About this item

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, 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.

About the Author

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent two decades as a risk taker before becoming a full-time essayist and scholar focusing on practical and philosophical problems with chance, luck, and probability. His focus in on how different systems handle disorder.

He now spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flneur meditating in cafés. In addition to his life as a trader he spend several years as an academic researcher ( Distinguished Professor at New York University's School of Engineering, Dean's Professor at U. Mass Amherst) .

He is the author of the Incerto (latin for uncertainty) , accessible in any order (Antifragile, The Black Swan, The Bed of Procrustes, and Fooled by Randomness) plus a freely available technical version, Silent Risk. Taleb has also published close to 55 academic and scholarly papers as a backup, technical footnotes to the Incerto in topics ranging from Statistical Physics to International affairs. Taleb's books have more than 100 translations in 35 languages.

Taleb believes that prizes, honorary degrees, awards, and ceremonialism debase knowledge by turning it into a spectator sport.

""Imagine someone with the erudition of Pico de la Mirandola, the skepticism of Montaigne, solid mathematical training, a restless globetrotter, polyglot, enjoyer of fine wines, specialist of financial derivatives, irrepressible reader, and irascible to the point of readily slapping a disciple." La Tribune (Paris)

A giant of Mediterranean thought ... Now the hottest thinker in the world", London Times

"The most prophetic voice of all" GQ

Read Next Recommendation

Report incorrect product information.