For the last 2 months, my mind has been blown on a daily basis by the book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
This is the longest and deepest I've gotten into a book since high school, and I found pretty much every chapter thought-provoking and lifestyle-questioning. I already felt like my mind had been blown, and that was just after finishing the prologue.
"Antifragile" is the word that Taleb coins for the concept of gaining from disorder (the real opposite of fragility, which is not the same thing as "robust"). The book covers the topics of philosophy, finance, math, statistics, lifestyle, food, fitness, education, and history, and it applies various strategies and concepts to finding ways to live more naturally and with more antifragility.
I can see how many people will be angered and offended by the direct manner in which Taleb denounces the professions of consultant, banker, economist, academic, business school professor, soccer mom, and tourist. I think books that question a lot of fundamentals are the only ones that bring actual progress to our lives as human thinkers, and this book does exactly that.
Overall, I took 47 pages of notes on the book (see below), and that sheer quantity is enough to show how much I liked it. It's not easy to distill these into a few bullet points, and I will be trying over the next couple months to come up with some concrete suggestions and techniques to put the book's ideas into practice in my own life. Here are just a handful of lessons and broad concepts that come immediately to mind:
Below are the rest of my notes. I really want to discuss some of this stuff with other readers, so let me know what you think.
5/29/2014 07:31:58 pm
Hi, Max, love your notes. I'm just reading Antifragile. Can we get these notes again?
5/30/2014 12:13:13 am
Can you look again? It's using the Scribd plugin.
5/30/2014 04:54:28 am
Yes, I can see it now. Thanx for all good book recommendation and notes.
8/28/2016 09:54:10 am
Is there a way I can read it without purchasing Scribed subscription ?
8/28/2016 12:42:08 pm
I believe you should be able to. It should just show up....
11/16/2017 11:55:19 am
Hi Max! Just wanted to drop a note to say a big thank you. Really appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts and notes on this book. I was on the fence on whether I should put this book on the short list of my reading pile, and your post convinced me to start asap. Do you think that it's necessary to read 'Black Swan' prior to diving into this book?
11/16/2017 01:42:01 pm
Thanks! Black Swan is awesome. You should definitely read it also, but I don't think it necessarily needs to be read first.
João Pedro Sousa
8/3/2021 02:21:40 pm
The Scribd thing doesn't show up. Not in Chrome, Edge, or Firefox. I can inspect with the Chrome tool and see that there is something that is supposed to be there. And adblocker is off.
8/3/2021 02:26:50 pm
Looks like the Scribd thing broke. I'm sorry about that. Emailing you offline about that.
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