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Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Inglês) Capa Comum – 22 ago 2005

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Sobre o Autor

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge. He spent nearly two decades as a businessman and quantitative trader before becoming a full-time philosophical essayist and academic researcher in 2006. Although he spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flâneur meditating in cafés, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. His main subject matter is “decision making under opacity”—that is, a map and a protocol on how we should live in a world we don’t understand.
Taleb’s books have been published in thirty-three languages.

From the Hardcover edition.

Trecho. © Reimpressão autorizada. Todos os direitos reservados

Chapter 1

Croesus, King of Lydia, was considered the richest man of his time. To this day Romance languages use the expression “rich as Croesus” to describe a person of excessive wealth. He was said to be visited by Solon, the Greek legislator known for his dignity, reserve, upright morals, humility, frugality, wisdom, intelligence, and courage. Solon did not display the smallest surprise at the wealth and splendor surrounding his host, nor the tiniest admiration for their owner. Croesus was so irked by the manifest lack of impression on the part of this illustrious visitor that he attempted to extract from him some acknowledgment. He asked him if he had known a happier man than him. Solon cited the life of a man who led a noble existence and died while in battle. Prodded for more, he gave similar examples of heroic but terminated lives, until Croesus, irate, asked him point-blank if he was not to be considered the happiest man of all. Solon answered: “The observation of the numerous misfortunes that attend all conditions forbids us to grow insolent upon our present enjoyments, or to admire a man’s happiness that may yet, in course of time, suffer change. For the uncertain future has yet to come, with all variety of future; and him only to whom the divinity has [guaranteed] continued happiness until the end we may call happy.”

The modern equivalent has been no less eloquently voiced by the baseball coach Yogi Berra, who seems to have translated Solon’s outburst from the pure Attic Greek into no less pure Brooklyn English with “it ain’t over until it’s over,” or, in a less dignified manner, with “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” In addition, aside from his use of the vernacular, the Yogi Berra quote presents an advantage of being true, while the meeting between Croesus and Solon was one of those historical facts that benefited from the imagination of the chroniclers, as it was chronologically impossible for the two men to have been in the same location.

Part I is concerned with the degree to which a situation may yet, in the course of time, suffer change. For we can be tricked by situations involving mostly the activities of the goddess Fortuna—Jupiter’s firstborn daughter. Solon was wise enough to get the following point; that which came with the help of luck could be taken away by luck (and often rapidly and unexpectedly at that). The flipside, which deserves to be considered as well (in fact it is even more of our concern), is that things that come with little help from luck are more resistant to randomness. Solon also had the intuition of a problem that has obsessed science for the past three centuries. It is called the problem of induction. I call it in this book the black swan or the rare event. Solon even understood another linked problem, which I call the skewness issue; it does not matter how frequently something succeeds if failure is too costly to bear.

Yet the story of Croesus has another twist. Having lost a battle to the redoubtable Persian king Cyrus, he was about to be burned alive when he called Solon’s name and shouted (something like) “Solon, you were right” (again this is legend). Cyrus asked about the nature of such unusual invocations, and he told him about Solon’s warning. This impressed Cyrus so much that he decided to spare Croesus’ life, as he reflected on the possibilities as far as his own fate was concerned. People were thoughtful at that time.

If You’re So Rich, Why Aren’t You So Smart?

An illustration of the effect of randomness on social pecking order and jealousy, through two characters of opposite attitudes. On the concealed rare event. How things in modern life may change rather rapidly, except, perhaps, in dentistry.

Nero Tulip

Hit by Lightning

Nero Tulip became obsessed with trading after witnessing a strange scene one spring day as he was visiting the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A red convertible Porsche, driven at several times the city speed limit, abruptly stopped in front of the entrance, its tires emitting the sound of pigs being slaughtered. A visibly demented athletic man in his thirties, his face flushed red, emerged and ran up the steps as if he were chased by a tiger. He left the car double-parked, its engine running, provoking an angry fanfare of horns. After a long minute, a bored young man clad in a yellow jacket (yellow was the color reserved for clerks) came down the steps, visibly untroubled by the traffic commotion. He drove the car into the underground parking garage—perfunctorily, as if it were his daily chore.

That day Nero Tulip was hit with what the French call a coup de foudre, a sudden intense (and obsessive) infatuation that strikes like lightning. “This is for me!” he screamed enthusiastically—he could not help comparing the life of a trader to the alternative lives that could present themselves to him. Academia conjured up the image of a silent university office with rude secretaries; business, the image of a quiet office staffed with slow thinkers and semislow thinkers who express themselves in full sentences.

