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What I have been reading: Incerto Black Swan

Nassim Nicholas Taleb published a 4 volume set of books entitled "Incerto". The version I am reading is for Kindle. We think this is a lot more sensible than reading the paper version.

These are entertaining and long (a total of 1568 pages), discussions concerning fallacies in inference.

Nassim points out in a very lively way that "Dead men tell no tales", meaning that one's data has a bias favoring the survivors. He also points out that many "big events", which he calls "Black Swans", come to the surprise of almost everyone. One wonders whether or not this applies to our current society where there is a very loud social media, but elections can sometimes turn out to be big suprises.

He also suggests that these are inherently unpredictable -- one cannot defend against Black Swans by being smarter. Rather he suggests a strategy involving acceptence of randomness, and attempting to arrange ones affairs so that there is more upside than down. This seems a bit like a perpetual motion machine however.

Well, whatever, this is a fun book that makes me think.





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