Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
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What We're Saying
Our Managing Director Sally Haldorson looks at five books that she has found insightful over the years that are relevant to the times we're in and how we might get through them. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Last week, we released our picks for the Best Business Book of 2012 as well as the eight category winners. Following in the footsteps of the New York Times, if we may, who asked a few of their esteemed book reviewers to reveal a list of their favorite books of 2012 ("Favorite is not synonymous with best, so this process can be painful. Brutal honesty is required. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Amazon's editors have come up with another fine list of books this year. Their choices in the Business and Investing category are: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, Random House Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Random House The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick Lencioni, Jossey-Bass Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll, The Penguin Press Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City by Brad Feld, John Wiley & Sons How Much is Enough? : Money and the Good Life by Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere by Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble and Indra K. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
This morning I perused the Amazon Top 100 for 2012. A few of our favorite books that made the top 20: Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise; Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit (our JCS review here); and Susan Cain's Quiet (our take here. ) Rounding out the top 40 is a book that's been sitting on my desk for awhile, daring me to crack it open: Nassim Nicolas Taleb's Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.
Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls -antifragile- is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.
Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call -efficient- not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.
Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.
Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb's message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.
Praise for Antifragile
-Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.---The Economist
-A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.---Newsweek
-Revelatory . . . [Taleb] pulls the reader along with the logic of a Socrates.---Chicago Tribune
-Startling . . . richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides . . . I will have to read it again. And again.---Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal
-Trenchant and persuasive . . . Taleb's insatiable polymathic curiosity knows no bounds. . . . You finish the book feeling braver and uplifted.---New Statesman
-Antifragility isn't just sound economic and political doctrine. It's also the key to a good life.---Fortune
-At once thought-provoking and brilliant.---Los Angeles Times
From the Hardcover edition.