Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.
Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.
Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.
Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.
Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb's message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.
Praise for Antifragile
“Taleb takes on everything from the mistakes of modern architecture to the dangers of meddlesome doctors and how overrated formal education is. . . . An ambitious and thought-provoking read . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist
“This is a bold, entertaining, clever book, richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides. . . . I will have to read it again. And again.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[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
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - hardlyhardy - www.librarything.com
What is the opposite of fragile? We might come up with words like strong, stable or robust, but professional contrarian Nassim Nicholas Taleb disagrees. If what is fragile weakens under pressure, then ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - devilish2 - LibraryThing
I don't necessarily disagree with Taleb's arguments, but I completely disagree with his arrogant delivery. I started, got fed up with his attitude, then skimmed. Read full review
The Triad or A Map of the World and Things
THE ANTIFRAGILE AN INTRODUCTION
Overcompensation and Overreaction Everywhere
Chapter3 The Cat and the Washing Machine
What Kills Me Makes Others Stronger
MODERNITY AND THE DENIAL OF ANTIFRAGILITY
THE nonlineAR AND THENONLINEAR
The Philosophers Stone and Its Inverse
Chapter 20 Time and Fragility
Medicine Convexity and Opacity
To Live Long but Not Too Long
THE ETHICS OF FRAGILITY AND ANTIFRAGILITY
Fitting Ethics to a Profession
Tell Them I Love Some Randomness
Prediction as a Child of Modernity
A NONPREDICTIVE VIEW OF THE WORLD
Senecas Upside and Downside
Never Marry the RockStar 1 59
OPTIONALITY TECHNOLOGY AND
Lecturing Birds on How to Fly
The Ecological and the Ludic