Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > Foolish Book Review: "The Black Swan"

August 10th, 2007

Foolish Book Review: "The Black Swan"

One important lesson imbedded in these historical analogies is that what we don't know is frequently more important than what we do know (or think we know). This seemly innocuous statement is actually quite profound. Here's why. Throughout the book, Taleb offers compelling evidence that people -- especially so-called experts -- tend to overestimate what they know and underestimate the uncertainty that is derived from those things they don't know.

For example, how often have you heard experts in a given field make bold, confident statements? A case in point is the energy industry. These days it is not uncommon to hear specialists in the field say that oil, coal, and natural gas will remain the main source of energy for the next 30 years. Such statements can easily lead investors to believe ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), Sasol (NYSE: SSL), and Chevron are, and will remain, solid blue-chip investments for the foreseeable future.

The problem is the people making these predictions don't know what they don't know. For example, how much do they know about synthetic genomics, such as BP (NYSE: BP) is now investigating? Is it possible that "designer bacteria" and biomass -- and not oil -- could be a major source of our energy in the future? Or is it possible that one of the nanotechnology companies that Harris & Harris (Nasdaq: TINY) has invested in could produce a breakthrough that could revolutionize solar energy and make it cost-competitive with coal?


Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press


Nanometrics to Present at the 30th Annual ROTH Conference February 27th, 2018

180 Degree Capital Corp. Reports Net Asset Value per Share of $2.60 as of December 31, 2017; A Decrease of 3.0% From Prior Quarter and an Increase of 11.1% From December 31, 2016 February 27th, 2018

Nanowire LED Innovator Aledia Announces 30 ($36M) Million Series-C Financing: Intel Capital Joins Existing Investors to Commercialize Certain Nanowire-LED Technologies for Mobile Displays January 29th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Unexpected effect could lead to lower-power memory, computing devices March 17th, 2018

Imaging technique pulls plasmon data together: Rice University scientists' hyperspectral method analyzes many plasmonic nanoparticles in an instant March 16th, 2018

Plasmons triggered in nanotube quantum wells: Rice, Tokyo Metropolitan scientists create platform for unique near-infrared devices March 16th, 2018

Movable silicon 'lenses' enable neutrons to see new range of details inside objects March 15th, 2018

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project