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.
Wall Street's principal dissident Malcolm Gladwell
Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent twenty-one years as a risk taker before becoming a researcher in philosophical, mathematical, and (mostly) practical problems with probability. Although he spends most of his time as a flâneur, meditating in cafes across the planet, he is currently Distinguished Professor at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering but self-funds his own research. His books, Antifragile, The Black Swan, The Bed of Procrustes and Fooled by Randomness (part of a multi-volume collection called Incerto, Latin for uncertainty), have been translated into thirty-seven languages. Taleb has authored more than fifty scholarly papers as backup to Incerto, ranging from international affairs and risk management to statistical physics. He refuses all awards and honours as they debase knowledge by turning it into competitive sports.
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