File Size: 13400 KB
Print Length: 546 pages
Publisher: Random House (November 27, 2012)
Publication Date: November 27, 2012
1. one Introduction
Taleb conveniently quotes one of his / her friend's summary of this particular book: "Everything gains or perhaps loses from volatility. Frailty is what loses from volatility and uncertainty. "
I think the level is better expressed by simply rephrasing: "Antifragility is exactly what gains from volatility and uncertainty, up to a point. And being antifragile is a great thing. "
Well, that's pretty much summarizes this 500-pages-long book. Typically the rest is an deposition of more or much less relevant topics, delivered within Taleb's trademarked seering, holier-than-thou, hero-or-moron style. Why, even in "Dynamic hedging", his / her first, 0-book on trading exotic options, having been already both immensely entertaining and almost unbearably infuriating.
1 . 2 A few associated with the more interesting factors:
1 . 2. 1 Every sensation in the world goes to one of typically the following categories:
Fragile: vulnerable to unanticipated shocks
Strong: indifferent to shocks
Antifragile: thrive about shocks, up to a point.
That's what Taleb calls the Triad.
one. 2. 2 Most contemporary structures are inherently sensitive
Salaried job: while it looks risk-free on the surface (predictable salary every month) that is subject to typically the catastrophic risk of dropping one's job.
Debt-fueled economies: debt has no flexibility, so these types of economies dislike even a slowdown without risking implosion (cf current situation)
Modern societies: performance demands are pushing typically the structures to the maximum, so a little fine sand in the cogs make typically the whole edifice totter.
Touristification: turning journeys (kids maturing, people visiting foreign countries) from exciting, dangerous activities into boring, Disneyfied and safe ones.
one. 2. 3 Ways to be able to be antifragile include:
Stressors: it really is healthy to be subject to be able to some punctual stresses to be able to awake the organism from complacency (e. g. abnormal meal times, violent workout or ingesting small quantities of poison)
Barbell strategy: put 百分之九十 of your eggs in to something super-safe and become very risk-seeking with the some other 10% (swing for typically the fences).
Optionality: enter into situations where disadvantage is limited but upside is unlimited (non-linearity)
Redundancy: have even more than one way to be able to have things done.
Less is even more: don't add unnecessary points.
Tinkering: empiricism is better than top-down academic research
Small is beautiful: large organizations are inherently sensitive, but small structures are very well adapted to be perky and profit from unexpected opportunities.
1 . 2. 4 For small troubles, far better trust nature and carry out nothing than bring untested methods that can have tragic unforeseen consequence
Beware of neomania: don't embrace novelty regarding the sake of that
Stick to be able to time-tested methods: what has stood the test associated with time has proved to be able to be robust
Don't sweat the little products if it can business lead to tragedy: radiation utilized to cure acne leading to leukemia, thalidomide recommended to reduce morning illness ultimately causing malformed babies.
one. second . 5 An antidote to the lack of responsibility seen in the powerfuls who rule us (government officials, corporate honchos, bankers)
Ask them to have skin in the sport, i. e. to reveal in the downside of their particular decisions. Taleb quotes typically the 3000-year-old+ Hammurabi code, "eye for an eye, the teeth for a teeth. "
Thus, what's the score? As with his other publications, I found myself reading through every page the initial 40-50 pages, then turning typically the pages faster and quicker as the neat, amusing prose turns into Fidel Castro-style interminable ramblings, hyperboles and inaccuracies, annoying personal anecdotes, and worst associated with all, the silly little tales along with his imaginary characters Nero Tulip and Fat Tony (Tulip seems to be able to be some kind associated with idealized version of Taleb himself). 1 or 2 hours regarding the first third, 40 minutes for the next and 15 minutes regarding the last.
And I'll spare (or maybe not) the "very technical" appendix 2 with its silly little method he seems to end up being so pleased with. Thanks regarding teaching us high-school math concepts about convexity (Jensen inequality as if it had been rocket science? Come about! )
The basic level is sound however: we all sure all need a bit more antifragility within our lives.
