Study Guide

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable - Part Three: Those Gray Swans of Extremism, Chapter 15: The Bell Curve, That Great Intellectual Fraud Summary & Analysis

Nassim Taleb
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Part Three: Those Gray Swans of Extremism, Chapter 15: The Bell Curve, That Great Intellectual Fraud Summary and Analysis

Summary

The bell curve, first popularized by Carl Friedrich Gauss, has been used incorrectly and even tragically as a risk-measurement tool. Not realized when it was initially embraced in the Eighteenth Century, the bell curve made outlying events seem to increase in improbability the farther away they moved from the average. This turned out to be a false reading for the way things actually worked in the real world because the thinking gave an illusionary sense of security that Black Swans could never happen.

The author challenged the idea of an average anything, outside of pure mathematics. He used the average person as an example, since no truly average people have existed. Those...

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This section contains 586 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Study Guide
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