Weeks 25 and 26: The Black Swan 🦃


The discussion seemed to calm down recently, but there were many votes in the last poll, so let’s hope people will come back here :slight_smile:


Oh wow, I thought I had already read this one but it turns out I read two other of Taleb’s books. He is a terrible writer, but he has some interesting ideas. Looking forward to this one.


Read it last year so this time I’ll get “V for Vendetta” as this was also on the recommended list. If you’ve read “Antifragile”, this book shows how the ideas present there came to be.

I read it in that order: first “Antifragile”, then “The Black Swan” and it was nice spotting some budding ideas that later flourished in the next book.

Both I can recommend. Not necessarily because I agree with the author or because I love his writing, but I believe his points are very interesting and worthy of a discussion.


“Look into your own personal life, to your choice of profession, say, or meeting your mate, your exile from your country of origin, the betrayals you faced, your sudden enrichment or impoverishment. How often did these things occur according to plan?”

Hmm… when I think about it, all these things pretty much went exactly as planned for me, even the “sudden enrichment” and “exile from country” part…


Maybe you’re the Black Swan Taleb warns us about? :thinking:


“Second, it allowed me to become formal and systematic in my thinking instead of wallowing in the anecdotal.”

Oh man… every single word in that book up to that quote is a) quite informal, b) not very systematic and c) purely anecdotal (since he is telling his life story).

The irony…


I’m a little behind on this book but will start reading this weekend. Thanks for keeping up with posting a book every 2 weeks.

Anyone know what happened to the main site?


I’ve lost track of weeks… is there a backlist of the books from previous weeks somewhere? :grin:


No need to catch up. Just join back in with this current book :slight_smile:

You can browse this forum category and check for all the “Weeks XX-XX” threads to see what we read in the past.


Thanks! Will do :slight_smile:


Ah man, this book is 50% Kahneman again, it seems. Kahneman must be the most quoted guy in recent decades…


Yup. Taleb’s books first introduced me to Kahneman. Then it was “Influence” by Cialdini. When I saw we will be reading the Man Himself in this club I was ecstatic :smiley:


Done with Black Swan. Way too long, Taleb’s usual horrible prose, needlessly anecdotal, unstructured, insulting. But mostly, way too long. 2/10 for me. Antifragile is his best book, I think.


Definitely not “Skin in the Game” though I’ve yet to try “Fooled by Randomness”