It seems that Taleb and I share a certain esprit de corps indulging in proverbial jousting and burying the lance in the chest of pseudo-intellectuals and blokes engaging in casuistry — and exsanguinate them to death and inter their bones in the Pacific trench. A gush of joy vastly more than that is available in the world erupts like a pyroclastic flow, like a geyser, every time I read Taleb’s book. In his series of books on incerto, this is the last book [not in the series] which was outstanding to be read before now. Taleb, the proverbial skewer of the intellectual-yet-idiots who can’t find a coconut on the coconut island – asphyxiate the pseudo-intellectuals, the charlatans, the mountebanks, by depriving them of their credibility. Coming to the book Antifragile: It expatiates how life, business, or anything else, gain from randomness/volatility/uncertainty, contrary to what majority of people in a given field, by dint of specialization and empty-suitedness, completely miss. Fragility is what loses from volatility and uncertainty. Everything nonlinear is convex or concave, or both, depending on the intensity of the stressor. Taleb argues in the book that everything that is convex in nature in antifragile, by Jensen’s inequality, and you are better off by keeping things distributed than concentrated. In the world, Taleb marvels, randomness is distributed rather than concentrated, which makes it less volatile and prone to more (criminal) risks in the future. The belief that the world is getting safer and safer is like saying nuclear bombs are safer because they explode less often. Furthermore, Taleb observes portentously, in an antifragile system, the good news tends to be absent from past data, and for a fragile system, the bad news doesn’t show easily. I end this review by my oft-repeated line on Taleb: the more I read the more I get a sense that is it a serendipity or am I preordained to know this guy, for he (or I) share exactly the same view I (or he) hold(s) of the society, of the pseudo-scientists, of the pseudo-intellectuals who think they know-it-all. I have tried to maintain a twitter thread for my notes taking, so you find more of my notes how Taleb’s flays the skin of the charlatans who produce a mountain heap of baloney!
Link to my twitter thread for notes on this book is here
Look what I have on my reading plate now. Wish I could accrue all the knowledge and wisdom of @nntaleb#books #antifragility #lindy pic.twitter.com/7grxz2Nj38— K. Satyanarayana 🇸 (@satyakatla) May 24, 2019