Fooled by Randomness

The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Fooled by Randomness

Fooled by Randomness 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 The Black Swan, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes. Fooled by Randomness is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb–veteran trader, renowned risk expert, polymathic scholar, erudite raconteur, and New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan–has written a modern classic that turns on its head what we believe about luck and skill. This book is about luck–or more precisely, about how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill–the world of trading–Fooled by Randomness provides captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Writing in an entertaining narrative style, the author tackles major intellectual issues related to the underestimation of the influence of happenstance on our lives. The book is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: the baseball legend Yogi Berra; the philosopher of knowledge Karl Popper; the ancient world’s wisest man, Solon; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Odysseus. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life but falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness. However, the most recognizable character of all remains unnamed–the lucky fool who happens to be in the right place at the right time–he embodies the “survival of the least fit.” Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru’s insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained by chance. Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? It may be impossible to guard ourselves against the vagaries of the goddess Fortuna, but after reading Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared. Named by Fortune One of the Smartest Books of All Time A Financial Times Best Business Book of the Year

Incerto

Fooled by Randomness, the Black Swan, the Bed of Procrustes, Antifragile, Skin in the Game

Incerto

The landmark five-book series--now in a beautifully designed, cloth-bound deluxe hardcover boxed set The Incerto is an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision making when we don't understand the world, expressed in the form a personal essay with autobiographical sections, stories, parables, and philosophical, historical, and scientific discussions, in non-overlapping volumes that can be accessed in any order. The main thread is that while there is inordinate uncertainty about what is going on, there is great certainty as to what one should do about it. This deluxe boxed set includes: FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS THE BLACK SWAN THE BED OF PROCRUSTES ANTIFRAGILE SKIN IN THE GAME

Quicklet on Nassim Taleb's Fooled by Randomness (CliffNotes-like Summary)

Quicklet on Nassim Taleb's Fooled by Randomness (CliffNotes-like Summary)

ABOUT THE BOOK When I was in school I considered a career in finance. Or to be more embarrassingly precise, I considered becoming an accountant. I chose the appropriate subjects and got myself onto a business degree course. I was still only 19 and you could say I was following a non-random course towards my career objective. But then, just months before I was supposed to start my degree course, in what might be considered random events, I became involved in newspapers and learned skills such as writing and page layout. I decided against the degree course. I managed to get some money together to launch my own publication. And I’ve been in the media ever since. I feel lucky that the circumstances that I found myself in at that time have resulted in a relatively long and moderately successful career in journalism, but I can’t help thinking that none of it was planned and, therefore, on one level, it was random. I’m not sure Nassim Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness, would agree with me, however. In fact, even if Taleb spent a wrote book explaining his thoughts on the matter, I’m not sure that I’d completely understand it—such is the depth to which he analyses events and the complexity of his theories about said events. MEET THE AUTHOR Abdul Montaqim is a journalist, based in London, and has been working in the media since 1989. Among the more well known titles he has written for are The Guardian newspaper, Time Out magazine and the International Business Times website. He has edited a number of local and community newspapers, magazines and websites, and has, over the course of his career, worked for some of the largest publishers in Europe, including Emap, LLP and Mirror Group Newspapers. Abdul has also worked outside of the United Kingdom, moving to Abu Dhabi for a year to work on the first national daily newspaper in United Arab Emirates, The National; and he has consulted for media companies in Bangladesh, where he was born. Abdul briefly worked for a New York-headquartered cable television channel called AsiaNet as a news editor, and realised that although he loves researching, writing and other "technical" parts of a journalist's job, he does not like presenting, preferring to be behind the camera or back in the studio. He also realised that, although reporting a story through the medium of television is obviously different from telling it through a newspaper or magazine, the heart and mind of every media company is researching and writing. In his spare time, Abdul likes to spend time with his family, cooking, eating, watching films, listening to music, reading and writing. When he goes out he likes to watch movies at the best cinemas, see live music performances, and eat at good restaurants. He also loves gardening, fishing and going for long walks. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK Taleb touches on Darwin’s theory of evolution. He does not share the widely held view that Darwinism can be applied to the business world. Meaning that he doesn’t believe that the strongest companies will survive and the weakest will become extinct. “Things are not as simple as that,” he writes. The problem, he explains, comes from randomness. “Once randomness is injected into a system... what seems to be an evolution may be merely a diversion, and possibly regression...” Buy a copy to keep reading!

Incerto 4-Book Bundle

Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, The Bed of Procrustes, Antifragile

Incerto 4-Book Bundle

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series is an investigation of luck, uncertainty, probability, opacity, human error, risk, disorder, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand, in nonoverlapping and standalone books. All four volumes—Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and the expanded edition of The Bed of Procrustes, updated with more than 50 percent new material—are now together in one ebook bundle. ANTIFRAGILE “Startling . . . richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides.”—The Wall Street Journal Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, many things in life benefit from disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better. What is crucial is that the antifragile loves errors, as it incurs small harm and large benefits from them. Spanning politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine in an interdisciplinary and erudite style, Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world. THE BLACK SWAN “[A book] that altered modern thinking.”—The Times (London) 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. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows that black swan events underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them. FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS “[Fooled by Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses were to the Catholic Church.”—Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? Fooled by Randomness is about luck: more precisely, about how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill—the markets—Fooled by Randomness is an irreverent, eye-opening, and endlessly entertaining exploration of one of the least understood forces in our lives. THE BED OF PROCRUSTES “Taleb’s crystalline nuggets of thought stand alone like esoteric poems.”—Financial Times This collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses Taleb’s major ideas in ways you least expect. The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical views of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.

