Category Archives: Antifragility

Exploring the Practice of Antifragility


Really appreciate . . .

During 2015, as a group of practitioners who use “antifragility” we hosted a number of panel/webinar conversations regarding Antifragility (Practice Beyond the Rhetoric!) . . .

To continue expanding the community as well as sharing/learning from one another, we have *just* published an Amazon Kindle eBook entitled “Exploring the Practice of Antifragility” (A Kaleidoscope of Perspectives) . . .

. . . and . . .

. .. that *references* the above events as well as briefly elaborate invites people’s perspectives on Antifragility using the three questions that guided the panel/webinar conversations.

Additionally, please note that the eBook does *not* directly incorporate any of the content from the panel/webinar events. Furthermore, all proceeds from the work will be going to a *charity*.

Given that the book is an Amazon Kindle eBook, we will be routinely updating the eBook.

We invite anyone to contribute . . . which involves a 1/2 to 3/4 page answer to each question (same as the panel/webinar questions):

* How have you interpreted Taleb’s concept of Antifragility?

* How have you translated your interpretation into practice?

* What are the results and impacts of your efforts?

People are of-course be acknowledged as a *contributor* on the eBook cover etc.

Additionally, as @nntaleb also tweeted about the eBook . . . the eBook achieved Amazon #1 Best Seller in One-Hour Business & Money Short Reads!

. . . book website

. . . blog

Would appreciate you informing people of this project / invitation. . . (and possibly contributing your views)

Looking forward to your thoughts/reply . . . I am available to address any questions via phone or skype.




How to Read Antifragile | Patrick Geoghegan

It is important to read anti-fragile twice.

Mostly, because it is all about the same thing. It is not a sequence, development or progression. The author defines his idea in the first section, but it only emerges out of repeated oscillations between more theoretical and technical descriptions, and real-world examples. Here’s a model I’ve used before to show specificity:


It is self referential.

The book does not “move-on”, or develop an idea into something new. It only adds specificity. In doing so, it uses previous conclusions as starting points. It describes an example to identify a concept, then applies that concept to another example from which to draw a further point. Be ready to go back and forth, or

Write your own glossary.


via How to Read Antifragile | Patrick Geoghegan.
HatTip to Dave Lull

Democracy makes India more robust than China, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Economic Times

You mentioned in a Foreign Policy article that Saudi Arabia is an easy call if oil falls by $30 a barrel. Now, it is more than $50. How do you see Saudi Arabia going forward?

I know that Saudi Arabia is a very, very fragile country, probably the one that’s most fragile for a lot of reasons. They are more robust to oil revenue to Iran and other countries but not other things. They say oil is x percent of GDP, around 50% but the rest is also linked to oil. It is untenable. You see here in India you do not have governance problems, it is a democracy and that makes you a lot more robust than other countries, definitely more robust than China.

Maybe it doesn’t allow you to do as many things as the Chinese can do but Saudi Arabia is a country started by a family based on a mission of some kind of puritan version of Islam, Wahhabi Islam. And two things have happened — the first thing is that they have continued promoting the version of Islam which is completely intolerant compared to other versions of Islam.

They have promoted their own version and jihad has been nothing but a spillover of that. There is no difference between ISIS and Wahhabis. This is how they started, the Wahhabis. And beheadings have been a regular affair in Saudi Arabia and they are one order of magnitude ahead of ISIS.

The second one is the internal contradiction. Here you have a family that owns a country and I do not know in history of any family that has kept owning a country forever. Can you see how fragile that is?

via ET GBS: Democracy makes India more robust than China, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Economic Times.
HatTip to Pradeep

Ai Weiwei is Living in Our Future — Hans de Zwart

How? An answer to that question would probably require another speech. But I’d like to point in what I think is the right direction. And for that, we need to start with Nassim Taleb, the ‘enfant terrible’ of the academic world.
Nassim TalebTaleb has carefully cultivated the image of a bully for himself, somebody who likes to crush other people with his intellectual (and physical) powers. Recently he too discovered the power of the camera. In July he posted on Facebook about the “the magic of the camera in reestablishing civil/ethical behaviour”. I cite:
“The other day, in the NY subway corridor in front of the list of exits, I hesitated for a few seconds trying to get my bearings… A well dressed man started heaping insults at me ‘for stopping’. Instead of hitting him as I would have done in 1921, I pulled my cell and took his picture while calmly calling him a ‘Mean idiot abusive to lost persons’. He freaked out and ran away from me, hiding his face in his hands.”
Taleb has written one of the most important books of this century. It is called ‘Anti-fragile: Things That Gain from Disorder’ and it explores how you should act in a world that is becoming increasingly volatile. According to him, we have allowed efficiency thinking to optimize our world to such an extent that we have lost the flexibility and slack that is necessary for dealing with failure. This is why we can no longer handle any form of risk.

via Ai Weiwei is Living in Our Future — Medium.