I responded favorably to the decision not to bore general readers with the technical details of making statistical infrences about relationships when the underlying distributions are not assumed to be typical "normal" distributions. I would have liked to have seen more treatment of so-called cascade failure events and what engineering has come up with in their preventative strategies, but I suspect that is more about me than the book.
I appreciated the breadth of issues the author brought to bear.
I'm going to need to listen to this book again to get the full benefits it may have to offer. I went through it the first time too fast, and I did not spend time looking at the .PDF file containing graphics which was made available in support of the text. The next time through I'm going to give the technical issues a much closer "read."
I agree with other reviewers that at times the author spends a little too much energy boosting his own ego, either consciously, or more likely simply as an unconscious manifestation of his life experiences and the battles he alluded to in his career. I may even take the time to dig up some of the more collaborative scholarly papers referenced in this book and track down related research in my field of social organization which focuses on organizational design and organizational structures.
I'm willing to allow the possibility that some life-altering truth might be contained in Mr. Taleb's latest. But I'll never get to it -- at 50 minutes in, I'm throwing in the towel. In a book such as this, within an hour one might hope for some concrete discussion of the author's thesis. What we get here is little more than a screed, a polemic against academics, most of business, government -- actually, pretty much everybody except for Mr. Taleb. We're forced to endure a never-ending stream of straw man arguments and ad hominem attacks, delivered with a ceaseless contempt that is wearying -- and a bit disturbing. On this point, Mr. Ochman shines -- the author's contempt and anger are unflinchingly delivered.
The thesis that emerges -- to the extent it is allowed to -- seems to be that complex systems behave in unpredictable ways, and that efforts to micromanage said systems will inevitably, over time, produce massive failures. Conversely, left to their own devices, unfettered by the hands of bureaucrats, such dynamic systems will prove successful. Oh, and fragile things tend to be, well, fragile.
Who do I see about getting my credit back?
If you are a CEO, Entrepreneur, successful person or have not made it yet, then I don't know what words to use to convince you to read this book.
Arts & Sciences is what I am about. I have no talent for business. I am an amateur photographer with contest wins and places. Work in a hospital lab. Married 41 years.
Good expression. Professional job.
No way this could be a film.
Could have been shorter and still made the important points.
This book is erudite, yet practical. Taleb is the most important thinker to make his mark in this new century. Maybe I am lapsing into hyperbole, but I don't want to understate how powerful this book is. This book lays waste to conventional wisdom and the tired left-right dynamic. Have you ever read a book that challenges the way you see nearly everything?
There is nothing to compare this too. This is the most intense book since Nietszche's Will to Power.
The whole concept of 'skin in the game.' In twenty years this may be the measure of everything.
Lead me to Seneca and Lucretius.
If this site is around 100 years from now, this book will be a bestseller then. Thomas Friedman and Paul Krugman will be trivia.
Very near the top
There is incredible insight about the way the world works in this book. It is not a light and breezy read. You have to think and think hard when you read it. So this is a thinking person's book and if that is not what you are looking for then skip it.
This is a very different book than the usual pap you will read so I suggest you make a very value-adding exchange - shell out the price of a lunch and buy this book.