Temporary Sanity

Unlike a coup de foudre, the infatuation triggered by the Chicago scene has not left him more than a decade and a half after the incident. For Nero swears that no other lawful profession in our times could be as devoid of boredom as that of the trader. Furthermore, although he has not yet practiced the profession of high-sea piracy, he is now convinced that even that occupation would present more dull moments than that of the trader.

Nero could best be described as someone who randomly (and abruptly) swings between the deportment and speech manners of a church historian and the verbally abusive intensity of a Chicago pit trader. He can commit hundreds of millions of dollars in a transaction without a blink or a shadow of a second thought, yet agonize between two appetizers on the menu, changing his mind back and forth and wearing out the most patient of waiters.

Nero holds an undergraduate degree in ancient literature and mathematics from Cambridge University. He enrolled in a Ph.D. program in statistics at the University of Chicago but, after completing the prerequisite coursework, as well as the bulk of his doctoral research, he switched to the philosophy department. He called the switch “a moment of temporary sanity,” adding to the consternation of his thesis director, who warned him against philosophers and predicted his return back to the fold. He finished writing his thesis in philosophy. But not the Derrida continental style of incomprehensible philosophy (that is, incomprehensible to anyone outside of their ranks, like myself). It was quite the opposite; his thesis was on the methodology of statistical inference in its application to the social sciences. In fact, his thesis was indistinguishable from a thesis in mathematical statistics—it was just a bit more thoughtful (and twice as long).

It is often said that philosophy cannot feed its man—but that was not the reason Nero left. He left because philosophy cannot entertain its man. At first, it started looking futile; he recalled his statistics thesis director’s warnings. Then, suddenly, it started to look like work. As he became tired of writing papers on some arcane details of his earlier papers, he gave up the academy. The academic debates bored him to tears, particularly when minute points (invisible to the noninitiated) were at stake. Action was what Nero required. The problem, however, was that he selected the academy in the first place in order to kill what he detected was the flatness and tempered submission of employment life.

After witnessing the scene of the trader chased by a tiger, Nero found a trainee spot on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the large exchange where traders transact by shouting and gesticulating frenetically. There he worked for a prestigious (but eccentric) local, who trained him in the Chicago style, in return for Nero solving his mathematical equations. The energy in the air proved motivating to Nero. He rapidly graduated to the rank of self-employed trader. Then, when he got tired of standing on his feet in the crowd, and straining his vocal cords, he decided to seek employment “upstairs,” that is, trading from a desk. He moved to the New York area and took a position with an investment house.

Nero specialized in quantitative financial products, in which he had an early moment of glory, became famous and in demand. Many investment houses in New York and London flashed huge guaranteed bonuses at him. Nero spent a couple of years shuttling between the two cities, attending important “meetings” and wearing expensive suits. But soon Nero went into hiding; he rapidly pulled back to anonymity—the Wall Street stardom track did not quite fit his temperament. To stay a “hot trader” requires some organizational ambitions and a power hunger that he feels lucky not to possess. He was only in it for the fun—and his idea of fun does not include administrative and managerial work. He is susceptible to conference room boredom and is incapable of talking to businessmen, particularly the run-of-the-mill variety. Nero is allergic to the vocabulary of business talk, not just on plain aesthetic grounds. Phrases like “game plan,” “bottom line,” “how to get there from here,” “we provide our clients with solutions,” “our mission,” and other hackneyed expressions that dominate meetings lack both the precision and the coloration that he prefers to hear. Whether people populate silence with hollow sentences, or if such meetings present any true merit, he does not know; at any rate he did not want to be part of it. Indeed Nero’s extensive social life includes almost no businesspeople. But unlike me (I can be extremely humiliating when someone rubs me the wrong way with inelegant pompousness), Nero handles himself with gentle aloofness in these circumstances.

So, Nero switched careers to what is called proprietary trading. Traders are set up as independent entities, internal funds with their own allocation of capital. They are left alone to do as they please, provided of course that their results satisfy the executives. The name proprietary comes from the fact that they trade the company’s own capital. At the end of the year they receive between 7% and 12% of the profits generated. The proprietary trader has all the benefits of self-employment, and none of the burdens of running the mundane details of his own business. He can work any hours he likes, travel at a whim, and engage in all manner of personal pursuits. It is paradise for an intellectual like Nero who dislikes manual work and values unscheduled meditation. He has been doing that for the past ten years, in the employment of two different trading firms.

