Nassim Nicholas Taleb (born 1960) is a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, statistician, and risk analyst, whose work focuses on problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty. His 2007 book The Black Swan was described in a review by the Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II.
Taleb is a bestselling author, has been a professor at several universities, serving as Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering since September 2008, and as co-Editor in Chief of the academic journal, Risk and Decision Analysis since September 2014. He has also been a practitioner of mathematical finance, a hedge fund manager, a derivatives trader, and is currently a scientific adviser at Universa Investments.
He criticized the risk management methods used by the finance industry and warned about financial crises, subsequently profiting from the late-2000s financial crisis. He advocates what he calls a "black swan robust" society, meaning a society that can withstand difficult-to-predict events. He proposes antifragility in systems, that is, an ability to benefit and grow from a certain class of random events, errors, and volatility as well as "convex tinkering" as a method of scientific discovery, by which he means that decentralized experimentation outperforms directed research...
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