Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life / Edition 1

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life / Edition 1

3.7 43
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Nassim Nicholas Taleb
     
 

This book is about luck -- or more precisely how we perceive and deal with luck in business and life. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill -- the world of trading -- Fooled by Randomness is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Writing in an entertaining and narrative… See more details below

Overview

This book is about luck -- or more precisely how we perceive and deal with luck in business and life. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill -- the world of trading -- Fooled by Randomness is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Writing in an entertaining and narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling and explaining three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern world.

The book is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: Yogi Berra, the baseball legend; Karl Popper, the philosopher of knowledge; Solon, the Ancient World's wisest man; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Ulysses. In addition we meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his trading life, but who also falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

But the most recognizable character of all remains unnamed -- the lucky fool in the right place at the right time. The embodiment of 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 through chance. A monkey banging on a keyboard may eventually produce the Iliad, but would you sign him to write the sequel? Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover non-existent 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587990717
Publisher:
South-Western
Publication date:
10/01/2001
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
220
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.14(h) x 0.89(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Chapter Summaries
Prologue1
Pt. ISolon's Warning - Skewness, Asymmetry, Induction7
1If You're So Rich Why Aren't You So Smart?11
2A Bizarre Accounting Method26
3A Mathematical Meditation on History40
4Randomness, Nonsense, and the Scientific Intellectual60
5Survival of the Least Fit - Can Evolution Be Fooled by Randomness?68
6Skewness and Asymmetry84
7The Problem of Induction99
Pt. IIMonkeys on Typewriters - Survivorship and Other Biases111
8Too Many Millionaires Next Door117
9It Is Easier To Buy and Sell Than Fry an Egg125
10Loser Takes All - On the Nonlinearities of Life142
11Randomness and Our Brain: We Are Probability Blind149
Pt. IIIWax in my Ears - Living With Randomitis169
12Gamblers' Ticks and Pigeons in a Box175
13Carneades Comes to Rome: On Probability and Skepticism182
14Bacchus Abandons Antony191
Epilogue: Solon Told You So196
Notes197
Index198
About Texere204

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