Review: Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the MarketsFooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really enjoyable book although somewhat idiosyncratic and un-even. The author does not apologize though and have even refused to even it out for the later editions. That way it stays personal and interesting. Another word on the style, it is easy to misread it as an attack and only see the snark, whereas the author is failry clear about his goals, he puts them clearly down, but it’s easy to loose them on the way. I didn’t care though, as I found it hilarious at times.

The content is about the randomness in many of our environments and our inability to cope with much of it. Most of the examples comes from Wall Street as the author not only have experience from that particular arena but also sees it as a highly random business. On the way we’re sail past Hume (induction), Popper, Kahneman, Soros, Pinker as well as poets and artists and… Clearly, mr Taleb is a very well read man.

For those interested I highly recommend his (slightly more technical) Edge.org piece “THE FOURTH QUADRANT: A MAP OF THE LIMITS OF STATISTICS”: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/taleb08/…

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