If we only ditched what will be unnecessary (going to typically the doctor for trivial products, seeking novelty for typically the sake of it, getting stuff we don't need), we'd have gone a long way toward becoming more robust.
But going beyond that is more problematic: Taleb waxed lyrical about typically the upside of antifragility, but he says nothing regarding its cost.
And seeing how he or she came to his idea from the world of options trading, it looks dishonest. In options trading, when you buy and option and get all the great stuff connected with it (unlimited upside, limited downside), typically the flipside is it costs funds everyday (time decay). Investing all your time getting options is quite a great way to the poorhouse.
As in the financial world, so in typically the real world, unless most likely talking about "free optionality" (the people who may have skin in typically the game that Taleb reviles). Maybe being a free of charge agent beats being a good office drone because one doesn't must fear getting fired, but what about typically the daily stress of requiring to go out and find work without any kind of certainty to get that? That's a cost which a bit too large for probably most people.
In conclusion, this is a good imperfect, overlong and often eye-roll-inducing book (as will be usual for Taleb), but it presents an intriguing and original argument for the reader to chew about., The five stars usually are for the novelty and aptness of the information in the book plus the clarity with which these people were presented. It really culminates Taleb's three earlier (fantastic) books, showing typically the ineluctable consequences in the facts of each and including new perspectives. The historical references in support associated with his thesis are fascinating.
His critique of people of intelligentsia is scorching and accurate. It's not really only that they have no clothes, it's that they are doing damage, and most are ethically blind. He mentions numerous of them by title.
Taleb's blistering will be hard for some to stomach. All should admit, nevertheless , that if anyone has the directly to be scorching, it is Taleb. Zero one came close to be able to his prediction of typically the last economic crisis (well before it came) and typically the reasons it was coming. And the scathing he or she took from lesser lights (including highly respected dim bulbs), was as wrong as it was merciless. The blisterings are very well deserved (and Taleb makes a good case that not calling out folks for serious fraud will be unethical). Yet , be cautioned: They are harsh and vitriolic.
My concern about what would happen if typically the policy implications of Taleb's insights (e. g., consultants, professors of most social experts - especially economists : are misguided charlatans, and large corporation and limited limited liability businesses are bad) were to be executed, our economy would crash further and longer than that did last time.
As accurate and insightful since it is, ultimately, typically the policy implications in the information that the current approach economies operate (the much removed relative of typically the free market system Adam Smith had in brain - and fundamentally dishonest and terrible) which has delivered humans to an unrivaled level of prosperity ought to be ditched is a bad answer. [Taleb did not say it ought to be ditched, but if his / her criticisms where acted upon, not much in the current way of doing enterprise may not survive. ] There is no question a program based on Taleb's concepts would be much even more rational and less bad. Ultimately, nevertheless , Taleb offers little to persuade that such a system would lead to better outcomes. So now what?, I actually like to believe that " Antifragile" is a common theory of everything... and it works pretty darn well. Yes, Taleb's got a knack for coming off slightly (or a lot) self-absorbed and unforgiving, but that produces the strengthen. As a voracious viewer, he also loves to acquire bogged down in mythology (Greek mythology and Ancient greek names are not the strength) and then merely tag this Greek victim to some abstract definition. The little annoying, but doesn't detract through the meat associated with the book.
The heart of the book will be, as you may guess, the " antifragile. " Things that become more powerful with small amounts associated with stress. Think the air travel industry -- the lost Malaysian flight will just make whole industry more powerful. Fragile things -- a glass, the existing finance industry, quite much everything that cannot evolve -- Taleb certain has fun ripping in to those. It's a little sarcastic at points in the best way, and a great read through. Makes you think a tad bit more after each new part; by the end, likely to see the world slightly differently.
Definitely 5 celebrities, it's a must go through., A game changer that will alter how you think and see typically the world. Written by a person who's not afraid to be able to zig when everyone otherwise is zagging.
I furthermore love the historical point of view presented, the bibliography only is valuable to spark further reading around suggestions.
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