49 Quotes About Black Swan

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From a lecture series, understanding the economic recovery, perils, politics and possibilities are highlighted in the Black Swan. These quotes about Black Swan aid in distinguishing the consequences of the unknown and the power of randomness.

“A life saved is a statistic; a person hurt is an anecdote. Statistics are invisible; anecdotes are salient.”

“A rare bird upon the earth and very much like a black swan.”

“Believe me, it is tough to deal with the social consequences of the appearance of continuous failure. We are social animals; hell is other people.”

“Beyond our perceptional distortions, there is a problem with logic itself.”

“Categorizing is necessary for humans, but it becomes pathological when the category is seen as definitive, preventing people from considering the fuzziness of boundaries.”

“Everything will be better in the morning. It always is.”

“Humans will believe anything you say provided you do not exhibit the smallest shadow of diffidence; like animals, they can detect the smallest crack in your confidence before you express it.”

“I am most often irritated by those who attack the bishop but somehow fall for the securities analyst–those who exercise their skepticism against religion but not against economists, social scientists, and phony statisticians. ”

“I disagree with the followers of Marx and those of Adam Smith: the reason free markets work is because they allow people to be lucky, thanks to aggressive trial and error, not by giving rewards or “incentives” for skill.”

“I have this really morbid, awesome love for the movie Black Swan.”

“I know that history is going to be dominated by an improbable event, I just don’t know what that event will be.”

“I propose that if you want a simple step to a higher form of life, as distant from the animal as you can get, then you may have to denarrate, that is, shut down the television set, minimize time spent reading newspapers, ignore the blogs. ”

“I will repeat the following until I am hoarse: it is contagion that determines the fate of a theory in social science, not its validity.”

“Ideas come and go, stories stay.”

“If you want to get an idea of a friend’s temperament, ethics, and personal elegance, you need to look at him under the tests of severe circumstances, not under the regular rosy glow of daily life.”

“Imagine a speck of dust next to a planet a billion times the size of the earth. The speck of dust represents the odds in favor of your being born; the huge planet would be the odds against it.”

“In economic life and history more generally, just about everything of consequence comes from black swans; ordinary events have paltry effects in the long term.”

“It has been more profitable for us to bind together in the wrong direction than to be alone in the right one.”

“It is my great hope someday, to see science and decision makers rediscover what the ancients have always known. Namely that our highest currency is respect.”

“Last year, when ‘Black Swan,’ ‘True Grit’ and ‘King’s Speech’ all grossed over $100 million, it gave studios and independent financiers the confidence to make daring movies and not do the same old you-know-what.”

“Living on our planet, today, requires a lot more imagination than we are made to have. We lack imagination and repress it in others.”

“Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.”

“No amount of observations of white swans can allow the inference that all swans are white, but the observation of a single black swan is sufficient to refute that conclusion.”

“One useful trick, I discovered, is to avoid listening to the question of the interviewer, and answer with whatever I have been thinking about recently.”

“Our human race is affected by a chronic underestimation of the possibility of the future straying from the course initially envisioned (in addition to other biases that sometimes exert a compounding effect).”

“People who think they know what is going to happen next are fools. Surprises – or what the brilliant author Nassim Taleb calls ‘Black Swans’ – are inevitable. Some are likely to be desperately unpleasant too”

“Perfection is not just about control, it is also about letting go.”

“Prediction, not narration, is the real test of our understanding of the world.”

“Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market alow you to put there.”

“Remember that you are a Black Swan.”

“Slashing its way to the finish line, Black Swan is the first ballet movie for highbrow horror fans for whom ballet itself signifies little to nothing. Those of us who know and love ballet can only look on it with a different kind of horror.”

“So the world is much more correlated than we give credit to. And so we see more of what Nassim Taleb calls “black swan events” – rare events happen more often than they should because the world is more correlated.”

“The Black Swan asymmetry allows you to be confident about what is wrong, not about what you believe is right.”

“The central idea in The Black Swan is that: rare events cannot be estimated from empirical observation since they are rare.”

“The inability to predict outliers implies the inability to predict the course of history.”

“The next time someone pesters you with unneeded advice, gently remind him of the fate of the monk whom Ivan the Terrible put to death for delivering uninvited (and moralizing) advice. It works as a short-term cure.”

“The only person standing in your way is you.”

“The problem with experts is that they do not know what they do not know.”

“The strategy for the discoverers and entrepreneurs is to rely less on top-down planning and focus on maximum tinkering and recognizing opportunities when they present themselves.”

“This idea that in order to make a decision you need to focus on the consequences (which you can know) rather than the probability (which you can’t know) is the central idea of uncertainty.”

“Those who believe in the unconditional benefits of past experience should consider this pearl of wisdom allegedly voiced by a famous ship’s captain: But in all my experience, I have never been in any accident… of any sort worth speaking about.”

“We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck, a remote event, a chance occurrence of monstrous proportions.”

“We favor the sensational and the extremely visible. This affects the way we judge heroes. There is little room in our consciousness for heroes who do not deliver visible results—or those heroes who focus on process rather than results.”

“We grossly overestimate the length of the effect of misfortune on our lives. You think that the loss of your fortune or current position will be devastating, but you are probably wrong.”

“We humans are the victims of an asymmetry in the perception of random events. We attribute our successes to our skills, and our failures to external events outside our control, namely to randomness.”

“We tend to use knowledge as therapy.”

“When you develop your opinions on the basis of weak evidence, you will have difficulty interpreting subsequent information that contradicts these opinions, even if this new information is obviously more accurate.”

“You can afford to be compassionate, lax, and courteous if, once in a while, when it is least expected of you, but completely justified, you sue someone, or savage an enemy, just to show that you can walk the walk.”

“You need a story to displace a story.”

There is much to learn about the bestselling book, “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.”

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