THE BLACK SWAN is a concept that will change the way you look at the world. Black Swans underlie almost everything, from the rise of religions, to events in our own lives. A Black Swan is a highly improbable event with three principle characteristics: it is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random and more predictable than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. Why do we always ignore the phenomenon of Black Swans until after they occur? As Taleb reveals, we are hard-wired not to truly estimate risk, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the 'impossible'. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don't know, and shows us how to face the world.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb spends most of his time as a flaneur, meditating in cafes across the planet. A former trader, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University. His books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan have been published in thirty-one languages.