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.
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.
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.
I would highly recommend this book to friends who are looking for a better way with both eyes open: the eye of knowledge and the eye of the empiricist. Taleb has extended himself well beyond the Black Swan. He gives us in Anti-Fragile a new way of looking at the world. He answers why Mother Nature is so enduring and why most man-made complex systems are so fleeting and also why they blow up so spectacularly.The insight I have gained from Anti-Fragile is priceless. I wish many more people would consume this deeply, savoring the incongruity with one's knowledge and the real world. We are all 'suckers' if we do not. I can only aspire to be more like Fat Tony.
Anti-Fragile is the simplest idea I NEVER heard of. This book shakes what one knows to its foundations. Even if you loved the Black Swan this book is 'not da same ting'.
I think his narration is superb.
No. Many sittings, many times over.
Something I really love about audio books is that the actor can help you understand the tone of the author, their intent. Joe Ochman does a great job of communicating the author's general disdain of, well, academes and people that disagree with him. Yuck. I can't even get thru the first hour.
Taleb needs a little humility. He is not always right. At least by random chance, he should be wrong occasionally. However, he clearly thinks that anyone who disagrees is an idiot. Even his attempts at humor were poor. Ultimately, I could not finish this book. I was hopeful that more of the logic seen in "Black Swan" would be in this book.
Not his fault. He had bad material.
The points made in this book are awesome and opens your mind up to a new perspective on life. Be prepared to look up a fair amount of words unless your vocabulary is impeccable!
Many before me have expressed how Taleb's self-importance arrogance, spiced with pompous obscure quotes has worked for him in the past. I forced myself to finish this book believing it must hold at least one "black swan" for me, but alas no it was just painfully mediocre. I thought "Fooled by Randomness" was an excellent original work and that the "Black Swan" was a good (but not excellent) extension to this. However this book has convinced me that Taleb had said all he has to say and has transitioned into writing fantasy: is it possible I misunderstood and this is Yevgenia’s failed 2nd book? If he is going to write on subjects in which he has no “know-how” then he really needs to research properly and not just plagiarize other books he has read in the library.
In short, Taleb has committed the cardinal sin he preached about so many others making the mistake of. This is especially grievous as he himself claims to be an expert in the mathematics of randomness. One does not start with a conclusion and scour the archives of data to support it at any cost. This book has sought to find any and every evidence to support the “antifragile” conclusion; no matter the quality, nor any rebutting evidence to these claims: bones are Not “antifragile”.
It's clear (at least to me) that Taleb is an expert in finance (or possibly discontinuities associated with financial markets) and has some insightful thoughts in this area; however in medicine (Nutrition is not medicine), physics, history and social behavior (not the randomness associated with behavior but study of the behavior) he is defiantly no expert and demonstrates that fact in this book.
To summerise with Taleb's own teachings, outside of his known domain he commits the same grievous errors as all other lay people; maybe he should listen to his own advice - when you have nothing to say then "stop being a writer".
I was introduced to the concept of "antifragile" in a blog post from the Art of Manliness.com. Loved it, and wanted more. However, I was dismayed to see that the audiobook was over 16 hours long. I tired to get through it, but it didn't happen. Ironically, the concluding chapter makes a very strong point that each major idea can be distilled into a few sentences....
Taleb elaborates very clearly much of the absurdity of our systems, making sense in all the noise and offers a clear path for how to judge things on a fragile to anti-fragile scale. The explanations are both intuitive and to some extent mathematical, but all in a very clear way.
While Taleb is "firing in all directions" which may seem to offensive to some, he avoids the modern illness of politically correct and talks about the banking system, political systems, science and scientists, pharma and medicine and much more in a very direct way, without hinting or playing games.
An important book.