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, a former options trader, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives. The book covers subjects relating to knowledge, aesthetics, as well as ways of life, and uses elements of fiction and anecdotes from the author's life to elaborate his theories. It spent 36 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Description from Amazon.com.