Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Cabaran Review Kedua - The Black Swan - The Impact of the Highly Improbable oleh Hanim Nurain

Challenge 2 : Book Read by Leader

Title : The Black Swan - The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Author : Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Pages : 366

According to favbook.com, Pavel Durov (founder of Telegram and Vkontakte) has recommended this book in one of his tweets.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb developed Black Swan Theory and explained in detail in this mindblowing masterpiece.

The sequence of this books follows a simple logic; from what can be labelled purely literary (in subject and treatment) to what can be deemed entirely scientific (in subject, though not in treatment).

The central of this book concerns our blindness with respect to randomness, particularly the large deviations. Black Swan logic makes what you don't know far more relevant that what you do know. As it is unpredictable, we need to adjust to their existence.

Author break his point into four part in which Part Four is a very short summary. Part One is mostly about how we perceive historical and current events and what distortions are present in such perception. Part Two is about our errors in dealing with the future and the unadvertised limitations of some 'sciences' - and what to do about this limitations. Part Three goes deeper into the topic of extreme events, explains how the bell curve (that great intelectual fraud) is generated, and reviews the ideas in the natural and social sciences loosely lumped under the label 'complexity'.

This Black Swan Theory focuses in the extreme impact of certain kinds of rare and unpredictable events and humans' tendency to find simplistic explanations for these events retrospectively.

What is meant by a Black Swan is an event with the following attributes. First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

For example, before the discovery of Australia, people in the Old World were convinced that all swans were white. The sighting of the first black swan might have been an interesting surprise for a few ornithologist (a zoologist who studies bird). This phenomena illustrates a severe limitation to our learning from observations or experience and the fragility of our knowledge. One single observation can invalidate a general statement derived from milenia of confirmatory sightings of millions of white swans.

Black Swan in simple terms is single (improbable, unexpected, random, surprise, unpredictable) event which can dominate a phenomena. It occurs relative to your expectation (things appear as if they were bound to happen) and can be eliminate and manage by keeping an open mind.

Its indeed a deeply intelligent theory. But, for some maybe this is a heavy reading material. Just take your time and learn how to benefit from The Black Swan through this awesome piece from Nassim Nicholas Taleb and remember that you are a Black Swan.

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