This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.
Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill, the world of trading, this audiobook is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors of all our lives. In an entertaining narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern word. Taleb uses stories and anecdotes to illustrate our overestimation of causality and the heuristics that make us view the world as far more explainable than it actually is.
The audiobook 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. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life, but who also falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.
But the most recognizable character 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.
It may be impossible to guard against the vagaries of the Goddess Fortuna, but after listening to Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared.
Skillful, educational and entertaining
Skillful and entertaining revelations/anecdotes on the myriad of ways statistical truth runs counter to so many decisions and assumptions we all make. I very much enjoyed it and learned quite a bit. The author seemed to want to ridicule past critics throughout which didn’t seem important to me given the brilliance of his message and his obvious market success of late. No wonder he bets on market volatility – after listening to his book it’s easy to see why that’s the only thing one can count on. I strongly recommend it.
Great book that every analytical thinker should reread every couple of years.
I have read and reread this book several times now -- and that is the point Taleb is trying to make: everyone needs to be reminded and re-reminded about the dominant role that chance plays in how our lives unfold. The most crucial concepts he addresses, in my opinion, are the hindsight bias, in which humans try to create logic to explain past events, and the narative falacy: our inate tendency to insist that our life's path follows a story line. For reiteration of these two human conditions alone, this book is a must read.
An interesting listen!
Taleb offers a wise and humorous look at financial luck and the seemingly irrational swing of money markets around the world. Is it dumb luck or real skill? A great listen and so very interesting!