[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 09 August 2006]
Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets is, as Taleb says in the prologue “about luck disguised and perceived as nonluck (that is, skills) and, more generally, randomness disguised and perceived as non-randomness (that is, determinism).” At its core, it’s a meditation on how poor us humans are at discerning what events around us are influenced by luck and chance, and the often counter-intuitive way the financial markets—and life—work.
Anybody reading it for investment tips is likely to go away shaking their head, but the reader looking for an interesting perspective on life is likely to be enthralled.
Fooled by Randomness is one of those books you read a few pages of and then you have to stop and think for a while about what you just read. Well worth the time.
Addendum: Here’s the Wikipedia entry about Mr. Taleb. Black Swan, indeed.