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JJ

Member Since 2009

ratings
16
REVIEWS
1
FOLLOWING
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HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Joe Ochman
    Overall
    (710)
    Performance
    (601)
    Story
    (600)

    In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

    PHIL says: "Some good ideas, smart guy, not smart as HE thinks"
    "Head-bangingly frustrating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s story?

    That it took SOOOO freakin' long for him to say anything that I was interested in hearing.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Joe Ochman?

    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.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    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?


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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