Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

Hardback

By (author) Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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  • Publisher: ALLEN LANE
  • Format: Hardback | 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 240mm x 37mm | 943g
  • Publication date: 27 November 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846141567
  • ISBN 13: 9781846141560
  • Sales rank: 115,272

Product description

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, 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. In "The Black Swan", Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. Here Taleb stands uncer-tainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resil-ient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better. 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" 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 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, drawing on modern street wisdom and ancient sources. "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 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.

Review quote

Wall Street's principal dissident -- Malcolm Gladwell 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 The hottest thinker in the world -- Bryan Appleyard A guru for every would-be Damien Hirst, George Soros and aspirant despot -- John Cornwell Sunday Times A superhero of the mind -- Boyd Tonkin 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 Imagine someone with the erudition of Pico de la Mirandola, the skepticism of Montaigne, solid mathematical training, a restless globetrotter, polyglot, enjoyer of fine wines, specialist of financial derivatives, irrepressible reader, and irascible to the point of readily slapping a disciple La Tribune Antifragile broadens and extends the logic he used in The Black Swan and applies it to everyday living ... [it] may well capture a quality that you have long aspired to without having known quite what it is. I saw the world afresh -- Ed Smith 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 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