If the prescriptions for getting rich that are outlined in books such as The Millionaire Next Door and Rich Dad Poor Dad are successful enough to make the books bestsellers, then one must ask, Why aren't there more millionaires? In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professional trader and mathematics professor, examines what randomness means in business and in life and why human beings are so prone to mistake dumb luck for consummate skill. This eccentric and highly personal exploration of the nature of randomness meanders from the court of Croesus and trading rooms in New York and London to Russian roulette, Monte Carlo engines, and the philosophy of Karl Popper. Part of what makes this book so good is Taleb's ability to make seemingly arcane mathematical concepts (at least to this reviewer) entirely relevant in evaluating and understanding everything from the stock market to the success of those millionaires cited in the aforementioned bestsellers. Here's an articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards
About the Author:
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an essayist principally concerned with the problems of uncertainty and knowledge. Taleb?s interests lie at the intersection of philosophy,
mathematics, finance, literature, and cognitive science but he has stayed extremely
close to the ground thanks to an uninterrupted two-decade career as a mathematical
trader. Specializing in the risks of unpredicted rare events (?black swans?), he held senior trading positions in New York and London before founding Empirica LLC, a trading firm and risk research laboratory. Taleb is a fellow at the Courant Institute
of Mathematical Sciences of New York University where he has been teaching a
class on the failure of models since 1999. His degrees include an MBA from the Wharton School and a Ph.D. from the University of Paris Dauphine. The author?s ideas on skeptical empiricism have been covered by hundreds of articles around the world. Since childhood, Taleb has been obsessed with the defects of his own thinking. In addition to his scientific and literary interests, Taleb enjoys cafe
lounging and museum hopping.
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