Things That Gain From Disorder

Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
"Like the Greek hydra that grows two heads for each one it loses, people, systems, and institutions that are "antifragile" not only withstand shocks, they benefit from them. In a modern world dominated by chaos and uncertainty, Antifragile is a revolutionary vision from one of the most subversive and important thinkers of our time"-- Provided by publisher.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400067824
Branch Call Number: 155.24 T1432a 2012
Characteristics: xxi, 519 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

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... Read More »

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Oct 28, 2014
  • kimbol rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I'm pretty sure there's a brilliant book hiding in here. But I'm unwilling to wade through the asides and 'cleverness' to mentally edit this down to what it could be. So much for immortal fame!

Jun 06, 2014
  • AnarchyintheLC rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The central idea of this book is very interesting, but it was almost unreadable because of Taleb's constant sniping at academics and other professionals (often in very petty ways, such as describing someone as "pear-shaped" in the middle of a retelling of an argument for no apparent reason).

Personally, I find him unbearable.

The concept of antifragility is very interesting, and some of his basic descriptions and strategies are useful, but the bulk of this book is Taleb talking about how smart he is in a way that lacks any subtlety or grace.

Jan 08, 2014
  • bette108 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

An most interesting read, especially if I could have understood all of it. I found it a bit of "heavy go" to read, but also fascinating. Just the same, I think Taleb could have got his point across in 25% less pages.

Feb 15, 2013
  • delfon rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

See "Foucaults Pendalum", Umberto Eco writes much the same....detailed honing in on mundane topical ideas.

Uncertainty is the game, education is not good, and its good, big companies are good, and are not good, these seems the pattern Taleb gets down and mean with his education assertions...... The real surprise is in learning the historicity of the industrial revolution as being not a result of scientists, but as a result perhaps of those with lots of liesure time. Prescient for our times where 'liesure time" is equated with laziness, not insight and genius as of old. There seems an agenda, and its very complex to unravel. Compexities where there should be none. Ho Joon Chang is a radical economist, no he is not.!! I would warn this book is not all it seems. Barbs here and there, and no real historical content, excepting for the 'industrial revelution as having some innnovators. After reflection, my feeling is, its a waste of time.

Jan 01, 2013
  • jimg2000 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Unlike his prior two best sellers on economics, "Fooled by Randomness" and "Black Swan", Antifragile is more like a collection of philosophical social science essays on the difference between "Fragile - Please Handle with Care" and "Antifragile - Please Mishandle" (two ends of a bar-bell or the tails of a "normal" distribution of black swan events. While you may not agree with some of Taleb's "insights", it is nonetheless filled with many interesting views that are worthy for readers to ponder. The "glossary" and "additional notes, afterthoughts and further reading" included in the end of the book are great for "food for thoughts". (Tabeb appears to have contradicted himself that he detested writing op/eds but yet he has just written one published in NY Times on 12/24/2012 )

Dec 16, 2012

"The Vancouver Sun" of December 15, 2012 included "Antifragile" in its list of 'intriguing reads from the world of business'. "Taleb seemed almost prescient with his 2007 [book] 'The Black Swan' about how economies are more likely to be disrupted by big, unexpected events that we later try to explain away. By extension, his followup offering ['Antifragile'] theorizes that successful economic systems will be ones that are resilient to shocks and volatility - not those that seek to keep chaos at bay.'


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Jun 06, 2014
  • AnarchyintheLC rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I want to live happily in a world I don't understand.


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