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Nonscalable variables for example, human height and weight are predictable via bell curves Gaussian statistics.

THE BLACK SWAN SUMMARY (BY NASSIM TALEB)

Impact is not concentrated in a few instances, so no single instance substantially affects the statistics of a large sample. Black Swans are generally found not found among scalable nonscalable variables.

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In summary, accidents routines rule for scalable nonscalable variables. Induction from historical data is of little use for scalable variables. Positive negative Black Swans tend to develop slowly quickly.

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Human thought processes resist accepting Black Swans. Chapter 5 — Confirmation Shmonfirmation!

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable - Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Google книги

People exhibit confirmation bias, a tendency to look for ignore evidence that supports conflicts with views already held. Seeking confirming evidence is a long and winding road to knowledge. Proving hypotheses wrong falsifying is far more powerful than finding evidence that they may be right.


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The fact that there are no Black Swans in a given historical interval does not prove that a variable is nonscalable. The fact that there are Black Swans proves that a variable is not nonscalable. Chapter 6 — The Narrative Fallacy People especially historians naturally construct stories narratives about historical events with unjustified assumptions of causality, thereby giving a false sense of understanding.

People therefore think the world is less random than it really is. They are blind to Black Swans.

‘The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable’

Stories constructed around Black Swans that have recently occurred make people far overestimate the probability of recurrence. New Black Swans will be events that no one envisions. Chapter 7 — Living in the Antechamber of Hope Black Swan deniers seek a steady stream of modestly positive investment returns, hoping that no negative Black Swan will intervene or oblivious to the possibility of Black Swans.

Professions involving scalable variables have a lot of casualties and an extreme survivorship bias. Many long-term outperformers in scalable professions such as investment advisors began with an extreme lucky streak. Those that started with bad luck lost money and disappeared. Chapter 9 — The Ludic Fallacy, or the Uncertainty of the Nerd The uncertainty encountered in real life is more fundamental than the sterilized, domesticated uncertainty present in games.

Black Swans are events that we do not envision and for which we cannot assign probabilities. In summary, games are a poor analogy for real life with scalable variables. Chapter 10 — The Scandal of Prediction Human beings are consistently overconfident about how much they know.

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People tend to underestimate overestimate severely the probability of a future recently experienced Black Swan. Professional forecasters are often more affected than others by these biases. The processing of additional input tends to make them more overconfident but not more accurate. They tend to herd and make lots of excuses for inaccuracies.

Chapter 11 — How to Look for Bird Poop Discovery and diffusion of new things depends mostly on luck, severely limiting predictability. Even for systems with specified initial conditions and rules, complexity practically precludes accurate prediction. Chapter 12 — Epistemocracy, a Dream People do not naturally learn from the errors in their past predictions.

The human mind is incapable of mixing chance with extrapolation of the past to forecast a fuzzy future. People tend to overestimate the personal impacts of both pleasant and unpleasant events, regardless of past experience with such events.

The Black Swan – the Impact of the Highly Improbable

There is no difference for practitioners between inherent randomness and incomplete information. Do not seek precision in anticipating Black Swans. Seize anything that looks like a Black Swan opportunity. There are few such chances. Set no store in government forecasts. As Taleb reports, if any legislator had approved a law making mandatory the installation of costly armored doors in the cabin of all American aircraft, who knows if they would have prevented the worst. But, certainly, this character would not be remembered as a hero, but for bringing more costs to the debilitated air transport industry, since no major catastrophe would have occurred.

Finally, the logic of the black swan tries to teach the reader to understand the signs that precede events of this nature and prepare for them, who knows even to surf the wave that succeeds them. By the success of the author on the capital market, it seems that the formula has worked!


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In Brazil, we emphasize the quiet character of citizens, the long period without conflict and the alleged absence of threats to our territorial integrity as an explanation for the small interest of the population in the theme of Defense. Since the advent of the Ministry of Defense MoD , there are countless diagnoses made in this direction, which often end up occupying prominent spaces in the prologues of official documents, certainly produced to defend the investment in the industry!

As a consequence, this lack of support of public opinion makes the sector a strong candidate to have its investments cut by the machete of the budget contingency every year. The consequences we already know, and one of them is the focus of interest in this column: the weakening, destructuring and, often, the disappearance of several companies and entire production chains of the sector.

The Armed Forces are already suffering the consequences of this destructuring of the industrial base of Defense in various projects. The signs are clearly there to anyone who is willing to understand them and neither are they as disconnected as those that preceded September