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 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.
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.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent two decades as a risk taker before becoming a full-time essayist and scholar focusing on practical, philosophical, and mathematical problems with chance, luck, and probability. He now spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study or as a flâneur meditating in cafés. In addition to his life as a trader, he spent several years as an academic researcher as Distinguished Professor at New York University's School of Engineering and Dean's Professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst.
He is the author of the Incerto (Latin for uncertainty), accessible in any order (Antifragile, The Black Swan, The Bed of Procrustes and Fooled by Randomness) plus a freely available technical version, Silent Risk. Taleb has also published more than 50 academic and scholarly papers as a backup, technical footnotes to the Incerto in topics ranging from statistical physics to decision science. His books have been translated into thirty-seven languages.