The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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"I don't particularly care about the usual. If you want to get an idea of a friend's temperament, ethics, and personal elegance, you need to look at him under the tests of severe circumstances, not under the regular rosy glow of daily life. Can you assess the danger a criminal poses by examining only what he does on an ordinary day?"
"Think about the "secret recipe" to making a killing in the restaurant business. If it were known and obvious then someone next door would have already come up with the idea and it would have become generic. The next killing in the restaurant industry needs to be an idea that is not easily conceived of by the current population of restaurateurs. It has to be at some distance from expectations. The more unexpected the success of such a venture, the smaller the number of competitors, and the more successful the entrepreneur who implements the idea... The same applies to scientific theories-nobody has interest in listening to trivialities. The payoff of a human venture is, in general, inversely proportional to what it is expected to be. "
"Our inability to predict in environments subjected to the Black Swan [to predict in environments that are vulnerable to rare, unpredictable events], coupled with a general lack of the awareness of this state of affairs, means that certain professionals, while believing they are experts, are in fact not based on their empirical record, they do not know more about their subject matter than the general population, but they are much better at narrating-or, worse, at smoking you with complicated mathematical models. They are also more likely to wear a tie."