This book would have been 100x better if it hadn't been written by a self-absorbed, pompous ass.
This book is amazingly hard to rate. Anti-fragility is a great idea, probably one of the better ideas of the last 10 years or so. However, Mr. Taleb believes he is the Most Interesting Man in the World, and has a "I know better than you attitude" that borders on the absurd.
yes. Just to make sure i absorb as much as possible
not so much one specific line or paragraph but rather a sentiment spread through the book. The book points the middle finger at economists that think they are smart enough to plan out economic policy.
"I'd rather be dumb and antifragile then smart and fragile"
I enjoyed "Fooled by Randomness" and the "Black Swan". Although the same ingredients are on display here, they fail to gel, and some of the less appealing ones, such as Taleb's endless delight at his own self-perceived cleverness and his contempt for generic classes of people (bankers, academics) dominate. The book is devoted to an abstract concept, antifragility, which he uses as a theme to link random observations together. The thematic linkage doesn't succeed, there is no research, the thinking is shallow, the conclusions either trivial or unconvincing, and the main message throughout is "look how much smarter I am than everyone else". Better to read one of his earlier books again; he seems to have run out of things to say, but hasn't realized it.
Taleb has discovered a flaw in our thinking and has written a poignant book about it.
The producers of this book have for some reason decided it was appropriate to BEEP out Taleb's curse words. This is an alteration of the Author's work and I'm finding it offensive. I highly doubt people who are voluntarily reading Nassim Taleb's work will be offended.
There may be some excellent points made in the book, but I can't get past the negativity and pomposity in the storytelling to take any of them to heart. The author is utterly dismissive of any point of view that doesn't perfectly align with his own. The main thing I've taken from the book is that the author seems to genuinely believe that anyone who doesn't agree with his way of thinking is a stupid, pathetic excuse for a human being.
I've tried multiple times to get through the book, but the sneering self-importance in the narrator's tone and the author's words is just revolting. I can't quite tell if the narrator is merely trying to reflect what's in the book, or if he's making it worse with his tone. Either way, it's not a valuable or enjoyable listening experience.
The author's recent successes with his Fooled by Randomness and Black Swan books have clearly gone to his head. Half of the time he speaks about subjects as if he is an expert in the field, but what he's expressing is simply his own untested opinion, which he tries to sell as fact. It's very disappointing considering he has spent most of his time studying probability, yet offers nearly no numbers to back any of his points. Furthermore, he is supposed to be an expert on options, yet he even gets options wrong. At one point he says rent has a FREE embedded option, which in reality is not the case. People that rent a place on a month to month basis pay a lot higher rents than do people that rent a place for a full year; and the difference in price is the cost of the option. If he gets his own field wrong, imagine how much more he gets wrong about the dozens of other fields he talks about. To his credit the author is well read however, and makes a lot of historical references, but most of those referenced do not add much value to the book and just fill up space. I usually take notes of interesting new concepts from books I read, and after this book I had very little to write. I couldn't wait for this book to finish, because I wanted to get it over with, it was painful listening to it. The author prides himself on being sophisticated, but instead of offering higher level thinking and solutions, he fills his book with low hanging fruit endlessly pointing at faults and failures. It doesn't take a genius to figure out people make mistakes, I rather hear about solutions. I just hope this author becomes grounded, more humble, and gets back to making good books in the future.
I will save you 16 hours, and just note the only good points I took away from this book:
-Doctors make mistakes, and sometimes it's better to just let your body heal itself rather than be damaged by unnecessary procedures.
-Most of learning happens through trial and error. Knowledge grows by negative results, and finding out what doesn't work.
-Perceived knowledge in a field sometimes discourages research. (Perhaps because people don't want to learn or spend time disproving all the accumulated information; it seems easier to start from scratch)
-Peoples' minds are wired to more easily remember variations rather than the beginning and ending amounts.
-Models can blow up if assumptions used are due to change; assumptions shouldn't just be based on the recent past alone and instead should take into account the possibility of change.
-Some larger companies are more fragile than smaller companies, like in the investment world it is harder for a larger company to liquidate its investments without driving prices down and simultaneously hurting itself. (But the author fails to note how outside of financial companies, larger size almost always brings more stability.)
Possible one of the best non-fiction books I have "read" in a long time.
I am listening to it again soon.
And in the mean-time I am thinking about how I an apply some of the principals both in my software-development and in my business in general.
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.
The fundamental premise is flawed; he tries to propose a theory that explains numerous phenomena using a single model, which rarely works. The author spends the better part of the first hour skewering academics, economists, doctors, etc. While some of his complaints are legit, I didn't drop $15 to hear someone rant about this stuff.
absolutely. I loved this book, and the narrator did a great job overall.
The book is not presented as the author intended. The bleeping of cursewords was offensive as I am an adult, listening to a work by a person I have high regard for. Regardless of my own feelings on those words, they are part of the author's communication style and part of the final product the author wished to put out into the world.
I don't know who was responsible for the bleeping (not the author or narrator) but it was a terrible decision.