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Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) Paperback – January 28, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,983 ratings
Book 3 of 5: Incerto

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Frequently bought together

  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto)
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  • Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life (Incerto)
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Editorial Reviews

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Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012: Fragile things break under stress. But, according to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, there's an entire class of other things that don't simply resist stress but actually grow, strengthen, or otherwise gain from unforeseen and otherwise unwelcome stimuli. Taleb sees degrees of antifragility everywhere, from fasting, mythology, and urban planning to economic, technological, cultural, and biological systems. The wealth of radical thinking in this book astounds; the glossary alone offered more thought-provoking ideas than any other nonfiction book I read this year. That said, Antifragile is far from flawless. As comical as Taleb's rough handling of his favorite targets can be--academics, economists, and tourists, to name a few--his argumentative style boasts gaping holes, non sequiturs aplenty, and at times an almost willfully repugnant tone. Some readers will find Taleb's brashness off-putting; others will embrace it as a charismatic component of the ideas themselves. Either way, no one will finish this book unchanged. --Jason Kirk

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Judging by his anecdotes, Taleb interacts with the economic masters of the universe as he jets from New York to London or attends business-politics confabs in Davos, Switzerland. Anything but awed by them, Taleb regards them as charlatans, not as credible experts. Such skepticism toward elites, which imbued Taleb’s The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (2007), continues in this work, which grapples with a concept Taleb coins as “antifragile.” Not readily reducible to a definition (Taleb takes the whole book to develop the idea), suffice to say here that antifragile’s opposites—economic, political, or medical systems that are vulnerable to sudden collapse—tend to be managed by highly educated people who think they know how systems work. But they don’t, avers Taleb. Their confidence in control is illusory; their actions harm rather than help. In contrast, Taleb views decentralized systems—the entrepreneurial business rather than the bureaucratized corporation, the local rather than the central government—as more adaptable to systemic stresses. Emphatic in his style and convictions, Taleb grabs readers given to musing how the world works. --Gilbert Taylor

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Product details

  • Publisher : Random House Publishing Group; Reprint edition (January 28, 2014)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 544 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0812979680
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0812979688
  • Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.2 x 1.23 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 2,983 ratings

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
2,983 global ratings
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Ed209
2.0 out of 5 stars I loved Fooled by Randomness and the Black Swan
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Karl Chama
2.0 out of 5 stars Like swimming in an ocean of words and contempt
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5.0 out of 5 stars interrupted by "wow I never thought of it like that before"
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AK
4.0 out of 5 stars The author is certainly highly erudite and makes some excellent points but does so in a relatively wayward fashion
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M. Ingham
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read.
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