Modus Operandi

A word on Nero’s methods. He is as conservative a trader as one can be in such a business. In the past he has had good years and less than good years—but virtually no truly “bad” years. Over these years he has slowly built for himself a stable nest egg, thanks to an income ranging between $300,000 and (at the peak) $2.5 million. On average, he manages to accumulate $500,000 a year in after-tax money (from an average income of about $1 million); this goes straight into his savings account. In 1993, he had a bad year and was made to feel uncomfortable in his company. Other traders made out much better, so the capital at his disposal was severely reduced, and he was made to feel undesirable at the institution. He then went to get an identical job, down to an identically designed workspace, but in a different firm that was friendlier. In the fall of 1994 the traders who had been competing for the great performance award blew up in unison during the worldwide bond market crash that resulted from the random tightening by the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. They are all currently out of the market, performing a variety of tasks. This business has a high mortality rate.

Why isn’t Nero more affluent? Because of his trading style—or perhaps his personality. His risk aversion is extreme. Nero’s objective is not to maximize his profits, so much as it is to avoid having this entertaining machine called trading taken away from him. Blowing up would mean returning to the tedium of the university or the nontrading life. Every time his risks increase, he conjures up the image of the quiet hallway at the university, the long mornings at his desk spent in revising a paper, kept awake by bad coffee. No, he does not want to have to face the solemn university library where he was bored to tears. “I am shooting for longevity,” he is wont to say.

Nero has seen many traders blow up, and does not want to get into that situation. Blow up in the lingo has a precise meaning; it does not just mean to lose money; it means to lose more money than one ever expected, to the point of being thrown out of the business (the equivalent of a doctor losing his license to practice or a lawyer being disbarred). Nero rapidly exits trades after a predetermined loss. He never sells “naked options” (a strategy that would leave him exposed to large possible losses). He never puts himself in a situation where he can lose more than, say, $1 million—regardless of the probability of such an event. That amount has always been variable; it depends on his accumulated profits for the year. This risk aversion prevented him from making as much money as the other traders on Wall Street who are often called “Masters of the Universe.” The firms he has worked for generally allocate more money to traders with a different style from Nero, like John, whom we will encounter soon.

Nero’s temperament is such that he does not mind losing small change. “I love taking small losses,” he says. “I just need my winners to be large.” In no circumstances does he want to be exposed to those rare events, like panics and sudden crashes, that wipe a trader out in a flash. To the contrary, he wants to benefit from them. When people ask him why he does not hold on to losers, he invariably answers that he was trained by “the most chicken of them all,” the Chicago trader Stevo who taught him the business. This is not true; the real reason is his training in probability and his innate skepticism.

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Por caco em 5 de abril de 2014
Formato: eBook Kindle
Bom livro. Faz pensar sobre a sorte,ou melhor, sobre o papelada aleatoriedade. Há uma interessante discussão sobre indução e dedução. O autor defende a dedução. Comprei o livro O cisne negro.
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Avaliações mais úteis de consumidores na Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 de 5 estrelas 748 avaliações
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 6 de 6 pessoa(s):
5.0 de 5 estrelas Still the Best of Taleb 4 de novembro de 2015
Por Alex Bush - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa comum Compra verificada
Fooled by Randomness revolutionized how I view the world. In multiple ways. It's hard to overstate how rarely a book changes your ideas about how the world works once, let alone multiple times, and that Taleb has managed to weave a fantastically engaging and entertaining book out of what could very easily be a dry and technical topic is just icing in the cake.

I've read all four of Taleb's books and Fooled By Randomness still stands out as my favorite. Although Black Swan is still the most popular, and most controversial, Fooled in many ways is the most practical, as it's the most general and therefore most widely applicable. Everyone should deeply understand the survivorship and hindsight biases, as well as the difference between conditional and unconditional probability.

That being said, it's often hard to determine whether the heart of the book is the ideas (which to someone such as myself who has only a Stats 101 background in probability are almost always revelation-inducing) or the author. I can't stress how much I learned from this book that has nothing to do with probability or statistics, just random asides from an erudite and meandering mind. Regardless of your background (or even your interest in probability) you will probable learn some fascinating and/or useful tidbit from Fooled, and probably a whole lot more.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 5 de 5 pessoa(s):
3.0 de 5 estrelas Fooled By Randomness...And Big Words 13 de novembro de 2012
Por Tim Lafferty - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: eBook Kindle Compra verificada
Taleb's 'Fooled By Randomness' is nothing short of an awareness-raising collection of anecdotes, cautioning the dangers of overlooked randomness. Every chapter provides ample details to inform the reader of unforeseeable events - both good and bad.

