Nassim Taleb - Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder


I'm considering doing a review of this book.  He did a presentation at a local book store, and he is an interesting and engaging speaker. 

I found a pretty good review, so perhaps it isn't necessary

The core idea is that some modern systems are fragile.  For example, an optimized supply chain will be lean, and the risk of a mismatch of inventory and demand is minimized, lowering cost. But, the lack of redundancy -- like a warehouse full of stuff -- makes this lean supply chain subject to significant disruption -- like after the Tsunami in Japan.  Car production was disrupted in surprising ways around the globe. 

The new idea is that some systems are anti fragile.  That is, they benefit from volatility [or variance or risk].  And example is being long a simple call option, which becomes more valuable as volatility increases. 

He explores the impact of  volatility across a wide variety of situations. 

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Comment by Davyboy on December 1, 2012 at 5:38am

Interesting ... how about another example.

Comment by Davyboy on December 1, 2012 at 6:16am

After the 2008 crash the Uber bosses in Europe mandated a huge reduction in our stateside warehouse.  Contract jobs as well as spare parts depend heavily on this resource.  In the first quarter of 2010 we enjoyed a bonanza of sales.  Too bad stock parts were gone.  Castings were long ago outsourced to China... 16 weeks with 4 weeks on the water.  Self-induced fragility due to market volatility.  

 What do you mean by " being long a simple call option"  ?

Comment by O. Yeh on April 16, 2013 at 5:42am

This piece showed up above something I read today, long after you posted this. I am not personally a diagram girl, but I like this term, "antifragile" and think it applies to personal development as well. For instance, being flexible in social situations and/or having a variety of friendships, will help an individual navigate life's bumps and challenges versus, say, trying to go it alone. Simplistic, but it "feels" right. Thanks, Nick. I am going to use this word all day today.


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