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Fooled by Randomness
 368 Seiten

A book that, put simply, describes in many ways how randomness plays a large role in the world around us, even though it might often look like skill (no, it was luck) or determination (no, it was luck) or causality (no, randomness).

Pro:

It made me think about concepts that sounded trivial at first, but when connected to something I know, I had some revelations.

Taleb connects a lot of different disciplines (philosophy, mathematics, economics and, I guess, some more).

In many places, I really like his writing and way of expressing things.

Con:

This was written as a stream of thoughts (Taleb views himself as an essayist). What might be meant to appear deep and clever was just lacking structure and clarity in places.

I am sometimes bugged by the extreme examples he chooses, where a trader loses everything not only because randomness hits, but because in their private life they have also invested everything in high-risk products. Reality is more nuanced than that, but I guess it's enough to make his point.

Often 'his point' simply appears to be to rant about all traders (except himself) or all holders of an MBA (except for himself) or all people who have succeeded by chance (except, maybe, for himself?). Taleb tries really hard to sound like someone you wouldn't want to be around for too long. Not sure if that's actually true, or just a character he plays.

To finish positively, however, I like many of his conclusions. We might not be able to control and even understand randomness around us, but we are able to control our attitude, and just make the best out of every situation.

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