The Black Swan

Nassim Taleb’s writing has changed how many view the world. His work also defies being easily summarized, but I’ll give it a go:

Our ability to both predict future events and ascribe causality to the past and present is woefully inaccurate due to cognitive biases and poor models of the world. Rather than trying to predict the future, we’re better off creating a robust system that can survive and even gain from uncertainty and unexepected events.

For the sake of our discussion, let’s focus on The Black Swan, although Fooled by Randomness and Antifragile are also good reads.

Experiment with Twtitter-style comments on each chapter to practice writing briefly about complex topics. the Hemingway Editor can be useful here.

Limiting yourself to 140 characters forces you to remove the fluff. It’s easier to start with a few pieces of of unpolished and rough ‘meat’ and then add in fluff rather than the other way around.

I could cut down my 320-character summary of Taleb’s philosophy to:

Ignore predictions and explanations. Look for the strong in adversity to study and apply their methods. (104 characters)

It’s trivial to expand this by adding transitions, an introduction or examples.