"My major hobby is teasing people who take themselves & the quality of their knowledge too seriously & those who don’t have the guts to sometimes say: I don’t know.... (You may not be able to change the world but can at least get some entertainment & make a living out of the epistemic arrogance of the human race)." ―Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Every once in a while a book comes along that jolts you awake like a swift slap in the face over a strong cup of coffee,a book that makes you rethink your thinking and realize that if you want to think well, you will need be a little more (actually a lot more!) careful and intentional. The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is such a book.
I’m not done. I’m only on page 81, but so far this has been a pretty amazing read filled with insights.
”You know what is wrong with a lot more confidence than what is right.”
”How can we figure out the properties of the (infinite) unknown based on the (finite) known?”
This is a book that in many respects is impossible to describe with out reproducing large portions of it. The Guardian newspaper review notes:
“Why are we so bad at acknowledging life's unpredictability? Things happen, and surprise us. Afterwards, we act as if they were explicable all along. Then we use those explanations to pretend we can control the future: act boldly, and you'll become rich; keep an eye on loners, and you'll prevent massacres. "There's just much, much more luck than we think," Taleb says, rocking excitably on his chair in a London cafe.”
If you want to get lucky with your summer reading, read this one.