The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility" (Paperback)

Quick Thoughts:
  1. This book felt LONG.
  2. The main idea in the book, that the bell curve is misleading and its reliance by all types of social scientists (economists, psychologists, financial experts) whom we rely upon, has left us more prone to improbable events that will definitely occur, is well stated.  The first half of the book is a good read just to get the author's insights.
  3. At first, I found the author's completed disdain of journalists, historians, philosophy departments, pundits, and noble prize winners somewhat enjoyable.  He writes from a position of superiority and lets the reader in on his viewpoint.  But it got old.  By the end of the book, the author felt like a know-it-all with a large chip on his shoulder.
  4. I'm not sure I can really recommend the extended version of the book that I read.  The financial crisis of 2008 got the author a lot of attention.  There is a section the original book (published in 2006) where he stated his opinion the banking system is weak and had the potential to blow-up.  And he was right.  But seriously, the additional section added in 2009,  reads like an "I told you so".  He comes across as arrogant and I found it annoying at best, condescending at worst.  Sure, he's a smart guy.  Sure, he's made a ton a money with his ideas.  Does he have to gloat so much?  Does he have to insult everybody all the time?
  5. In the end, I found that his complete confidence in his own viewpoint was an overcompensation for something.  I just had no insight into what.   I believe there is a baseline insecurity here that he is covering up.
  6. I'd only read this book if you wanted to experience what everybody else was talking about.  Otherwise, I'd pass.

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