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....
Antifragility is a vital concept that I'm not sure has ever been articulated before--certainly not like this. The narrator adds to the book by making a work of erudition sound like it came from a bad part of town.
Taleb writes a clear and direct prose, something that might provoke certain people. To me it made his points easy to grasp and he argues well. He made me rethink a lot of things I have considered gospel up until kow.