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The Black Swan:The Impact of the Highly Improbable

The Black Swan

The Black Swan is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal 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. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.

“[A book] that altered modern thinking.”The Times (London)

“A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail

“Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times

The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate

“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”Financial Times

“Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review

在发现澳大利亚的黑天鹅之前,欧洲人认为天鹅都是白色的,“黑天鹅”曾经是欧洲人言谈与写作中的惯用语,用来指不可能存在的事物,但这个不可动摇的信念随着第一只黑天鹅的出现而崩溃。 黑天鹅的存在寓意着不可预测的重大稀有事件,它在意料之外,却又改变一切。人类总是过度相信经验,而不知道一只黑天鹅的出现就足以颠覆一切。然而,无论是在对股市的预期,还是政府的决策中,黑天鹅都是无法预测的。“9•11”事件、美国的次级贷危机、我国的雪灾,都是如此。 生活中,随机性随处可见,在资本市场也是一样。人们总是以自己有限的生活经验和不堪一击的信念来解释不可预测的事件;即便是精于算计的专业人士,也难保不被随机性愚弄,其实我们应该做的是顺应这种不可知的未来。本书会教你改变自己的思维方式,把握黑天鹅带来的机会,采取应对策略,从中受益。这本书将改变我们对世界、人性和金钱的看法。

Nassim Nicholas Taleb是当前最令人敬畏的风险管理理论学者。他毕业于芝加哥大学,获得经济学博士学位。他曾在纽约和伦敦交易多种衍生性金融产品,也曾在芝加哥当过营业厅的独立交易员,并创办了一家资本公司。从2004年开始,他成为了纽约大学库朗数学研究所的研究员。他的上一部作品《被随意性愚弄》(Fooled by Randomness)被翻译成十九种语言出版,是当年的最畅销书之一。他的第二部畅销作品《黑天鹅》的销量高达150万本。

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