesting subject matter is certainly very enlightening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First impression IS deceiving (re: bad reviews)"

    The early stages give an impression that the author just wants to laud his intellectual superiority over his 'peers'.
    Don't be put off this is actually just a very reflective, fun and self aware style. This becomes evident quickly.

    The topics covered are illuminating and useful! Practically speaking anyone could use this book to become more competent, either professionally or otherwise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SO
    8/31/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "entertaining"

    Entertaining and great read/listen, even if a little impenetrable at times. Well done to the author and the reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew Shannon
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    6/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting quick listen"

    Not a huge amount of takeaways, but interesting story and thoughts on how humans compute chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • lauren
    12/19/16
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    "for traders, academics and intellectuals."

    my trading has dramatically improved from reading this book, if you want to succeed in trading this book will help..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marek
    9/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book really can shake your view !"

    It will shake your view of the world and make you more aware to randomness! Once you know you can have more comfortable life!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alan Watt
    1/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Traders must adapt to changes in the market "

    Currently half way through chapter 7 of 8. The author goes on and on telling you trading success is largely down to luck by doing the right thing at the right time, until the market changes causing the trader to eventually blow. I think he could have explained this entire book in one chapter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. K. Moon
    UK
    2/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good"

    Met expectations
    Will listen again
    Essential listening for any human being. It's a shame I'll go back to my old behaviour

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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