Before I delve too deep into the review of this book, I feel it's important to know who the reader is. For instance, financial structures and markets are far from my comfort zone. I am not an overly-active reader with an obnoxiously expansive vocabulary. I am an engineering student (mediocre at best...) who decided to read this book in order to gain an understanding of how randomness intertwines with the market. If you are someone of great intelligence in regards to stocks and the markets, this review is probably going to be irrelevant to you. Otherwise, this review is written from the standpoint of an average guy.

The first thing to know before reading this novel is the structure of the book itself. There are fourteen chapters in which Taleb does a good job hammering the point home - borderline beating a dead horse. The chapters themselves are well-written but seem to have no particular order to the book as a whole. For instance, if you were to read the book backwards (chapter 14 on down), I don't think you would ever noticed you were reading it in reverse - though the overall point and theme would have been received just as well. I'm not sure if that's a sign of an incredibly well-written book or a unorganized collection of thoughts and stories. Also, Taleb has a tendency to use 13 words to describe a 2 word event. Albeit very descriptive, every sentence could probably be reduced by half. Taleb is clearly the intellectually superior between he and I, for I have to look up every third word he writes.

Initially, this book grabbed my attention. All of the facts were interesting and really got me thinking about the role randomness not only in the markets, but in our everyday lives.
The opening chapters compared two brokers with two different personal as well as professional approaches towards life. One being high-risk and high-reward while the other was conservative and consistent. My emotional side liked the high-risk trader, while my logical side related to the conservative trader. After all, Hollywood has done such a good job painting such a skewed perception of high-risk traders. We often see the rewards people (actors) reap after risking almost everything - high stakes, high adrenaline, last minute decisions - but it all pays off in the end, right? Wrong. Hollywood doesn't show the aftermath of the 99.5% of those people who lose. Thus, my logical side relating to the conservative trader. Taleb creates some of the best analogies I have ever read. As a matter of fact, if it weren't for his analogies, I probably wouldn't understand the book. Once again, I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing...

The most important concept that I took from this book was the notion of Survivorship Bias. We all have it (most to a large extent), yet we hardly ever acknowledge it. In a nutshell (and without spoiling any of his original details/theories), survivor bias is the thought process of `oh that will never happen to me'. It's the notion that we are exempt from certain undesirable outcomes. When buying a lottery ticket, we all envision the most rewarding although lease likely outcome - winning big. In reality, it's quite the opposite. Taleb references this often unaccounted-for bias quite often - each time making the stakes a little more interesting. Second behind survivorship bias, I thought his perception of induction was also informative. We, as humans, tend to induce information that can't be induced. Some systems would rather have wrong data than no data at all - this is a very dangerous method. Some information is just not meant to be induced.

Taleb spends a good amount of time (about two and a half chapters) criticizing other wealthy people. He likes to use his Monte Carlo simulator analogy a lot, and with that, he starts to pick apart other people's wealth. If we were to run the course of the people's lives one million times, what are the chances they would still be millionaires? For most of them, the number would be minute. Although I understand his point, I can't help but to notice an undertone of envy and/or anger towards these `lucky' few.

All of these stories convey one message: randomness can - and will (more often than not) - appear when it is least convenience. It is always important try to acknowledge obscure events, or at least leave room for error in their cause. In one section of the book, Taleb informs us everything is subject to randomness - including evolution. According to Taleb, there are 6 characteristics that make a person a fool to randomness:
1. An overestimation of the accuracy of their beliefs
2. A tendency to get married to positions
3. The tendency to change their story
4. No precise game plan ahead of time as to what to do in negative events
5. Absence of critical thinking
6. Denial
In chapter 5, he explains his reasoning for each of these traits and why they make one a fool to randomness. I agree with his reasoning and in my opinion, most of these traits make a person a fool in general...

