Nassim Taleb – The black swan

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable  – Nassim Taleb

A book, confusion explained and lessons learned. This book explains why it is so hard to predict the future. The unimaginable is sometimes pushed away by our biased minds, sometimes it does not appear in previous statistics and many statistics do not embrace the exemptions of society.

Why are we programmed to believe futures with the knowledge we have? Why do we not believe a story when the details are not usual enough? Why do we want to catch happenings in curves so badly? The book does not offer an answer but does show how true these assumptions are. Taleb gives examples and insight into theories and questions he has about our lives.

Black Swan is the exception on the rules that we have created based on our previous experiences. I used too feel comfortable knowing that people knew and understood these rules and based decisions on them. After and while reading this book I started to open my eyes for the unknown, unpredicted moments. In the mean time Trump has become elected president in the United States. Many talkshows in the Netherlands discussed the question: Why did this happen and Why did we not see this coming? Trumps’ success showed how we cannot base our assumptions on previous counts and outcomes. We have to revise how we get our information and listen for the words unspoken everyone agrees with. I hope that Trump will show how he as an unusual figure for politics can be create a swan of the USA. In the mean time, as Taleb has shown as well, people will search for the gaps in their statistics and predictions to find what they have missed. I will keep my ears and eyes open, wondering what the future will bring, and not predict too much, rather find out along the way.

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