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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable is a literary/philosophical book by the epistemologist Nassim Nicholas Taleb . The book focuses on the extreme impact of certain kinds of rare and unpredictable events ( outliers ) and humans' tendency to find simplistic explanations for these events retrospectively. This theory has since become known as the black swan theory . The book also covers subjects relating to knowledge, aesthetics , and ways of life, and uses elements of fiction in making its points. The first edition appeared in 2007 and was a commercial success.
A black swan , a member of the species Cygnus atratus The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that is a surprise (to the observer), has a major effect, and after the fact is often inappropriately rationalized with the benefit of hindsight . The theory was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain: The disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to the very nature of small probabilities) The psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the rare event in historical affairs
When you hear Silicon Valley discuss the European startup scene it’s often negatively. Some say that the investors aren’t brave enough, some say the entrepreneurs aren’t bold enough. Whether there’s any truth in these accusations or not, the fact is that there are startups across Europe that are brimming with original ideas and creativity. Following on from our 10 Exciting European Startups from 2010 , here are 10 startups to look out for in 2011. Pearltrees
A great developer I once worked with was kvetching at lunch one day. He’d been working at a well-funded startup for about a year and had come to terms with the fact that the startup was really a pretty dumb idea. He’d wasted a year of his life and had a pile of stock options that weren’t very interesting. His last two jobs had been similar.