What we do know allows us to speculate and create forecasts about the future. What we don’t know—the black swan—renders our patterns meaningless.
This truth comes painfully alive in Taleb’s graph of a turkey’s life. Every day the turkey receives food from the farmer and grows in size. Extrapolating from what the turkey knows suggests a rosy future for the bird. Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey’s black swan.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a unique author. He is bluntly irreverent, with the sort of disdain for common opinion only Žižek could match! This book is equal parts scientific analysis on logical fallacies and philosophical reflection on the role of randomness in life. Taleb’s prose is at the same time dense and page-turning.
The Black Swan will help you live well in a life where highly improbable events happen.
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (New York: Random House, 2007).