This is a really hard book to summarize. while having a central concept (fragility vs. Antifragility) the book takes the reader to so many different places. One moment we are talking about Socrates and the next about dieting, then exercise, reading habits, airplane safety, financial crashes, and we suddenly land in a rant about the how academia is overrated.
Everybody knows that something fragile is something that easily breaks from outside forces and stress. Nassim Taleb argues that there is and opposite to fragile, even though there is no English word for it. “Antifragile” is something that gains and grow stronger from stress and turmoil. The aim of the book is to help us find and take advantage of “antifragile” systems and identify and avoid fragile ones.
Nassim writing is direct, authoritative and he comes across like and asshole at times. But if you can have some oversight with those things, there is a ton to gain from reading “Antifragile”.
Here are some of my notes:
No headline, no matter how bad (almost), can hurt and artist or author. They will sell more. (Antifragile)
The Lucretius problem: When estimating risk we look at the past for reference of the worst possible scenario. Without recognizing that the event, when it happened, exceeded the scale of previous events.
Read original material and books that did stand the test of time. 20 years old at least. If reading current material you should read about history or books that summarize years of research.
Action: started reading Walden by Thoreau today)
Next time some suit and tie show graphs of future projections of company results in coming years, ask him to show his previous projections for 2019, 2020, 2021 —-or just slap him in the face right away. No one can predict the future in this way.
Barbell method of risk taking: some very low and some very high risk assets. And nothing in between.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ out of 5
Find more great reads on the Great Books List
add link to black swan post and Thinking.