The Innocence of Father Brown Illustrated

The Innocence of Father Brown Illustrated

"The first of G.K. Chesterton's books about seemingly hapless sleuth Father Brown, ""The Innocence of Father Brown"" collects twelve classic tales: ""The Blue Cross,"" ""The Secret Garden,"" ""The Queer Feet,"" ""The Flying Stars,"" ""The Invisible Man,"" ""The Honour of Israel Gow,"" ""The Wrong Shape,"" ""The Sins of Prince Saradine,"" ""The Hammer of God,"" ""The Eye of Apollo,"" ""The Sign of the Broken Sword,"" and ""The Three Tools of Death.""""Father Brown is a direct challenge to the conventional detective and in many ways he is more amusing and ingenious."""

INCERTO BOX SET

Antifragile, the Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, the Bed of Procrustes,... Skin in the Game

INCERTO BOX SET


Antifragile

Things That Gain from Disorder

Antifragile

Antifragile 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, The Black Swan, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world. Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better. Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear. Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world. Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it. Praise for Antifragile “Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist “A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek

The Black Swan

The Impact of the Highly Improbable

The Black Swan

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. Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.” For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world. Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan. Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb “The most prophetic voice of all.”—GQ Praise for The Black Swan “[A book] that altered modern thinking.”—The Times (London) “A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail “Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times “The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate “[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.”—The Wall Street Journal “Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”—Financial Times “Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review From the Hardcover edition.

Quantitative Value

A Practitioner's Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors

Quantitative Value

A must-read book on the quantitative value investmentstrategy Warren Buffett and Ed Thorp represent two spectrums ofinvesting: one value driven, one quantitative. Where they align isin their belief that the market is beatable. This book seeks totake the best aspects of value investing and quantitative investingas disciplines and apply them to a completely unique approach tostock selection. Such an approach has several advantages over purevalue or pure quantitative investing. This new investing strategyframed by the book is known as quantitative value, a superior,market-beating method to investing in stocks. Quantitative Value provides practical insights into aninvestment strategy that links the fundamental value investingphilosophy of Warren Buffett with the quantitative value approachof Ed Thorp. It skillfully combines the best of Buffett and EdThorp—weaving their investment philosophies into a winning,market-beating investment strategy. First book to outline quantitative value strategies as they arepracticed by actual market practitioners of the discipline Melds the probabilities and statistics used by quants such asEd Thorp with the fundamental approaches to value investing aspracticed by Warren Buffett and other leading value investors A companion Website contains supplementary material that allowsyou to learn in a hands-on fashion long after closing the book If you're looking to make the most of your time in today'smarkets, look no further than Quantitative Value.

The Most Important Thing Illuminated

Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

The Most Important Thing Illuminated

Howard Marks's The Most Important Thing distilled the investing insight of his celebrated client memos into a single volume and, for the first time, made his time-tested philosophy available to general readers. In this edition, Marks's wisdom is joined by the comments, insights, and counterpoints of four renowned investors and investment educators: Christopher C. Davis (Davis Funds), Joel Greenblatt (Gotham Capital), Paul Johnson (Nicusa Capital), and Seth A. Klarman (Baupost Group). These experts lend insight into such concepts as "second-level thinking," the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing. Marks also adds his own annotations, expanding on his book's original themes and issues. A new chapter addresses the importance of reasonable expectations, and a foreword by Bruce C. Greenwald, called "a guru to Wall Street's gurus" by the New York Times, speaks on value investing, productivity, and the economics of information. *** Howard Marks, the chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, is renowned for his insightful assessments of market opportunity and risk. After four decades spent ascending to the top of the investment management profession, he is today sought out by the world's leading value investors, and his client memos brim with insightful commentary and a time-tested, fundamental philosophy. Now for the first time, all readers can benefit from Marks's wisdom, concentrated into a single volume that speaks to both the amateur and seasoned investor. Informed by a lifetime of experience and study, The Most Important Thing explains the keys to successful investment and the pitfalls that can destroy capital or ruin a career. Utilizing passages from his memos to illustrate his ideas, Marks teaches by example, detailing the development of an investment philosophy that fully acknowledges the complexities of investing and the perils of the financial world. Brilliantly applying insight to today's volatile markets, Marks offers a volume that is part memoir, part creed, with a number of broad takeaways. Marks expounds on such concepts as "second-level thinking," the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing. Frankly and honestly assessing his own decisions--and occasional missteps--he provides valuable lessons for critical thinking, risk assessment, and investment strategy. Encouraging investors to be "contrarian," Marks wisely judges market cycles and achieves returns through aggressive yet measured action. Which element is the most essential? Successful investing requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects, and each of Marks's subjects proves to be the most important thing. "This is that rarity, a useful book."--Warren Buffett