The Black Swan
The Impact of the Highly Improbable
2nd Edition Paperback ISBN: 081297381x
A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives. Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.” For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. Now, in this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know. He offers surprisingly simple tricks for dealing with black swans and benefiting from them. Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book–itself a black swan. From the Hardcover edition.
Eye to Eye
The Quest for the New Paradigm
Paperback ISBN: 157062741x
In this book Wilber presents a model of consciousness that encompasses empirical, psychological, and spiritual modes of understanding. Wilber examines three realms of knowledge: the empirical realm of the senses, the rational realm of the mind, and the contemplative realm of the spirit. Eye to Eye points the way to a broader, more inclusive understanding of ourselves and the universe.
Paperback ISBN: 0190867213
Truth is not just a recent topic of contention. Arguments about it have gone on for centuries. Why is the truth important? Who decides what the truth is? Is there such a thing as objective, eternal truth, or is truth simply a matter of perspective, of linguistic or cultural vantage point? In this concise book Simon Blackburn provides an accessible explanation of what truth is and how we might think about it. The first half of the book details several main approaches to how we should think about, and decide, what is true. These are philosophical theories of truth such as the correspondence theory, the coherence theory, deflationism, and others. He then examines how those approaches relate to truth in several contentious domains: art, ethics, reasoning, religion, and the interpretation of texts. Blackburn's overall message is that truth is often best thought of not as a product or an end point that is 'finally' achieved, but--as the American pragmatist thinkers thought of it--as an ongoing process of inquiry. The result is an accessible and tour through some of the deepest and thorniest questions philosophy has ever tackled
The Brain's Secret to Seeing Past Illusion, Misperception, and Self-deception
Paperback ISBN: 160868475x
With the rare combination of lucid verve and solid scientific grounding evocative of Oliver Sacks or Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler guides readers on a fascinating tour of the bedrock of our existence — the way our senses perceive everything and everyone in the world around us. Why does one person see Jesus in a shower curtain, get a bad feeling about someone they’ve just met, or hear a conversation so differently than someone else? Boxer Wachler describes some of the mysterious medical conditions that cause nonpsychiatric hallucinations and neurological mix-ups, then focuses on how we all receive and interpret the messages of our senses. This practical as well as provocative book also offers readers ways to improve their own perceptual intelligence and “reality-check
Virtue of Selfishness
A New Concept of Egoism
Paperback ISBN: 0451163931
Ayn Rand here sets forth the moral principles of Objectivism, the philosophy that holds man's life--the life proper to a rational being--as the standard of moral values and regards altruism as incompatible with man's nature, with the creative requirements of his survival, and with a free society.
The Voice of Knowledge
A Practical Guide to Inner Peace
Paperback ISBN: 1878424548
A spiritual guide to overcoming negative emotions offers advice on saying what one means, refusing to speak against oneself, and ending self-deprecating thoughts and attitudes as part of realizing true knowledge and being true to oneself. Original. 100,000 first printing.
What We Believe but Cannot Prove
Today's leading thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty
Paperback ISBN: 0060841818
In a provocative series of essays, more than one hundred of the world's leading thinkers--including Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Jared Diamond, Freeman Dyson, Martin Rees, and others both in and outside the world of science--reveal what they believe despite a current lack of supporting evidence about such topics as the future of humankind, the fate of the universe, extraterrestrial life, and more. Original. 25,000 first printing.