The Black Swan Summary By Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Black Swan

Table of Contents Heading

An example of this would be showing people your accomplishments, but not your failures on your resume. The human mind is in many ways coded to make mistakes. To go deep on this subject, I recommend the books “Influence” by Robert Cialdini and “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. One payday can have potentially huge impact on your lifetime income and the difference between the successes and failures are extreme! Other examples of Extremistan environments are deaths from war, financial markets and venture capital investing. Other professions allows you to add zeros to your output and your income.

There will be differences in your income over time, but no single day of work will have a huge impact on your lifetime earnings. The differences between the successful and less successful isn’t to big, and at least somewhat predictable. These professions isn’t black swan driven and is performed in Mediocristan. Statements as “almost all terrorists are Muslims” are also likely confused with the statement “almost all Muslims are terrorists”, with is obviously a very different and untrue statement. If you’re a doctor, dentist, consultant or message professional, there is a limit to the number of clients you can see in a day AND the amount of money you can make in one day.

Overcoming Our Blindness To Black Swans

But not only does he make her up but he gives several pages to her biography, invents fake friends and THEIR biographies and then comes back to her AGAIN, all with no real relevance. These fictional characters could’ve been cut out entirely or replaced with real people and not affected the book at all. They are simply another one of his petty self-indulgences. My biggest complaint with the book, though, was that the author came across as a giant tool. He loves to use sarcastic quotes to criticize things like “prestigious” institutions .

  • Taleb and his publishers clearly believe the success of Fooled by Randomness is going to come again.
  • No, no, there are a number of problems with the book.
  • For example, the fact that we are present to contemplate these questions requires that catastrophes like nuclear war or a pandemic have not destroyed civilization.
  • These rewards tend to eclipse the incremental ones many times over.
  • Was Nina really the black swan or was all that in her head?

That pandemics break out from time to time is well known and well documented. History shows that infectious diseases, epidemics and pandemics, have been the number 1 mass killers of people, outperforming even natural disasters and wars . As managing director of the oldest university-based disaster risk reduction research institute in Canada, and with almost 30 years of researching and writing about disaster risk management, I know this all too well. When you make an event seem exceptional when it really isn’t, it will be used as a crutch by those who failed to prepare in the face of the known risk. But the danger of making an occurrence like the COVID-19 outbreak appear to be astronomically rare is that we will treat it as such and fail to prepare for the next pandemic. What’s more, those accountable for this preparation will dismiss their blatant failures because of the perceived exceptional nature of the event. Moreover, it is a way of thinking that Apple does not have a monopoly over.

He’s got a huge chip on his shoulder towards the scientific/academic establishment (especially the Nobel committee – try taking a shot every time he makes an off-hand, tangential attack on Nobel and you’ve made your Friday night). Worst of all, he’s endlessly digressive, and couches his digressions in the language of capricious genius rather than simple bad writing . Because of the magnitude of disaster possible when people are wrong and unprepared for being wrong. He hates the bell curve for massively misrepresenting real risk potentials. I just finished it yesterday and my only regret is to not have read years ago.

Why You Should Expose Yourself To Positive black Swan Events

Reliance on standard forecasting tools can both fail to predict and potentially increase vulnerability to black swans by propagating risk and offering false security. A black swan is an extremely rare event with severe consequences. It cannot be predicted beforehand, though after the fact, many falsely claim it should have been predictable. A thought provoking psychological thriller about the anxiety of being replaced.

So defined, he proceeds to argue that these events punctuate history, indeed are the key movers of history, yet are improperly understood and minimized or rationalized. The idea was that lowering inventory would reduce costs. But Taleb, extrapolating from trading risks, believed that “managing without buffers was irresponsible,” because “fat-tail events” can never be completely avoided. As the Harvard Business Review reported this month, Chinese suppliers shut down by the pandemic have stymied the production capabilities of a majority of the companies that depend on them. Then consider joining the 30,000 other people getting the Monday Medley newsletter. It’s a collection of fascinating finds from my week, usually about psychology, technology, health, philosophy, and whatever else catches my interest. Do not waste time trying to fight forecasters or other people platonifying extremistan.

Portman stars as the titular character who is pushing herself to play both the white swan and the black swan in another adaptation of the Swan Lake, things took a dark turn when she slowly lost control of herself. Intense and beautiful, Black Swan is probably the best performance from Portman, Kunis was a good comic relief too. I think the writing and special effects deserve some praise too, the hallucination scene was rather eerie, the realism also worked really well to explore the psychology of the characters. Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses “black swans”, unexpected and life-changing events, and how life is far more uncertain than most believe it to be. He also examines, in-depth, how we fool ourselves into believing reality is otherwise by various means like confirmation bias and narrative fallacies . I could have saved time, money and my blood pressure level and probably been more entertained by simply reading the book’s entry on Wikipedia. The central idea is good, but the execution oh-so-isn’t.

Earn By Promoting Books

Since the Internet was at its infancy in terms of commercial use, various investment funds were investing in technology companies with inflated valuations and no market traction. When these companies folded, the funds were hit hard, and the downside risk was passed on to the investors. The digital frontier was new so it was nearly impossible to predict the collapse.

I started wondering how many extraordinary books I will never get to read because of this phenomena. It’s a book that should have been read by the quantitative analysts (“quants”) working for the hedge funds and investment banks in early 2008; but it probably wouldn’t have made much difference in the financial melt-down that followed.

