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Off the shelf

Off the shelf
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First Published: Sun, Nov 09 2008. 10 36 PM IST

Updated: Sun, Nov 09 2008. 10 36 PM IST
Heterodox, focusing on the unexpected
Philosopher, essayist and trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb finds something rotten
in misguided, yet supremely confident so-called “experts” who fail to appreciate “black swans”: highly consequential but unlikely events that render predictions and standard explanations worse than worthless.
Also See: The Black Swan (Graphic)
Taleb’s style is personal and literary but his heterodox insights are rigorous. While Taleb offers strong medicine some readers may find too bitter at times, getAbstract prescribes it to anyone who wants a powerful inoculation against gullibility.
Pessimistic polemic
Investor Peter D. Schiff is not just a bear. He is a sky-is-falling,
bury-the-Krugerrands-in-the-backyard bear. Writing with John Downes, Schiff argues that the US economy is going to hell and that consumers, Wall Streeters and politicians are carrying the handbasket.
Also See: Crash Proof (Graphic )
Schiff’s tone is a bit grating—until you realize that many of his predictions have proven accurate. His pessimistic polemic could use more practical advice, but still getAbstract recommends it to those who seek an alternative viewpoint.
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First Published: Sun, Nov 09 2008. 10 36 PM IST