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Fooled by Randomness

The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
Narrated by: Sean Pratt
Series: Incerto
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (176 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.35

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2004 Nassim Nicholas Taleb (P)2008 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"[Taleb is] Wall Street's principal dissident....[ Fooled by Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther's ninety-nine theses were to the Catholic Church." (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker)
"An articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider." (Amazon.com)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great book BUT...

I really enjoyed this book, but unfortunately the chapters are not in the correct order on Audible.
The Audible recoding start around chapter 4, goes through to the end of the book and then starts the beginning of the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Arrogance & Interest

The supreme arrogance of NNT in this audiobook is nauseating but the content is very interesting.

The recording is great quality but the chapter breakdown is poor (long silences).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Toi much rambling

Some good thoughts here and there, but his style is too rambling and he puts others down too much. A book written by a person who likes to be smarter than everybody else.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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best audio book i use for motivation !

I perhaps admire taleb a bit more than others. i like his honesty , polymath view of world , mainly from philosophy maths .. a joy to listen over and over again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Read, take your time with it

Very nice, only qualm is the large silent pausea between chapters - unless that's intended so the beginning the next chapter is... unpredictable

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    2 out of 5 stars
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inflated story by an unlikeable storyteller

The book contains some well thought through ideas but presents little to no hard evidence as most ideas are thought experiments. Furthermore, the author gives out unsolicited personal opinions which come across as very arrogant and single minded. Overall, this book could be easily shortened to a fifth of its volume without losing any of its content.

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Some good stuff

Some real gems in here and the performance is good, but in typical NTT fashion there is a bunch of rubbish annecdotes and petty swipes at people.

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Amazing insights on markets, economy and humans

Incredibly insightful and powerful commentary - a must for business and ordinary people. This will challenge your thinking and push you to re-evaluate your biases.

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Great book

Any additional comments?

Some great advice's.
The narrator was easy to listen to; personally i found that it was better on 1.25x speed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil
  • 31-12-2018

Excellent book, but patience is required

This book (and much of Taleb’s writing) attract an unnecessary amount of negative backlash. Yes, his books can often steer into being the ramblings of someone socially awkward, with a chip on their shoulder - but don’t let this distraction put you off reading this book.

I found the narration to be okay - though somewhat dry. The editing of this book is also bizarre (it feels like there has been no editing), quite often themes are mentioned out of nowhere, not expanded upon, and then the subject will change before you understand why.

To enjoy Taleb’s style of writing, you should treat it the same as having a long conversation with a friend after a few too many drinks.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben Stubbens
  • 21-02-2017

Self righteous rambling

While the book may read well this unfortunately doesn't translate into a good audiobook. It comes across as very self righteous as he sneers at the mere mortals who don't appreciate randomness. Furthermore this book lacks any kind of structure and seems to be a collection of thoughts as they've come into the author's head. I was very disappointed

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Ritam
  • 09-09-2018

outstanding!

outstanding book. great narration. loved each idea. the book is an eye opener for everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah Ray
  • 31-07-2019

Incredible book

Very thought provoking and applicable to situations far beyond that of the market. might be worth understanding the concept of MCMC.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-07-2019

Oh come on.

Nothing new. Some interesting perspectives, but having listened to it, I feel I’ve been conned. One great truth poorly illustrated.

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  • nat
  • 20-04-2019

Absolutely must - read

This book is very well written, tapping the most important and relevant issues of logic science. The author addresses the probability issues from many perspectives, starting with reviewing existing philosophy and adding his own interpretation bucked up with multiple examples. It took me a while to listen to this book and I think for this deep analytic thinking one would benefit of printed version. So I definitely recommend!

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  • Joseph Vose
  • 27-02-2019

Great book

This book is massively insightful and entertaining, anyone with an interest in finance or evne the sciences should listen to this

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  • Chris
  • 22-02-2019

Amazing

An amazing insight into randomness and statistics a must for anyone doing anything!! Plus some great examples that anyone can understand

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  • Chris
  • 24-10-2018

good book but some irritating aspects

the central theme of people retrofitting narrative to random events was fascinating and chimed with what you hear in the news, at work and following sport. There was plenty I had heard in other books particularly around irrational behaviours which is a taking interesting area. what detracted somewhat from the book was the first person ranting of person who clearly has a number of chips on their should and who comes across rather arrogant and socially awkward. This shouldn't really affect the listen however I found the style of writing made it difficult to ignore and I almost have up somewhere in the middle. glad I finished it though.

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  • Otis Manousakos
  • 20-10-2018

Will always be relevant

Of course it should be read, but listened to? Sorry. I was not taken with the narrator of this brilliant book. Which is why I bought the book. The slights in the book at various academics, journalists and fellow MBA’s were an unnecessary distraction as a thing to listen to. I probably would have ignored them had I read them first. Have a sample listen and decide for yourselves. It’s a subjective thing. Taleb chose a multiple tangent approach to express his ideas and it takes little time to adapt. Pretend you are having drinks with a friend and this is how the world of Fools in Randomness reveals itself. I am rereading much of it and it’s value will be as strong as the reader’s humility and open mindedness. Something we as a species are not wonderful at exercising.