In conclusion, Taleb does a great job informing the reader on just how much randomness is actually in our lives. We should always try to recognize that randomness attributes mostly to success. Most people spend a lifetime trying to be successful, when in reality, we need to spend that time trying to minimize the variability of the outcomes of our situations. We should also try to analyze most important decision logically as opposed to emotionally. We need to set goals and not pay attention to the surrounding `noise'. As Taleb says, remember that your personal behavior is the only thing randomness can't control.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 1 de 1 pessoa(s):
5.0 de 5 estrelas I really like Nassim's rebel disposition and skepticism when it comes to ... 28 de julho de 2015
Por Steve Schubert - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: eBook Kindle Compra verificada
I really like Nassim's rebel disposition and skepticism when it comes to science. I do, like many people, lean on science to get me closer to the truth. Sometimes too much. Nassim challenges this position based on his experience as a trader and what he's observed over the course of his life. He demonstrates how theories may simply be the theorizer being fooled by random events. That is, the common problem of correlation being mistaken for causation. He's certainly changed my mindset to be more skeptical of elaborate theorizing and to look at the world with more of a bottom-up approach. That is, if something works, knowing the theory of why, doesn't make it necessarily any more valid.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 2 de 2 pessoa(s):
4.0 de 5 estrelas Precisely very random and thought provoking 21 de novembro de 2012
Por Rhushikesh Bhadkamkar - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura Compra verificada
This is one the first books I ever read on markets and trading. However compared to its reviews it turned out to something completely different. It definitely was not a kind of a book where you can just read and move on but a kind that actually makes you stop and think. I always had the impression that books about the market or the economy come with a baggage of understanding the material and concepts beforehand. Fooled by Randomness threw me back by the way Nassim the author, portrayed the various facets in which randomness and probability not only rule markets or trading but everyone's life in general. It was fascinating to see that such a world even exists and that people who are driven by profit do not always take a straightforward path.
Overall the book was interesting for a novice reader but definitely not an easy to follow book. There were many parts of the book where I had to stop and read twice or thrice to understand what the author is trying to say. It definitely shows you a different mindset of the Type A personality investment bankers and traders.
The book walks through various phases of how randomness and probability affect people from all walks of life. It is well divided into three major parts, each explaining different angles in which people view probability and randomness in their lives and how they deal with it on an individual level. The author explains well how perception and biases are responsible for people making wrong decisions. He talks about the fact that even though we cannot completely ignore emotions, we cannot as well completely remove probability and randomness while evaluating decisions and risks. The author also explains about the Monte Carlos simulators and how they should always be used to predict outcomes in the future rather than just relying on data from the past. The author also has strong views about denigrate history suggesting that people feel that things that happen to others might not happen to them. Nassim has given a lot of examples to show the reader the various angles in which randomness and probability is perceived, used and interpreted by people. The author also draws light upon the fact that too much information might end up doing more harm than good as it blurs your decision and your ability to choose the right information. Nassim also strongly emphasizes on the fact that any individual should never get completely loyal to his position as it hinders him from looking at different points of views. This in turns affects his decision making and ability to adapt to the changes that come with the position. The author has given examples of people from his life, famous people throughout history as well as people from various field of work to prove his point in several occasions. The author finally suggests that it is inevitable to be affected by randomness as he himself has been affected by it. However whatever the effects of randomness in anyone's life, they never should blame anyone or get angry but just learn to deal with and change is always inevitable.
The book has been written in a very personal format where it feels as if the author is trying to convey a message through a personal talk. Talking about experiences in his life and sharing his emotions definitely helps build that connection with the author. The author's style seems very straight and blunt as well. It feels like he has no qualms about how he has experienced life or what he has thought about some people who he has met in life. This is clearly seen in way he expresses feelings about some of his neighbors, coworkers or even people he has heard about. It gives a sort of raw understanding into the mind of the author. In doing so he has been able to sort of organize his book in to the various aspects of randomness, its effects and biases that come with it and finally how several people deal with it. This sort of structure helps in understanding the complex message that the author is trying to convey.
There are quite a few quotes that got me thinking, some of which are: "Mild success can be explainable by skills and labor. Wild success is attributable to variance.", "Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.", "A mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in the light of the information until that point.", "The only article Lady Fortuna has no control over is your behavior.". However my most favorite line from the book is "No amount of observations of white swans can allow the inference that all swans are white, but the observation of a single black swan is sufficient to refute that conclusion." I love it because it made me think and realize that this applies to so many things in life. Your reputation that you build upon for so many years can all come crashing down with a major mistake. Nassim explains this with an example of a successful banker who earned millions for a bank however a single mistake that cost him millions got him fired and forgotten of the things he had done in the past.
After reading through the entire book you have a sense of confusion mainly due to the fact that it does stay close to its name that there is a lot of talk about randomness that exists in the world and the market. However Nassims ability to convince the author is promising. He himself believes that he was fooled by randomness and consciously tries to make certain decision that help him in making the sound decision.
Overall this book has great things to offer from head scratching content to knowledge to even humor at times and is definitely worth a read. It helped me step out of my comfort reading zone and challenge me in my thoughts and opinions that I had about various aspects in life.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 2 de 2 pessoa(s):
4.0 de 5 estrelas How We Are All Fools of Randomness 10 de novembro de 2012
Por Mayur Patel - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura Compra verificada
By Mayur Patel

