Taleb has a bone to pick. Apparently, it's with air conditioners, insurance companies, dietitians, economists, and academics (a group in which he, himself, must be included). He thinks that all of these people/things keep us from suffering enough to be strong. Save yourself the time and pick up anything by Gladwell, it'll be a better read with much less hateful navel-gazing.
Antifragile is about some bitter person who feels that no one respects them and how anti-fragile they are in their resentment of their peers.
The narration was spot on for the tone of the book. The narrator is not the issue.
My literary goal is to expand both my capacity to learn and my capacity to feel. I alternate between fiction and non-fiction.
Unique perspective with real utility. Top quartile.
Applying a scientific and intelligent rationale for traditionalism.
Read with believably conceited indignation which would have been off-putting were it not earned and justified.
"I spit in your general direction"
As a physician and leader, I'm drawn to innovative ideas that can guide our work and lives in a healthier and more fulfilling manner. Taleb's principles provide a compelling counter to our tendency to over-engineer and "fragilize" our lives and businesses. Resonant.
Antifagile points out the value of systems that gain from disorder, chaos, or volatility. For example, a fragile state is catching a disease, a neutral state is avoiding exposure to anyone infected with the disease, and antifragile state is being vaccinated (where a small dosage produces immunity to the disease). There are many examples in the book, like lack of physical exertion, walking, and jogging. The rigorous activity of jogging increases health benefits, whereas no stressors to the body make it fragile.
After the point is made, the rest of the book is filled with a lot ranting about others being wrong and the author being right. I stopped reading the book after halfway through.
Business owner and strategy consultant. Father of 2 young kids. Interested in history, SF&F and understanding the world and people around me
There are two things to say about this book: one is about the intellectual content, which is brilliant and thought-provoking. The other is its tone and character, which is nauseating at times and simply boring at most others. Enough is said about that in other reviews, suffice to say that he does it even more in this book than in his previous tomes.
Back to the content then: Taleb asserts that we cannot KNOW the probability or risk of certain events, that is why instead we should focus on its consequences, bad or good. Almost all relevant events are 'non-linear', meaning that the potential benefits far outweigh the potential costs or vice versa. If we focus on reducing the potentially large negative consequences of events and expose ourselves to potentially large positive consequences of others (at little cost) than we are really progressing. He advocates a barbell strategy, of limiting your biggest risks while exposing yourself to the biggest upsides.
Some interesting elements:
(1) the 'via negitiva' or subtractive way of doing things. It is easier to predict the things that in the future will no longer be there (the fragile), then the new things that will arise and be successful. The old is more likely to stay around than the new (it has been around longer). (2) The small, decentral is less harmful than the big central which drags everybody along. (3) 'stressors'. Minor stressors (pains, damage) due to volatility are good for strength. Too much stability creates comfort and lack of strength. This is true for humans: no effort, no strength. But also for government monopolies.
And finally (4) his main point: let us try to intervene less in society, economy and human beings, because practically all intervention has large negative and unknown consequences. Only intervene when not intervening ends most likely very bad. This could be a policy for the military too?
I for one can recommend the content of this book if you can stomach the tone, and am myself still digesting its consequential conclusions.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. —Wayne Gretzky
Ever since i read fooled by randomness, I've read and recommended all of Taleb's books. He is the master of anti bulls*h*i*t.
The most memorable moment of Taleb's books are as usual his conclusions and afterwords. It is like listening to the wise Grandfather I never had.
When he explains his ideas on antifragility is also very interresting because the concept has been around all his previous books, but it is the first time he explains in a way I feel like I really get his point.
Taleb writes about what he wants to write about, he does not just say it as you listen his book you can feel he is not constrain about anything because he really say what is on his mind and curses very often
A few times it's gets boring when he rumbles on and on about the same subject, but his message is so universal that this could even be a philosophy book though I'm sure the author woudn't agree to that.
I like Taleb's books, that's because I like his story.
But this time I don't get it. The story gets lost when a annoying beep makes me lose my train of thought.
Is this recording defective?
Or am I missing something here.
I'll try to ask for my money back.
I always go for unabridged.
Should I now also find out if the book was messed up by beepling idiots?
Cut out 3/4 of the book, all the self-indulgent egotistical bosh. He appears to believe we owe him hours of our time attending to his sniveling about how he's the first person in the universe to have a coherent thought, and all the rest of us dumb barbarians hate him. He desperately needed an editor to sit him down and burn the boring pages in front of him, but he appears to be too fragile to cope with that. That he mistakes his inability to edit himself with courage is ironic, and it's downright pathetic that he felt so threatened by his so-called "enemies" that he literally tries to make himself look physically strong. Read/listen to Nate Silver for what this book could have been.
That it took SOOOO freakin' long for him to say anything that I was interested in hearing.
Poor Joe! He did a pretty good job of representing the whiney and yet over-bearing tone of that uncle you really hope doesn't show up for Thanksgiving dinner, but I'm afraid his voice will now forever be associated with it in my mind. I don't know if I'll be able to listen to another book narrated by him unless he can radically change his delivery. The other significantly annoying thing about the narration was the bleeping-out of words. The first time this happened, I was on a plane, and I thought it was some alarm; I practically jumped out of my seat. Then when it happened again, apparently randomly, I thought it was the passenger next to me, who had their phone out. Finally, when I heard it in the airport lounge, I realized it was coming from the narration! After that it was just completely annoying and distracting. Very bad production decision. If you can force yourself to listen to Taleb at any length, his vulgar language is the least of your problems.
Incredible frustration. I was quite interested in the ideas, but screamingly bored and annoyed by the immaturity of the ego-trip. I listen a lot while driving, and for most of the first half, trying to excavate a few gems from the pile of ego sh*t, I was mostly in the mood to stop, kick him to the curb in the Montana wilderness and let him practice being anti-fragile with a passing grizzly. I nearly didn't even download the second half. After I finally held my breath and plunged into the ego-pigsty again, he eventually seems to have run out of (most of) his hot air, and get down to some interesting concepts. I even smiled once--at the part about the ancient technology of shoes, and how we're now being sold a technology for going barefoot. There's some fun, interesting stuff in there, but WHY make it such punishment to get to it?
I would highly recommend reading this in print, so that if you're interested in the ideas, you can skim most of it, particularly the first half. Or good lord, get this guy a ferocious editor, he's in desperate need of help.
Narrator of this book is the Anti-Nassim! Narrator is too friendly and nice. The intensity of Taleb's arguments are turned into bedtime stories. Along with the packaging/cover of the book- unbelievablly bad decisions about how too market the book.
Too nice! Fast. Does not come close to capturing the ESSENCE of what he is reading. This narrator should stick to fiction.
This is an arrogant and incoherent book and there were many misrepresentations of historical trends. He makes analogies that don't stand. A waste of money and time. My intellect was crying.
All of it.
There were some interesting facts about history.