December 10, 2011

On The Black Swan

I read and enjoyed this book a while back, but I neglected to review it. My thought was that it was far enough in the product's life-cycle that whatever can be said for it, good or ill, had already been said.

I am writing now only quickly to say that this book is amazing. While my marginal notes show that I didn't completely agree with Taleb's method or conclusions, this book has amazing impact. I am, even at my young age, pretty ossified in my positions about how the market works for all participants. What this book did is make me reevaluate those positions that were once set in stone. I have to admit, this is no easy task. I even sought out, and bought (though not yet read) the book that was the biggest influence on Taleb, The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence. I look forward to seeing the basis for the thought in The Black Swan.

I advise you to purchase this book to help you reevaluate your views on the market. Even if you don't agree with him, Taleb's book will make you stronger by forcing you to engage with his mode of thinking. I write this because I came across an unexpected and unqualified endorsement by another respected radical thinker: Daniel Kahneman in his recent Thinking, Fast and Slow. It seems counter-intuitive at first, but both men are in the same project but coming from different angles: How does the market fail, and why.