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Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Paperback

By (author) Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 26mm | 380g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141038225
  • ISBN 13: 9780141038223
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations (black and white)
  • Sales rank: 2,706

Product description

"The hottest thinker in the world". (Bryan Appleyard, "Sunday Times"). In "The Black Swan", Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. Here Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better. Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls antifragile are things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. What's more, 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" is not efficient at all? Why should you write your resignation letter before starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? "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. Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge and has led three careers around this focus, as a businessman-trader, a philosophical essayist, and an academic researcher. Although he now spends most of his time working in intense seclusion in his study, in the manner of independent scholars, 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. His books "Fooled by Randomness" and "The Black Swan" have been published in thirty-three languages. Taleb believes that prizes, honorary degrees, awards, and ceremonialism debase knowledge by turning it into a spectator sport.

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Author information

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a radical and paradoxical philosopher for our times.He has spent his life 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 and researcher. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University's Polytechnic Institute.His books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan have been published in thirty-three languages. Taleb refuses all awards and honours as they debase knowledge by turning it into competitive sports.

Review quote

Wall Street's principal dissident -- Malcolm Gladwell The hottest thinker in the world -- Bryan Appleyard The Sunday Times A guru for every would-be Damien Hirst, George Soros and aspirant despot -- John Cornwell Sunday Times A superhero of the mind -- Boyd Tonkin Nassim Taleb, in his exasperating but compelling book Antifragile, praises "things that gain from disorder" - people, policies and institutions designed to thrive on volatility, instead of shattering in the encounter with it -- Oliver Burkman Guardian More than just robust or flexible, it actively thrives on disruption -- Julian Baggini Guardian full of important warnings and insights -- Julian Baggini Guardian Modern life is akin to a chronic stress injury. And the way to combat it is to embrace randomness in all its forms...the great seer of the modern age Guardian Something antifragile actively thrives under the impact of the unexpected...to embrace randomness rather than trying to control it The Sunday Times Enduring volatility is one thing; what about benefiting from it?...That is what Taleb calls 'antifragility' and he thinks that it is the ultimate model to aspire to-for individuals, financial institutions, even nations...may well capture a quality that you have long aspired to without having quite known quite what it is...I saw the world afresh The Times 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 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 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 What sometimes goes unsaid about Taleb is that he's a very funny writer. Taleb has a finely tuned BS detector, which he wields throughout the book to debunk pervasive yet pernicious ideas... Antifragility isn't just sound economic and political doctrine. It's also the key to a good life Fortune A new kind of strength...not invincible but better able to handle life's inevitable surprises...such a combination leaves open the possibility of big rewards while minimizing exposure to risk Los Angeles Times At once thought-provoking and brilliant, this book dares you not to read it Los Angeles Times Antifragility is the secret to success in a world full of uncertainty, a system for turning random mutations to lasting advantage... Economist