The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Things always become obvious after the fact”  – Taleb


When I picked up this book I knew destiny had placed it in my hands ( don’t shake your head yet) and I also knew that no matter what I had go through all the 379 pages of this very smartly put together piece of art.

If you have heard of Taleb then you can already guess that probably this book is about the improbable and the probable. And indeed it is, it is also about chance, it is about prediction, it is about finance, traders, probabilities, discoveries, economics, inventions, scientists, great people, lesser known brilliant people, with some math sprinkled here and there and a lot of other technical stuff.

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And this book is also about thought processes, established norms, why people are the way they are, can we really help the way that we think and our outlook towards life, why are things the way that they are, what is this incessant need of the human race to understand to categorize to label, is that the only way for us to learn and grow, why are financial analysts in such a great demand, the monotony of daily life and then that one big event, history and how people make history.

But this book is primarily about the meaning of life, the true one and only. It is hidden right amidst his words and it screams at the reader, the reader who is  open to this new lesson. Another wonderful book which touches upon the meaning of life is the Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins but then that book is far too technical and Dawkins’ sense of humor is very dry. Taleb on the other hand is quick on his feet and so, oh so clever with his words and his stories and his theories and his questions. He has so much to tell and the urgency is clearly visible in the fast paced writing.

Taleb talks about the concept of self-similarity – how the parts which make a whole and the whole are similar. And I have to say the book is a brilliant example of this concept which he introduces later in the book. Before this concept he builds the ground to prepare you for the overwhelming realization this very simple and very evident fact will bring upon your being.

Reading this book is going to alter your life, your belief system is going to disintegrate and you will be forced to question your most rational conclusions.

And your view about the future is going to be altered, forever, I promise.


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