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Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

by

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a book on how some things actually benefit from disorder.

 

In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the “antifragile” is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish.

 

Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is immune to prediction errors. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is everything that is both modern and complicated bound to fail? The book spans innovation by trial and error, health, biology, medicine, life decisions, politics, foreign policy, urban planning, war, personal finance, and economic systems. 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 heard loud and clear.

 

Extremely ambitious and multidisciplinary, Antifragile provides a blueprint for how to behave—and thrive—in a world we don't understand, and which is too uncertain for us to even try to understand and predict. Erudite and witty, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: What is not antifragile will surely perish.

 

Praise for Nicholas Nassim Taleb

 

“Changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate

 

“[This] is the lesson of Taleb . . . and also the lesson of our volatile times. There is more courage and heroism in defying the human impulse, in taking the purposeful and painful steps to prepare for the unimaginable.”—Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point

 

“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne.”—The Wall Street Journal

 

“The most prophetic voice of all . . . [Taleb is] a genuinely significant philosopher . . . someone who is able to change the way we view the structure of the world through the strength, originality and veracity of his ideas alone.”—GQ

Review:

"In this overstuffed, idiosyncratic theory of everything we don't know, financial adviser and epistemologist Taleb amplifies his megaselling The Black Swan with further musings on the upside of unpredictable upheavals. Ranging haphazardly across probability theory, classical philosophy, government, medicine, and other topics, he contrasts large, complex, 'fragile' systems that try to minimize risk but collapse under unforeseen volatility with small, untethered, 'antifragile' systems structured to reap advantages from disorder. Taleb's accessible, stimulating exposition of these ideas yields cogent insights, particularly in finance — his specialty. (He essentially inflates a hedging strategy into a philosophy of life.) Often, however, his far-flung polymathic digressions on everything from weight-lifting regimens to the Fukushima meltdown or the unnaturalness of toothpaste feel tossed-off and unconvincing, given his dilettantish contempt for expert 'knowledge-shknowledge.' Taleb's vigorous, blustery prose drips with Nietzschean scorn for academics, bankers, and bourgeois 'sissies' who crave comfort and moderation: 'If you take risks and face your fate with dignity,' he intones, 'insults by half-men (small men, those who don't risk)' are no more rankling than 'barks by non-human animals.' More worldview than rigorous argument, Taleb's ramblings may strike readers with knowledge-shknowledge as ill-considered; still, he presents a rich — and often telling — critique of modern civilization's obsession with security. Illus. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The acclaimed author of the influential bestseller The Black Swan, Nicholas Nassim Taleb takes a next big step with a deceptively simple concept: the “antifragile.” Like the Greek hydra that grows two heads for each one it loses, people, systems, and institutions that are antifragile not only withstand shocks, they benefit from them. In a modern world dominated by chaos and uncertainty, Antifragile is a revolutionary vision from one of the most subversive and important thinkers of our time.

 

Praise for Nicholas Nassim Taleb

 

“[This] is the lesson of Taleb . . . and also the lesson of our volatile times. There is more courage and heroism in defying the human impulse, in taking the purposeful and painful steps to prepare for the unimaginable.”—Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point

 

“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne.”—The Wall Street Journal

 

“The most prophetic voice of all . . . [Taleb is] a genuinely significant philosopher . . . someone who is able to change the way we view the structure of the world through the strength, originality and veracity of his ideas alone.”—GQ

 

“Changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate

About the Author

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to immersing himself in problems of luck, uncertainty, probability, and knowledge, and he has led three high-profile careers around his ideas, as a man of letters, as a businessman-trader, and as a university professor. Although he spends most of his time as a flâneur, meditating in cafés across the planet, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. His work has been published in thirty-three languages.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400067824
Author:
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
Business - General
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Copyright:
Series:
Incerto
Publication Date:
20121131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
CHARTS, GRAPHS, ILLUSTRATIONS
Pages:
544
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.4 x 1.27 in 1.8 lb

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Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Used Hardcover
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Product details 544 pages Random House - English 9781400067824 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this overstuffed, idiosyncratic theory of everything we don't know, financial adviser and epistemologist Taleb amplifies his megaselling The Black Swan with further musings on the upside of unpredictable upheavals. Ranging haphazardly across probability theory, classical philosophy, government, medicine, and other topics, he contrasts large, complex, 'fragile' systems that try to minimize risk but collapse under unforeseen volatility with small, untethered, 'antifragile' systems structured to reap advantages from disorder. Taleb's accessible, stimulating exposition of these ideas yields cogent insights, particularly in finance — his specialty. (He essentially inflates a hedging strategy into a philosophy of life.) Often, however, his far-flung polymathic digressions on everything from weight-lifting regimens to the Fukushima meltdown or the unnaturalness of toothpaste feel tossed-off and unconvincing, given his dilettantish contempt for expert 'knowledge-shknowledge.' Taleb's vigorous, blustery prose drips with Nietzschean scorn for academics, bankers, and bourgeois 'sissies' who crave comfort and moderation: 'If you take risks and face your fate with dignity,' he intones, 'insults by half-men (small men, those who don't risk)' are no more rankling than 'barks by non-human animals.' More worldview than rigorous argument, Taleb's ramblings may strike readers with knowledge-shknowledge as ill-considered; still, he presents a rich — and often telling — critique of modern civilization's obsession with security. Illus. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , The acclaimed author of the influential bestseller The Black Swan, Nicholas Nassim Taleb takes a next big step with a deceptively simple concept: the “antifragile.” Like the Greek hydra that grows two heads for each one it loses, people, systems, and institutions that are antifragile not only withstand shocks, they benefit from them. In a modern world dominated by chaos and uncertainty, Antifragile is a revolutionary vision from one of the most subversive and important thinkers of our time.

 

Praise for Nicholas Nassim Taleb

 

“[This] is the lesson of Taleb . . . and also the lesson of our volatile times. There is more courage and heroism in defying the human impulse, in taking the purposeful and painful steps to prepare for the unimaginable.”—Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point

 

“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne.”—The Wall Street Journal

 

“The most prophetic voice of all . . . [Taleb is] a genuinely significant philosopher . . . someone who is able to change the way we view the structure of the world through the strength, originality and veracity of his ideas alone.”—GQ

 

“Changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate

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