Let’s Make it Clear
Yes, I know, you are thinking of The Black Swan movie. Well, to me, it was the other way around, when someone mentioned the movie, this book came to mind. The Black Swan I am about to talk about has nothing to do with the classic story, nor does it relate to the movie.
I was scanning the business section at the bookshop when I stumbled upon The Black Swan. I felt intrigued by the success it had gained internationally, and so, took a deeper look. The Black Swan seemed like a good book, even more so, when I read its author’s name: Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Yes, you have guessed it right, he was Lebanese.
Thus, I happily bought The Black Swan, and, happily, I dragged it around in my bag, marketing it to anyone and everyone I met “hey, did you hear about The Black Swan?” Somehow, no one cares to listen any further when you talk about a book, no matter how good it is… Until you mention that the author is Lebanese “seriously? men el koura?” …ok, they tend to miss the point!
Anyhow, this book revolves around the “Impact of the highly improbable” a concept that puts light on the failings of supposedly reliable sources such as stock predictions, highly esteemed bankers, Nobel-winning economists among others. Our dear Lebanese author points out that no one can accurately predict the future nor explain the past, without giving alternative solutions. He brings forth what he labels “black swans”: highly consequential but unlikely events, the exception to the rule that makes the entire chain of thinking flawed.
Published in 2007, right before the global financial crisis, this book gained momentum after the global financial collapse, as it was marketed as though Taleb had predicted the crisis, pulling this book up to the top of the book charts, becoming the highest selling non-fiction book on Amazon for 2007! PS. It also got featured in Harvard Business Review *big fan*
My opinion: Great reasoning and flawless thoughts meet with an entertaining delivery… Sadly, it got disappointing as the arguments were mentioned over one-too-many times. However, someone needed to put those statisticians back into place; and Taleb has that down to an art. This is a good read from a great thinker.