The book is very stimulating, here is one excerpt from my review on Slate.com:
Another human failing stems from the nature of happiness. In the short run, people’s happiness is often shaped more by how many "positive events" occur in their day than by the arrival of one important piece of good news. Winning $100,000 in the lottery feels almost as good as winning $1 million. We therefore look, consciously or not, for small but repeated successes when we should be shooting for "one large win." It’s easy to see why: Big payoffs come only rarely, and perhaps late in life; in the meantime, who wants to keep on feeling like a loser?
Here is another bit:
Oddly, Taleb’s argument is weakest in the area he knows best, namely finance. Only on Wall Street do people seem to give proper credence–not too much, not too little–to very unlikely events. It is easy enough to use hindsight to identify the black swans Wall Street has missed, such as stock-price crashes. But it is harder to argue that the market undervalues surprise more generally. Stock and bond markets offer simple ways to bet on black swans. In financial terminology, you can purchase an option that is "deeply out of the money"; for instance, you can bet that Google shares will rise or fall in value an enormous amount over the next three months. These investments pay off precisely when the rest of the market does not anticipate the scope for surprise. Yet "long-shot" strategies are well-studied, and they do not yield extra profit. In other words, organized securities markets track rare and unpredictable events as well as the current state of knowledge will allow. If you don’t believe me, it is easy enough to bet on the Los Angeles Clippers to win the 2008 NBA title, or to bet on the longest odds at the racetrack. Such actions are hardly the path to either happiness or riches.