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The uncertainties to the world events can b me unpredictable.

The Black Swan: Second Edition

The Black Swan: Second Edition

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Black swans are not inconsequential anomalies, but a significant phenomenon that shapes the very world we live in. Many historical events that drastically impacted our societies and lives were actually Black Swan events. These include the 2 world wars, the fall of the Ber...

For thousands of years, it was widely believed that all swans were white. Then in 1697, a Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered black swans in Australia, debunking this universal “truth” overnight. The term “Black Swan” has since been used to describe the occurrence of a seemingly impossib...

Taleb identifies 3 key features of Black Swans:

  • Rarity: Black Swans are outliers that can’t be reasonably expected to happen based on based past events.
  • They have a profound impact on our society/world.
  • Retrospective predictability: Although the events are unpredictab...

Based on the only we can be certain of - what was happened in our lives in the past - we weave a narrative that makes sense and expect that the future simply must unfold this way. For example, imagine you’re turkey and for years you live on a farm, get to roam free everyday and are fed g...

  • In mediocristan environments, there’s a limit to the amount of randomness or deviation from the average. Inequalities exist, but they’re mild or controlled. Usually, there’re some physical constraints (e.g. height, weight, running speed) which limit the amount of variabilit...

In Extremistan environments, there can be wild randomness and extreme deviations. Typically, there’re no physical constraints and no known upper/lower limits (e.g. knowledge, financial markets, e-books sales, social media “likes”). Thus, the outliers can make a big difference - i...

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