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Publisher's Summary

Fooled by Randomness is a stand-alone 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 The Black Swan, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

Fooled by Randomness is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb - veteran trader, renowned risk expert, polymathic scholar, erudite raconteur, and New York Times best-selling author of The Black Swan - has penned a modern classic that turns on its head what we believe about luck and skill.

This book is about luck - or more precisely, about how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill - the world of trading - Fooled by Randomness provides captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Presented in an entertaining narrative style, the author tackles major intellectual issues related to the underestimation of the influence of happenstance on our lives.

The book is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: the baseball legend Yogi Berra; the philosopher of knowledge Karl Popper; the ancient world’s wisest man, Solon; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Odysseus. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life but falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

However, the most recognizable character of all remains unnamed - the lucky fool who happens to be in the right place at the right time - he embodies 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 by chance.

Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? It may be impossible to guard ourselves against the vagaries of the goddess Fortuna, but after listening to Fooled by Randomness, we can be a little better prepared.

Includes bonus pdf of tables and figures.

Praise for Fooled by Randomness:

Named by Fortune One of the Smartest Books of All Time

A Financial Times Best Business Book of the Year

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2008 Nassim Nicholas Taleb (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“[Fooled by Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses were to the Catholic Church.” (Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink

“We need a book like this ...fun to read, refreshingly independent-minded.” (Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance)

“Recalls the best of scientist/essayists like Richard Dawkins...and Stephen Jay Gould.” (Michael Schrage, author of Serious Play: How the World’s Best Companies Simulate to Innovate

“Powerful...loaded with crackling little insights [and] extreme brilliance.” (National Review) 

What listeners say about Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

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such a great read.

Nassim is a cool dude this book was well structured, thought provoking and posses challenges for your ego. its had a great impact on my perceived reality.

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  • Ekele Onuh Oscar
  • 19-06-2019

Not for MBAs and Economist

as I read through, I was humbled by the limit of what I knew, grateful for the privilege and luck I had due to the simple random fact I was born in the family that I come from. this book makes you skeptic, you will learn to not take your efforts too seriously, your knowledge too important and your circumstance to severe if it were. if you are an economist, this book would make you feel bad. if you have an MBA, this book would make you feel useless.

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  • John Simon
  • 14-07-2019

Randomness is a Boon for Bounty

This book should be taught to every high school Sophomore before they enter the rigor of the college testing and application process, as it will allow them to filter out the noise of authority figures and focus on themselves by delving into Taleb’s truly unique worldview. I look forward to listening to/reading the rest of the series. Truly an exceptional book.

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  • Seth T
  • 18-11-2020

He writes like Nietzsche

He is wise, but arrogant. If you can tolerate this, go ahead and buy it.

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  • CMC
  • 03-11-2020

A very good book, 3rd time

I have gone through this book written and audible three times. Repeated reading is recommended by some very good sources. The first time or two, the author did seem a bit egotistic. Perhaps he is, but on the third reading, I notice that he puts himself in the same group as normal people—see chapter 11. Taleb tells us that between any two points in our life, trading, science, engineering, etc many paths exist. We see someone who is successful. We do not see how many tried a similar journey and failed. The number in the latter group is very large. We do not consider this when making similar decisions. The random nature of life fools us into thinking that we can be successful when we are still at the start. We do not know how much of a factor, luck played in the part of the successful traveler and the unsuccessful traveler. It is easy to develop a superstitious pigeon dance that we think leads to success. It may only be a superstition—like wearing a coffee stained tie to work. Read the book or listen to it, more than once. Listening is better...I think.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-2020

Amazing! Keep it going Nassim.

Have read all your books Nassim. Amazing insight into how the world works. Your brain works in a way that I've never encountered.

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  • Spencer
  • 16-06-2020

The Incerto is a must read

The Incerto is the by far the best book I've read. Antifragile is the best book in the collection, but the other 3 (Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan and Skin in the Game) are all amazing as well and vital listening.

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  • Kolby O'Malley
  • 15-06-2020

Amazing book and will forever change my investment

would highly recommend this book for every investor as it has changed the entire way I view investments and I will never see the world of investing the same again.

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  • WiseGuy
  • 21-04-2020

Good

I said that it was good what do you want from me!!! And now I...

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  • Dr. Joe de Beauchamp
  • 23-03-2020

How to beat the odds

This is good statistics presentation. How to bet with more success. In a world of uncertainty you need to have better way to make good decision.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-12-2019

Smug

I couldn’t finish it. I found it arrogant and delivered at a tempo to fast for analysis, and the weighing up of the arguments. After several hours of trying to work out if the author was trying to sound clever or actually had valuable insights, I cut my losses.

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  • Allan Paterson
  • 05-11-2019

Fantastic

Everything you were expecting and more! Buy this book, you will not regret it. Promise.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Midnight Chance
  • 27-10-2019

loved it

I really enjoyed listening to this book. I'm fascinated by anything to do with trading, emotions and randomness, so this was right up my street.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Saracen
  • 18-11-2020

Fooled by the predictable

Narcissistic to a tee, but that says more about me... Apparently. Wrestling to find words to qualify this feedback, with 15 needed to outperform the silence.

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