Antifragile: Nassim Nicholas Taleb - 2012

Published in 2012, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder was written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, arguably one of the greatest philosophers of this era. Taleb was a former trader who now conducts academic research in probability theory. In this book, Taleb presents a revolutionary argument; that some of our systems may in fact benefit from being in a disordered state.

Taleb outlines the problems and rather limitations which order can create, and goes on to present a radical solution, using chaotic disorder to benefit while preventing negative effects and weaknesses.

“I've debated many economists who claim to specialize in risk and probability: when one takes them slightly outside their narrow focus, but within the discipline of probability, they fall apart, with the disconsolate face of a gym rat in front of a gangster hit man"

An important observation is brought forward. Any ‘antifragile’ or system that can gain in this way, will flourish with a certain element of risk in the unknown, while under pressure and when experiencing hardships.

Often people try to design and plan to perfection, forgetting that the world itself is extremely unpredictable and beyond our control. With this exciting and revolutionary concept, Taleb turns the tables and makes uncertainty a desirable feature for all things. In fact, he promotes things to be built in an antifragile manner. As such, the ‘antifragiles’ have a selective advantage.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, Taleb conveys in a persuasive and entertaining fashion a new perspective for various aspects of our lives. Spanning areas from life decisions to health, finance to economic systems and urban planning to war, Antifragile is a unique, highly recommended and fascinating read for all.

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