By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Antifragile is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, and The Bed of Procrustes.
Just as the bones in the human body get sturdier as they are exposed to stress and strain and gossip or feelings of unrest intensify when there are efforts enacted to repress them, most aspects of life ultimately benefit from stress, chaos, instability, and unrest. What Taleb has identified in Antifragile and gives the book its title is the group of items that can not only simply gain from chaos but importantly require it as they work to endure and even prosper in the modern world.
In The Black Swan, Taleb described how there are highly unlikely and erratic events that motivate almost every aspect of our world. In Antifragile, Taleb takes that uncertainty and stands it on its head, causing it to appear desirable, often necessary, and proposes that most parts of the world should be built in an antifragile manner to handle these stresses and strains. The antifragile concept goes beyond the tough or strong forces typically used to fight these forces. The tough aims to resist shocks and then remain the same while the antifragile constantly desire to continually go through processes that enable progression.
The antifragile is a concept that aims to be immune to errors in prediction that are so common while additionally being protected from adverse events that are inevitable. Antifragile is then a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.
Learned, humorous, and revolutionary, Taleb’s meaning is radical: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will survive the test of time.
Check out Taleb's website here.