Key Principles

  • The term “black swans” is used to describe highly consequential, yet highly unlikely events that can only easily be explained in hindsight.
  • Tech, business, science, and even culture have all been shaped by the appearance of black swans.
  • Black swans are becoming more consequential due to the world being more connected.
  • Humans are naturally subject to numerous blind spots, illusions, and biases.
  • The bell curve is a standard statistical tool that is often misused, resulting in a negative bias that ignores black swans.
  • The “power law distribution” is a statistical tool that is better at modeling important phenomena.
  • Much of the time, expert advice is useless;  forecasting is deemed a pseudoscience.
  • It is possible to train yourself to appreciate randomness and overcome cognitive biases, but it takes work. 
  • Positive black swans do exist; Weigh up the odds so you can avoid the negative black swans.


The above is inspired from the bestselling book "The Black Swan" by Nassim Taleb.

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