Good Idea, Ruined By Author — 6 years ago
The idea of black swans is certainly an interesting one and I think this book would gain a lot more credence if not for the sins of the author. Unfortunately, the author’s high self-regard and complete disdain for anybody else not already on board (he is quick to ascribe the worst motives of purposeful deception and delusion to those who disagree with him) mar the tone of almost every page (even for the French (that’s an example of his types of “jokes”)). Frequently self-contradicting, rambling, and remarkably sparse of actual science or mathematics, this book’s subject needs someone like Benoit Mandelbrot to do better justice to it.
Ultimately though, I think the thing that rankled me the most is that the author resorts to a fictional scenario of a made-up author to illustrate the universality of Black Swans. Given that he could have done a little legwork to talk to real authors or picked some trenchant examples from economics or history this seemed like a complete and utter cop-out that runs against the whole point of his book.