- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (28 January 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812979680
- ISBN-13: 978-0812979688
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) Paperback – 28 Jan 2014
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“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist
“A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek
“Revelatory . . . [Taleb] pulls the reader along with the logic of a Socrates.”—Chicago Tribune
“Startling . . . richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides . . . I will have to read it again. And again.”—Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal
“Trenchant and persuasive . . . Taleb’s insatiable polymathic curiosity knows no bounds. . . . You finish the book feeling braver and uplifted.”—New Statesman
“Antifragility isn’t just sound economic and political doctrine. It’s also the key to a good life.”—Fortune
“At once thought-provoking and brilliant.”—Los Angeles Times
“[Taleb] writes as if he were the illegitimate spawn of David Hume and Rev. Bayes, with some DNA mixed in from Norbert Weiner and Laurence Sterne. . . . Taleb is writing original stuff—not only within the management space but for readers of any literature—and . . . you will learn more about more things from this book and be challenged in more ways than by any other book you have read this year. Trust me on this.”—Harvard Business Review
“By far my favorite book among several good ones published in 2012. In addition to being an enjoyable and interesting read, Taleb’s new book advances general understanding of how different systems operate, the great variation in how they respond to unthinkables, and how to make them more adaptable and agile. His systemic insights extend very well to company-specific operational issues—from ensuring that mistakes provide a learning process to the importance of ensuring sufficient transparency to the myriad of specific risk issues.”—Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, Bloomberg
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge. He spent nearly two decades as a businessman and quantitative trader before becoming a full-time philosophical essayist and academic researcher in 2006. Although he spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flâneur meditating in cafés, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. His main subject matter is “decision making under opacity”—that is, a map and a protocol on how we should live in a world we don’t understand.
Taleb’s books have been published in thirty-three languages.
From the Hardcover edition.
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You don't need to read the other two books to appreciate the message that Taleb is giving in this book. I highly recommend this book.
What is Anti fragile? Many things/institutions/individuals are fragile to volatility. Like a vase which is fragile and breaks if it falls. What is the opposite of fragile? Many think that the opposite of fragile is robust. (Things which are unaffected by volatility). But Taleb says things which gains from volatility is the opposite and he calls it Anti Fragile. We may be intellectually blind to it not organically blind. Example: Hormesis, favourable response to small dose of toxins.
Below are some interesting insights from the book.
In Book one:
Domain independence is domain dependence. Meaning one may be aware X is true in a specific domain and completely blind to the same X in a different domain.
Stress is information. Information is anti fragile. Therefore stress is anti fragile. It is said that best horses lose when they compete with slower ones. If you want something to be done give to the busiest or second busiest person in work.
Touristification of life: Eliminating randomness in life by trying too much to control life makes us fragile. You may find people who do well in academica to be boring. Hence erudition is anti fragile and academia is fragile.
In Book two:
Bottom up design is anti fragile because it has a lot of median variation. Top to bottom design is fragile because it has extreme variation. Therefore some form of volatility is good.
The Great Turkey problem: fooled by the properties of the past and getting the story backward. Turkey is fed everyday by the butcher; everyday it confirms its staff analyst that the butcher loves turkey. Then comes a day when it's not a good idea to be a turkey. Therefore ABSENCE OF EVIDENCES IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE.
Modernity is the systematic extraction of humans from the randomness of life. Like a lion in bronx zoo.
Intervention causes iatrogenics. Go for intervention only when the benefits outweighs the cost. Therefore only for extreme scenarios.
In Book three:
Having a library is anti fragile.
Introduces Stoicism, Seneca the practical stoic and the domestification of emotions.
Barbell strategy is the domestic of uncertainty. Instead of going for mid risk options, use 80% conservative risk and 20% extreme risk. In the event of black swan, you will be protected from fragility.
In Book four:
Make use of optionality. Option= asymmetric + rationality.
Negatives of Soviet-Harvard types knowledge. Debunks some common misconceptions of Academia. Example wealth creates knowledge and not the other way around.
Book five is for those who are technically inclined.
In Book Six:
Less is more. Importance of Subtractive knowledge. You get rich by not going bust.
In Book Seven:
Being ethical makes you anti fragile.
Modernity provides talkers (Journalists and Economists)free option. Example Thomas Friedman openly advocate the war on Iraq (2003) .Despite all his predictions and advocacies were spectacularly wrong, he doesn't face any consequences of his action. The ancients were aware of the talker's free option and advocated skin in the game.
Hammurabi code written in 1750BC Mesopotamia advocates skin in the game.
This book is also light on references. Again, in my opinion, many books depend/give too many references to their sources in fact in each line. That is one way good for accuracy, but it also take away the charm of the writer. In my opinion a good writer-in this case Taleb-should be confident enough to say what he wants to say without bothering the reader much about the accuracy of his statements. It should be the reviewer/critic/reader's worry to go look for any errors in the facts if they feel that way.
Taleb also come out as a philosopher, as usual, rather than a social scientist who quotes or refers to the various research studies in scientific literature. Taleb is that rare type of philosopher who comes very close to nailing the workings behind the modern age. For example, in the book he categorically mentions how much is today's world a complicated place as compared to its older times. I think this is one fact we all must come to grasps instead of clinging to the notion that we are masters of this world as we had been for the past few thousand years.
Thanks to Taleb to shout at the highest intensity of his voice.each cell of my body got this.love for the book
An interesting book with lot of practical insights , thought provoking and gripping .
Taleb kicks right under the belt of economist and physiologist .
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