Review: The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Rating: 4 out of 5

So… This was interesting throughout, I can’t deny that. Of course, a lot of the content seemed to be rehashing Kahneman’s research with different examples, but there are serious reasons to read more works like this. The main hope, after all, would be that people start realizing the fallacies behind their reason-based decisions, and that can only come with a lot of practice.

What I found less to my liking was the style throughout. Mr Taleb seems to always prefer the more complex and more foreign phrasing when he could be expressing himself in a straightforward manner. Coming from an anti-establishment establishment this should not be a surprise, but it definitely sounds odd and pretentious. It’s almost as if the author wants to constantly up one on the hordes of academics and scientists he critices by outdoing them at their own work.

The good parts, therefore, are clear. The bad more so and the bad were reinforced every time I saw a “secundus” in the text. I am not saying I won’t return to this at some point in the future as the main idea — we cannot predict the unpredictable — is incredibly important; it’s just that I wish I wasn’t so tired out by the style the author chose to use.

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