My favorite "Black Swan" quotes

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Information about My favorite "Black Swan" quotes
Business & Mgmt

Published on May 8, 2009

Author: maartencannaerts



"The Black Swan" was written by N.N. Taleb. Highly recommended book! This presentation contains some of the remarkable quotes and insights.
(! images are from

My favorite Black Swan quotes Images: – “The Black Swan” was written by N.N. Taleb

Nobody Knows What’s Going On

We don’t learn rules, just facts We tend to learn the precise, not the general…

The Platonic fold is the explosive boundary where the Platonic mindset enters in contact with the messy reality, where the gap between what you know and what you think you know becomes dangerously wide.

Ideas come and go – stories stay Metaphors and stories are far more potent (alas) than ideas; they are easier to remember and more fun to read.

We tend to treat our knowledge as personal property to be protected and defended.

The minds of the gods can not be read by just watching their deeds.

Categorizing always produces reduction in true complexity

There is nothing interesting about the details of the business world, which is inelegant, dull, pompous, greedy, unintellectual, selfish and boring

The great strength of the free- market system is the fact that company executives don’t need to know what’s going on

Most [financial] traders are “picking pennies in front of a steamroller” exposing themselves to the high-impact rare event yet sleeping like babies, unaware of it.

minimal but [Organize yourself] to do intense work, never attend business “meetings”, avoid the company of “achievers” and people in suits who don’t read books.

America is currently far more creative than these nations of museumgoers and equation solvers. It is also far more tolerant of bottom-up tinkering and undirected trial and error.

Mediocristan is where we must endure the tyranny of the collective, the routine, the obvious and the predicted; Extremistan is where we are subjected to the tyranny of the singular, the accidently, the unseen and the

For their lending business, dull banks hire people and train them to be even more dull.

crippling We harbor a dislike for the abstract.

The media seem to want to be wrong with infinite precision (instead of accepting being approximately right)

A nerd is simply someone who thinks exceedingly inside the box

Information is BAD for knowledge

When you are employed, hence dependent on other people’s judgment, looking busy can help you claim responsibility for the results in a random environment.

News shared with no millions has added value Additional knowledge of the minutiae of daily business can be useless, even actually toxic.

The problem with experts is that they do not know what they do not know.

It is often said that “is wise who can see things coming” Perhaps the wise one is the one who knows that he can not see things far away.

Discoverers are sleepwalkers stumbling upon results and not realizing what they have in their hands.

We build toys. Some of those toys change the world.

… a strange activity called the business meeting, in which well-fed, but sedentary, men voluntarily restrict their blood circulation with an expensive device called a necktie.

Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut… and don’t ask an academic if what he does is relevant.

Maximize the serendipity around you

American culture encourages the process of failure, unlike the cultures of Europe and Asia where failure is met with stigma and embarrassment

The electricity blackout experienced in the States in 2003 is a perfect example of what could take place if one of the big banks went under today

In the last 50 years, the ten most extreme days in the financial markets represent half the returns

Worry less about embarrassment than about missing an opportunity

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