A grey swan is an event that is possible and known, potentially extremely significant but is considered not very likely to happen. Nina is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company’s artistic director decides to replace his prima ballerina for their opening production of “Swan Lake,” Nina is his first choice. While Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan, Lily personifies the Black Swan. As rivalry between the two dancers transforms into a twisted friendship, Nina’s dark side begins to emerge. Nassim Taleb’s earlier book “Fooled by Randomness” was enormously successful – deservedly so, in my opinion.

introduce us to his own experience of Black Swans, Taleb writes about growing up during the Lebanese civil war of the early 1980’s that put an end to 1300 years of peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the Levant. He observed that most of his friends and relatives assumed the war would end quickly and that things would return to normal. Pundits and journalists seemed to share this view as well. The war has dragged on endlessly with no end in sight. People did not have the ability to imagine an unexpected event with huge effects outside their experience and instead they strove to rationalize or explain it. assim Nicholas Taleb has written a now famous book¹ about the highly improbable and its impact on us.

Did We Just Get Hit By A Black Swan?

Chapter four brings together the topics discussed earlier into a narrative about a turkey before Thanksgiving who is fed and treated well for many consecutive days, only to be slaughtered and served as a meal. Taleb uses it to illustrate the philosophical problem of induction and how past performance is no indicator of future performance. He then takes the reader into the history of skepticism.

Living with her mom and the little time she has outside of dancing has left Nina infantilized (look at her bedroom!). Nina being stunted means she barely has a social life much less a romantic one. The lack of social and romantic opportunities means she just focuses on ballet. The focus on ballet means she’s a great ballerina, but her whole identity is wrapped up in ballet. Combine the singularity of her being with her stunted emotional development…and we have a recipe for psychological disaster that’s very common in ballerinas. All very specific titles to ensure people understood the topic that was being discussed.

It’s an event where you can’t compute the odds of it happening. Taleb cites events like the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, or the rise of the internet as Black Swans. These are events that dominate our history books, and yet there is no way to predict them. Mitigate the risk of negative black swans (using insurance and/or capping the downside are ways of doing this). Because we can’t predict black swans, it makes no sense to chase them.

Example Of A Black Swan Event In The Movie Business

As such, the turkey ends up trusting humans and each day that passes reinforces its belief that humans are friendly. Before thanksgiving, however, the turkey will be in for a dramatic surprise and find out it was wrong on the law. Although he spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flâneur meditating in cafés, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute.

As the stress and anxiety increase, Nina begins having psychotic breaks. She suffers visual hallucinations related to bodily injury and metamorphosis of her own and other people’s figures. The line between reality and hallucination begins to blur as the movie progresses, culminating in a shocking ending relating to her embracing the Black Swan persona. The dark drama The Black Swan is built around the psychological illness of its protagonist, Nina Sayers, beautifully and disturbingly portrayed by Natalie Portman. Nina’s disordered relationship with her roommate mother Erica, played by Barbara Hershey, sets the stage for Nina’s psychological breakdown. Erica is narcissistic, spending all of her time painting pictures of herself and completely infringing on Nina’s space and well-being.

Despite Taleb’s strict definition, the term Black Swan has lost some of its rigor since it’s been adopted into the wider discourse of news, media, and business. Today, it is often used to describe major events or crises that are merely unpredictable in their timing, not truly unprecedented. This sample Resource—one of more than 300 Resources in the growing JBA Resource library—explores the basics of Black Swan events, why they’re a particularly dangerous threat, and what we can do about them. In the Academy, we’re diving into concepts like this one as we continue to explore the concept of resiliency—for ourselves and our organizations. Black swans are high-profile, rare events with extreme consequences. They are hard to predict with current risk models and are often wrongly rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. Entrepreneurs, at least the good ones, tend to be voracious readers and eternally curious.

Wild and unpredictable Black Swan events take place in extremistan, while Mediocristan is uneventful and quiet. Swans, it turns out, occur around the world in a variety of colors, but black is the most striking. A Black Swan Eventis a metaphor for an unexpected event that can have a major impact.

Conversation Starters From Readinggroupchoices Com

I absolutely love this movie and see something new and more disturbing with each viewing. A part of her is well aware she’s slipping but she lets it happen anyways.

The Black Swan

If that’s the case then it’s probably a good read, but otherwise I really strongly endorse any other book on the topic. Either of two I mention (Brafman & Brafman’s ‘Sway’ and Mlodinow’s ‘The Drunkard’s Walk’) will be more informative and vastly more entertaining. A lot of blogs said a lot of nice things about this book, and from this I conclude that most of those bloggers either A) strictly read the executive summary or B) only read other bloggers.

Once you have one you have a hard time seeing beyond it . So, he recommends an empirical approach with art and craft, a less grand theory, and always an eye toward outcomes. NNT passes himself off as some cool headed, rational thinker who sees beyond the noise and chaos of the world and invites the world to join him on the greener side of the pasture.

Taleb makes a strong case for his theory of black swans. It’s an interesting and valuable theory but it’s also one that could be communicated in a short conversation and does not need a whole book to contain it. I think it takes discipline to complete a book and thus authors deserves respect.

And a lot of people have broached these solutions. The content contained in this blog represents only the opinions of the author. The content herein is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader and the author and should not be relied upon in making any decisions. Wealest helps motivated people master the mindset of the wealthy. In each case, the upside is far greater than the downside.

Leave a Comment