Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

byNassim Nicholas Taleb
Rating 8.5 /10 Readability
Read Time 19 hrs Readible On
Published: 2012Read: May 13, 2015Pages: 521
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by Juvoni Beckford@juvoni

With Antifragile, Taleb gives us a roadmap for thriving in change and chaos. For something to be fragile, it cracks under stress and pressure. Something that isn’t fragile but robust has a higher threshold for stresses and pressure. Taleb, presents the concept of Antifragile, something that goes beyond resiliency and can improve with added stress, difficulties, and uncertainty. A familiar example of this would be the human body; it benefits from stressors to a limit. Our bones will get stronger and denser when occasional stress is applied to them. Muscle cells break down and rebuild, and our nervous system adapt to heavier amounts of weight over time.

Taleb’s states that people and institutions are either fragile, robust, or antifragile. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better. Having a better understanding of this can help us better design and approach ideas, life decisions, technology, medicine, politics, war, urban planning, finance, legal, economic and other systems to protect against fragility, prediction errors and adverse events.

I should note; the book has a very philosophical and academic tone that can make it difficult to read. The book is divided into seven parts also called books, seen as stand-alone essays that support the central idea or go deeper into other areas.

Motivations to Read

Probability, Uncertainty, Decision Making, Systems, Adaptability all things I've been thinking about a lot lately and Antifragile will cover. I'm a fan of Taleb's blunt personality and courage to go against pseudo-intellectuals. I can tell this will be a difficult read, but I'm already prepared for that when it comes to Taleb books.

3 Reasons to Read

  • Learn about fragility and antifragility in order to gain from disorder and uncertainty
  • Illustrations of fragile systems that are prevalent in the world that can and should be improved
  • Ancient wisdom on how to become robust and move towards antifragile
Notes for this book are still being transcribed.
Follow @juvoni for more info. Send me your hidden gem book recommendations.
posted February 29, 2016

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