The Reverse Black Swan, Part I

I recently reread The Black Swan and came to a surprising conclusion: Once I looked beneath the snarkiness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book is brilliant—and I don’t use that term lightly. Yes, it is still true that Taleb is a confirmed pessimist and I am a confirmed technological optimist. But he’s gotten hold of fundamental truths which have changed some of my views about innovation and growth. In particular, Taleb has a persuasive argument for why the economy, the financial markets and technology are fundamentally unpredictable in both directions—up and down—and why we should care. Let’s start with the small reasons to like Taleb. First, he does a great job of nailing the bankers. He writes that the bankers:

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