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3.9 out of 5 stars153
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 30 December 2015
One of my favourite Taleb books, along with Dynamic Hedging.
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on 29 September 2014
……. NOT the easiest read but extremely interesting! :)
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on 14 May 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
An interesting concept and well written, but unfortunately many many pages too long. While good books make a point, expand and explain it, and then move on to something else, this one continuously reiterates the same points, which becomes unnecessary and ultimately spoils the readers' enjoyment. Not for me I'm afraid.
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on 9 February 2014
Ideas are original and substantive.

Lots of facts and quotes which are interesting, though often they add no additional power to the argument.

Immodest and wasteful abuse of words. Too long, too pompous and hence short of true greatness.

Taleb, you could have done better.
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on 12 May 2013
This book is probably 5 to 10 times longer than it need be. The Author sets up some value-laden word definitions at the beginning, and then relies on them repeatedly by backward references later in the book. I agree with the science behind his underlying thesis and there are some references at the end.
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"Though your beginning was small,
Yet your latter end would increase abundantly." -- Job 8:7 (NKJV)

Something that's antifragile isn't just the opposite of something that breaks easily, it's actually something that benefits from buffeting. The book's choice of its title demonstrates its biggest weakness: It takes a pretty simple concept and mostly defines it in negative terms. Antifragile would have been much more useful if it had focused on identifying many examples of such instances and discussed how to think about interacting most effectively as an individual and an organization in such environments.

Professor Taleb comes across as someone who greatly feels that he's been treated unfairly by critics and the uninformed. Much of the book expresses such experiences and his understandably annoyed reactions to them. In that sense, there's a sense of reading a memoir in places.

I found that the concept made sense to me and provides a useful way to express circumstances and relationships that offer great potential ... but for which I previously had no terminology to describe. Seldom have I found a book that adds to my thinking as usefully in terms of both the concept and the ways to apply it. I felt as if a major part of my brain's map of the world was sketched in for the first time.

I was almost as greatly indebted to the many explanations of why optimizations are bad, due to increasing fragility ... so that when variability inevitably occurs the negative consequences will be increased.

I also appreciated the careful way that resiliency and antifragility were distinguished from one another.

Very nice ... but please, Professor Taleb, make your next book less of a diatribe against those who don't understand you for those of us who like your ideas.
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on 10 January 2013
In principle I do not write reviews for Amazon on books already discussed by many. But this is an exception, because of the outstanding importance of the book combined with my feeling that published reviews miss at least one critical issue, epitomized by the author's statement "We need to..." (p. 412). But no agency which may act upon the crucial insights and recommendations is indicated. In this respect the book, however iconoclastic and paradigm-leaping, follows the usual reliance on some deus ex machine.
Taleb is too knowledgeable in the ways of the world to expect his moral insights to change actual behavior, or his ideas on antifragility to bring about a metamorphosis in the thinking of Nobel Prize economists. Hopefully, with time fuller recognition of Black Swan effects, possibilities to strengthen antifragility, ways to think on very small probabilities (p. 454) and so on may percolate into the minds of those who matter, adding up to a kind of paradigm shift. But humanity may not have so much time.
A current and a global futures example: What insights can be gained from the book on the problem of Iran moving towards nuclear weapons? And, to move to humanity as a whole, a robust prediction (yes, there can be some such predictions despite the counterclaim of the author) is that science and technology will supply easily available instruments of mass killing, and these are very likely to be misused for the worst by diverse fanatic "true believers" (a reality well known to the author in view of his background, as interestingly mentioned in the book). Consequently, prevention of production and diffusion of mass-killing instruments is imperative, leading to the need for a strong global security regime, contrary, however based on subsidiarity, to a main line of thinking of the book if I sense it correctly.
Therefore, critical audiences for the book include the relatively very few who exert significant influence on the future of most of humanity. Accordingly, senior politicians and their policy advisors, as well as public interest thinkers, must urgently study this book and apply it. And it would be good if the author would help by devoting his next book to the domain of public-political action.

Professor Yehezkel Dror
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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on 23 December 2014
Excellent read. Have read it 6 or 7 times now!
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on 5 June 2015
Very satisfied with the product and shipping.
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on 6 June 2013
I found this book to be very long and very boring. It seems that Nassim found a word that doesn't existing in the dictionary and tries to define it across the book, with some examples to give more flavor (in most cases not relevant).
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