Sunday, March 1, 2015


OK I have to recommend the book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) by Nassim Taleb. This is the 3rd major book from him with the earlier ones being Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto) and The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility" (Incerto). All three of these books are most interesting and certainly a bit difficult to read. However, I hardily recommend the books as worth the effort.

Antifragile, the latest one, is about what makes something or someone antifragile. Antifragile being something or someone who benefits from disruptions, change, randomness, etc. He argues his point with countless examples that make sense to me and in the process he manages to ridicule the attempts of governments, bureaucracies, policies, etc. to attempt to improve a situation or process by more rules, more bureaucracy and more policies.

A great example is parents who hover over their kids and shield them from every negative, setback, failure, criticism, bump, bruise and anything else which might 'harm' them. Trophies for everyone. Taleb argues most convincingly that we as humans benefit from hard lessons, from failures, from setback and in fact those are critical to our growth and prospering.

You can read more about the ideas in brief summary here.

I have to recommend this book. Actually I bought it on Audible and have been listening to it while traveling and driving (not quite done yet). I also have it on Kindle and I just ordered a real, physical copy of the book to carry around for a while in my backpack.

Most interesting. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting. I was very much aware of this "everybody wins" from the teacher's perspective and tried to teach my kids differently. It would be interesting to see the other areas where it is beneficial to be anti fragile.