Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge. He spent nearly two decades as a businessman and quantitative trader before becoming a full-time philosophical essayist and academic researcher in 2006. Although he spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flaneur meditating in cafes, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University's Polytechnic Institute. His main subject matter is "decision making under opacity"--that is, a map and a protocol on how we should live in a world we don't understand.
Taleb's books have been published in forty-one languages.
"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
"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 "[Taleb] writes as if he were the illegitimate spawn of David Hume and Rev. Bayes, with some DNA mixed in from Norbert Weiner and Laurence Sterne. . . . Taleb is writing original stuff--not only within the management space but for readers of any literature--and . . . you will learn more about more things from this book and be challenged in more ways than by any other book you have read this year. Trust me on this."--Harvard Business Review "By far my favorite book among several good ones published in 2012. In addition to being an enjoyable and interesting read, Taleb's new book advances general understanding of how different systems operate, the great variation in how they respond to unthinkables, and how to make them more adaptable and agile. His systemic insights extend very well to company-specific operational issues--from ensuring that mistakes provide a learning process to the importance of ensuring sufficient transparency to the myriad of specific risk issues."--Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, Bloomberg
Taleb's (risk engineering, New York Univ.; Black Swans) unorthodox thinking and luminescent style manifest themselves in a fusillade of neologisms, creative phraseology, and quirky illustrations. In his previous work, the author outlined the impact of rare, unpredictable events and foretold the impending financial crisis. Here he uses the concept of "antifragility" to show how we can protect ourselves from inevitable personal and societal calamities. The global financial crisis of 2008 is the watershed event of the narrative. Yet Taleb adroitly weaves in strands of psychology, child development, medicine, biology, civics, philosophy, education, military strategy, and the classics to explain how antifragility can make people and systems stronger in the same way that bones need stress to grow denser. -VERDICT Taleb's tome is by turns entertaining, thought-provoking, silly, brilliant, and irreverent, yet his logic remains cogent and his message clear throughout. His wit and substance have already found him a worldwide audience; this book is likely to create him an even more robust fan base.-Carol Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Libs. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.