Fooled by randomness

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Brief description

Everyone wants to succeed in life. But what causes some of us to be more successful than others? Is it really down to skill and strategy - or something altogether more unpredictable? This book is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. It is all about luck: more precisely, how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the markets - we hear an entrepreneur has 'vision' or a trader is 'talented', but all too often their performance is down to chance rather than skill. It is only because we fail to understand probability that we continue to believe events are non-random, finding reasons where none exist. This irreverent bestseller has shattered the illusions of people around the world by teaching them how to recognize randomness. Now it can do the same for you. (Source)

Why read this

In the age of optimization and "quantified everything" it's very easy to get trapped by the feeling of control and predictive power (pseudo science) over what we do in life, or in business. Nassim's book is a fine work of writing where mathematics meet funny stories and a great deal of philosophical introspection. A great resource for everyone curious about how the world (and financial market) works, especially for those who are skeptics at heart. 

My experience

I believe I first found about Nassim on Bill Gates' website - specifically his review of "The Black Swan" book. I added the author to my Amazon Wishlist and few months later recalled him by listening to a podcast episode by Tim Ferriss. I forgot who was Tim's guest that time, but he strongly recommended "Fooled by Randomness" by Nassim, as being a highly entertaining and intelligent book. I immediately bought it. Two weeks ago I started reading it and it's been a delight for my neurons :)

Reading FBR I find myself sad, at times, cause the world / humans are so fucked up, but refreshing to discover that skepticism can be backed by the beauty of math.

By the author