The Black Swan and the Rat Race

I like the randomness that produces the texture of life, the positive accidents, the potential gifts you do not have to pay for them.

I worry less about small failures, more about large, which are potentially terminal. I worry far more about the stock market, particularly the “safe” blue chip stocks, than do about very low risk Algorithmic-Trading. The latter offer no surprises since you know how volatile they are as well as can limit your drawdown by investing smaller amounts.

The monday 1929 Black Swan in the stock market
1929 spx crashed

Moreover, i am very aggressive when i can gain exposure to positive Black-Swan, and very conservative when i am under threat from a negative Black-Swan. In finance, people use flimsy theories to manage their risks, and they fantasize about wild ideas…

Snub your destiny, when missing a train is painless –
In refusing to run to catch trains, i have felt the valuable of elegance in behavior, a sense of being in control of my time, and my life. Missing a train is only painful if you run after it. Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expected from you is the only painfully if that is what you are looking for.

It is more difficult to be a loser in a game you set-up yourself. In Black Swan term, it means that you are exposed to the unexpected events only if you let it to control you !


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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Incerto)


By (author): Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Black Swan is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, and The Bed of Procrustes.

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.
 
Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.”
 
For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.
 
Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan.
 
Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb
 
“The most prophetic voice of all.”—GQ
 
Praise for The Black Swan
 
“[A book] that altered modern thinking.”The Times (London)
 
“A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail
 
“Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times
 
The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate
 
“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”Financial Times
 
“Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review

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