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Download Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets Audiobook, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (9,473 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb Narrator: Lloyd James Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781596591844
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This audiobook is about luck—or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill—the world of trading—this audiobook is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors of all our lives. In an entertaining narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern word. Taleb uses stories and anecdotes to illustrate our overestimation of causality and the heuristics that make us view the world as far more explainable than it actually is.

The audiobook is populated by an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: Yogi Berra, the baseball legend; Karl Popper, the philosopher of knowledge; Solon, the Ancient World’s wisest man; George Soros, a modern financier; and the Greek voyager Ulysses. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life but who also falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

But the most recognizable character remains unnamed—the lucky fool in the right place at the right time, the embodiment of the “survival of the least fit.” Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru’s insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained through chance.

Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover non-existent messages in random events?

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Taleb tells interesting, well-wrought stories about individual behavior…serious investors and mathematics enthusiasts will be intrigued.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Taleb's book is mathematically sound as well as entertaining and informative for the general public, which is quite an achievement.”

    Donald Geman, professor, Johns Hopkins University

  • “[Taleb is] Wall Street’s principal dissident…[Fooled By Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther’s ninety-nine theses were to the Catholic Church.”

    Malcolm Gladwell author of Outliers

  • “We need a book like this…fun to read, refreshingly independent-minded.”

    Robert J. Schiller, author of Irrational Exuberance

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan Melena | 2/20/2014

    " Extremely interesting topic but the presentation left a lot to be desired in my opinion. The author's writing style seemed wandering and haphazard. Each time I felt he was beginning to convey an interesting insight he'd abruptly end his treatment of the subject or veer off onto a tangent. Additionally, the book's focus on philosophy and the author's constant name dropping of obscure literary figures became tiresome. It struck me as a poorly organized stream of consciousness dump / "look at how cultured I am" piece. To be fair, I do believe this may have been the author's intention to some degree. In the end, there were just enough interesting anecdotes, descriptions of common biases, and descriptions of common logical flaws to hold my attention but they could have been condensed and reorganized into a much more enjoyable book of about 1/3 the length. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 1/7/2014

    " Very good... and very challenging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 1/4/2014

    " Good. It's true that we tend to take credit for things that are pure luck, and proceed with our lives as if we know what we're doing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Conor Pendergrast | 12/14/2013

    " This is a great primer on critical thinking and understanding of logical fallacies, dressed-up as a story about investing and markets. I'd thoroughly recommend it as a Trojan horse for teaching people about not letting illogical thinking foil their hard work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeff Free | 12/14/2013

    " Taleb has some good points, but you've got to wade through 20 meaningless points to find them. If you don't have the time or patience to read Taleb's rants and non-sequiturs, just ask someone who's read it to give you the highlights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeffrey | 12/11/2013

    " Read this book cover to cover while soaking in a tub in a Kyoto hotel! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aditya | 11/15/2013

    " Long winded, opinionated and still a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryce | 11/14/2013

    " Such an arrogant bastard, but has fundamentally influenced the way I think about asset prices. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clare | 11/12/2013

    " The author is an opinionated, arrogant, pompous ass, but you can't work in financial markets without having read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Prachi Pande | 11/6/2013

    " Doesn't even attempt any semblance of scientific rigour, but throws together a collection of interesting counterintuitive ideas and references that seem to make sense. Definitely worth following up on, but on the other hand pretty useless if not followed up on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Berra | 11/3/2013

    " nicely written, but a bit cocky author "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cullen | 10/25/2013

    " An easy read...arguments are not well though out or researched though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua Parkinson | 9/5/2013

    " This is by far the most captivating book I've read in years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Smh624 | 9/3/2012

    " A challenging book to read, but worth the effort. Will make you think about how you invest and how you make decisions in general. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fayssal | 6/23/2012

    " A nice read from Nassim Taleb. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matti | 3/22/2012

    " I'm reading this second time, as a warmup for Taleb's new book "Antifragile". The first reading in 2008 was life changing, gotta say. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audris | 1/23/2012

    " I read this over the summer before the world ended in September. Good thing I learned a lot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gwyneth | 1/7/2012

    " there was some interesting info in this book. not sure if it is the author or the writing style but i was not a fan of this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 E | 12/12/2011

    " an interestIng discovery @ 288 balestIer last year whilst staYing over with you. it's a must read on a raNdom walk dOwn wall street. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phildiggety | 8/21/2011

    " Loved it. Similar to another book by NNT, "Black Swan", probabilities are discussed as they apply to real life, specifically in stock markets but applicable to rest of the world. A must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bhargav | 4/20/2011

    " An interesting read. There quite a few mythbusters challenging conventional thinking. Explains the rationality behind markets and how one should not get carried away by high profile investors.
    Gives good examples of "black swan scenarios". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 4/5/2011

    " Excellent book by a great thinker. Unless we learn to anticipate random events probablistically, and accept that some things cannot be controlled or predicted, we are doomed to be victims of the laws of chance. A bigger book philosophically than to which the title alludes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 3/10/2011

    " If find his tone refreshingly hilarious, and his introduction to me of Tversky and Kahneman alone justifies the price of admission.

    Some of the reviewers write that Taleb despises wealth. He doesn't. He despises pompous ostentation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bruce | 3/5/2011

    " A very different book, challenges one's thinking "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Arjen | 3/3/2011

    " Another miss by Taleb. Again, the book starts of promising but fails to deliver. It merely skims interesting topics and bogs down in childish examples and superfluous references to non-relevant thinkers and philosophers.

    One star.

    Oh, he mentions Popper, ok another star. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 2/28/2011

    " Loved reading how fellow traders "blew up"'. Very conversational read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 2/27/2011

    " Taleb is very up-front in the opening that this book is little more than a personal essay. I still would have preferred more depth.

    my favorite quote: "I was at the age when one felt like one needed to read everything, which prevented one from making contemplative stops." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Timothy | 2/23/2011

    " Important to be aware of the role randomness can play and not to over ascribe things.
    Over reliance on apparent trend/evidence also leads to underpricing of contrarian positions, sometimes "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rishi | 2/17/2011

    " Absolutely Brilliant, a must read. "

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About the Author
Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Fooled By Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, and others. In addition to his books, Taleb has written many academic essays and articles for scholarly journals. He received a PhD, MS, and BS from the University of Paris and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute and has given lectures at Oxford University, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others. Taleb divides his time between New York, Lebanon, Paris, and London.

About the Narrator

Lloyd James (a.k.a. Sean Pratt) has been narrating since 1996 and has recorded over six hundred audiobooks. He is a seven-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award and has twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. His critically acclaimed performances include Elvis in the Morning by William F. Buckley Jr. and Searching for Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitzkin, among others.