How We Are All Fools of Randomness

This book was not the simplest book I have ever read, but very insightful for the market trader/investor. I will provide a little insight of my own into the realm of Nassim Taleb. I enjoyed the fact that the author explained concepts of the financial nature in the most basic manner. For a person not to savvy in financial terminology the book was readable, it was actually other topics that the author randomly introduced that was a little harder to read. The book is about how people, who invest in or trade in the market, fail or succeed due to factors outside of their control. The author brings to light many concepts that people more often than not overlook. The author provides countless examples to break his concepts down into a comprehensible level. One point that is emphasized throughout the book is that most people fall into a trap of luck.
Taleb started his book by introducing Solon, a Greek legislator. He began his book with Solon, because of Solon's wisdom, "...to admire a man's happiness that may yet, in course of time, suffer change. For the uncertain future has yet to come, with all variety of future; and him only to whom the divinity has[guaranteed] continued happiness until the end we may call happy."(Taleb 3). Then the author explained how people could do everything right, but still fail. This was due to a randomness factor. These factors can be a natural disaster, an election, a terrorist attack, etc. People can crunch every number in the world to until their fingers bleed, but still fail. People can have tips and inside knowledge, but still fail. The author stresses this idea of randomness and repetitively intertwines it into the different scenarios presented into this book. The beginning of the book, the concept of randomness was introduced via two characters Nero and John. Taleb shows how randomness affects both characters that are of opposite mindsets. He later tells of how people's decisions are affected by emotions. He demonstrates this by telling of an experiment done, where a person is alleviated from his emotions. The emotion stricken person was not even able to complete the simplest tasks. The author spoke of emotions, because without it people would get nothing accomplished, on the other hand, with emotions, people can act irrationally which leads to bad decisions. The author makes his position on journalist in his field quite clear. Without hesitation, his detestation for journalist simmered throughout the pages. The author does not agree with journalist, because they are people who are inexperienced in the financial field, yet write about it; they fail to understand randomness. Then their idiocracy(yes I know this is made up, but fits the situation so well) is then consumed by their readers, who take the written fallacies to heart, which can lead to inadequate decisions. Next, Taleb speaks of a Monte Carol engine, which I have gathered as something to produce data of scenarios ran a countless amount of times, with random situations passed into the scenarios every time. The author preferred Monte Carlo methods, because he could care less about the ideas behind mathematics, but only the application. I found this a little intriguing that a person that is so knowledgeable in the financial field, which deals mainly with numbers, does not care for the properties of mathematics. The next topic the author presents is the association of Darwinism and companies. Companies cannot be viewed in the survival of the fittest manner, because the Darwinian ideas cannot and do not accommodate for randomness, which we learn from this book is a big part of the business world. Randomness can be either good or bad, essentially it will all come down to luck. A person will be either lucky or unlucky, but the author explains that eventually it will reverse itself and the unlucky will become lucky and the lucky become unlucky. Taleb introduces many significant subject matter experts throughout the book to support his claim of people being fooled by randomness.

I feel as if the author was a bit random himself. The way the text was presented seemed a little unorthodox to me. The author would present a subject, talk about it, provide examples about it, but then the next topic would be totally off on some other tangent, while all in the same chapter. I'm not even sure if everything written in the book could be tied back to randomness in some manner, but that I will go ahead and assume is to be blamed on my inexperience on the subject matter. The structure of the book is one thing I did not agree with. Although, this is the style of writing the author may have intended. I believe the book was well conversed and definitely and eye opener. Taleb did well in explaining complex material in a simplified fashion. I enjoyed all of the examples presented in the book; I felt they gave the book some character. I understand I cannot be considered a person well versed in the financial world, so everything written here completely opinion based. The main piece of knowledge I can confidently say I have gained from this book is that there is nothing that can be done to tame this unforgiving beast that is randomness.

For a book whose topic is of a subject that, I believe, many would consider of a dull nature was quite interesting. The book kept my interest with its comprehensible examples and insightful views. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone that has dealings in the economic world. Actually, I honestly believe this book could just about relate to anyone and everyone, because randomness is part of everyone's lives. I did not ever consider randomness to ever be as big of a factor in life as, I know it is, now. I will take the knowledge gained from reading this book and hopefully put it to good use.