the best informed experts in the world are to Black Swans. As a writer I am very much aware that few people read Introductions, Prefaces, or Prologues to books. The story of the Maginot Line shows how we are conditioned to be specific. I don't mean just you, your cousin Joey, and me, but almost all "social scientists" who, for over a century, have operated under the false belief that their tools could measure uncertainty. Assume that a legislator with courage, influence, intellect, vision, and perseverance manages to enact a law that goes into universal effect and employment on September 10, 2001; it imposes the continuously locked bulletproof doors in every cockpit (at high costs to the struggling airlines)-just.
Well, actually he makes several memorable points, such as his summary. It is easy to see that life is the cumulative effect of a handful of significant shocks. If you read the book and extracted the mentioned instances, and then read it again to see how much of the material was directly relevant to most of the listed Black Swans, then it would be a very small proportion. Those handwritten comments and sketches are another treasure trove of research material which I want nearby.
The second man is set upon by robbers who try to steal money and he fights them bravely and chases them off even though he emerges from his fighting all bloody. Of the movies I (and you too?) enjoy, some were commercial successes and some were flops - how would my experience be different if the successes and failures were less extreme? (8) In other words the whole Extremistan metaphor, suggesting a country in which everything is ruled by power laws, is misleading. There is nothing fraudulent about the Bell Curve, but the way it is used presupposes the non-existence of Black Swans and thus it is the primary tool of real-life Intellectual Frauds, and Taleb spends much of his time explaining how to identify them and how. It is easy to say.