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Silent Risk - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

John Hjorth

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This book is the mathematical parallel version of the Incerto Collection of books by Mr. Taleb:

  • The Black Swan.
  • Fooled By Randomness CoBF topic here.
  • Antifragile CoBF topic here.
  • The Bed of Procrustes.
  • Skin In The Game [to be released in February 2018, as far as I know].

The book is free, and can be downloaded from Mr. Taleb’s personal website. [ link just south-east under the main picture of the Incerto paper back collection]. Direct link here.


The book is a work in progress, and available for free for feedback. Current state as per the date of this post is August 2014, status described on p. XX [<- twenty] in the Chapter Summaries.

There seems to be two ways to read this book:

  • Full read.
  • Text only reading [i.e. skipping the math].

Mr. Taleb’s own words in the book:


The text can be read by (motivated) non-quants: everything mathematical in the text is accompanied with a “literary” commentary, so in many sections the math can safely skipped. Its mission, to repeat, is to show a risk-taker perspective onm risk management, integrated ito the mathematical language, not to lecture on statistical concepts.

On the other hand, when it comes to math, it assumes a basic “quant level” advaced or heuristic knowledge of mathematical statistics, and is written as a monograph; it is closer to a longer research paper or old fashioned treatise. …


I started reading the book a few days ago. I feel challenged, applying first mentioned method.


A dormant center in my brain with regard to math gets massage. Furthermore, I have to stick with my favorite English web dictionary to understand all shades and details of everything because of Mr. Talebs above average vocabulary [above mine, that is].


I like it, because the language applied by Mr. Taleb is much more “neutral” than in his other books. His personal [huge?] ego appears to be omitted.


- - - o 0 o - - -


I expect to get back in this topic with my opinion on the book after reading it - no later than when I’m on my dead bed. There is the risk though that I suddenly drop down dead from the school bench, without such reporting, due to the circumstances.

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