In these clips, the first from his exposition for the Long Now Foundation, the second from CNBC, Nassim Taleb outlines the characteristics of the term he has injected into popular culture: The Black Swan, or the rare event.His experiences draw heavily from history, economics and financial markets. Nassim Taleb was a former derivatives trader now turned philosopher and pundit. Taleb criticizes conventional economic thought and attitudes to risk management which are all based on a notion that rare harmful events almost never happen–when in fact they do.
His ideas represent the school of skeptical empiricism which differs slightly from conventional empiricism in its treatment of empirical evidence: an empiricist in general would place value on evidence as a confirmation of a statement, while a skeptical empiricist would consider the existing evidence only as one opinion and is not exhaustive of all other possibilities, however evidence that contradicted a statement would be considered as a credible basis to disprove it. A naive empiricist, would look at evidence and reject any other possibility not represented by the evidence.