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by Alan Hargreaves

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Entries in unpredictable events (1)


The Black Swan (Second Edition)

4 out of 5 stars.

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Penguin 2010, $29.95

If you are not familiar with Taleb’s work, the central theme is simple: we don’t know what we don’t know.

All swans were considered white for a few thousand years before black ones were discovered in Western Australia in the 18th century. That’s the analogy behind the title.

The first edition firmly placed the term in the risk analysis lexicon. In this second edition, a 70 page addendum looks at what we can do about unpredictable events.

It’s still a book of mixed emotions. The practical suggestions are a touch disappointing compared with the robust, and at times uplifting, critique of modern risk analysis.

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