What I’m reading: The Black Swan

In addition to a steady diet of fashion magazines, I’m reading a lot of math stuff. (Obviously.) This book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, is sort of a cross between math, probability, philosophy, biology, and history. The thing that’s getting me about this is the description of two different types of systems: one where things cluster in the middle, and one where they cluster at the outer edges (the author refers to them as “Mediocristan” and “Extremistan”). The second reminds me of the Lorenz attractor–a system where values cluster around two values[…]

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