Dec 12

The Fragile Argument of Taleb's Antifragile

I confess that I only read the prologue and a third of the first chapter of Taleb's latest book because it was essentially the same argument repeated over and over. Here it is: a system that is prevented from experiencing uncertainty and shocks will become more fragile over time while a system exposed to uncertainty and shocks will learn to thrive in a chaotic environment. I would really like to see one example of a system that grows stronger under entropy but Taleb has none. What he does have is a Randian viewpoint of the world where the Soviet-Harvard conspiracy prevents the world from fully realizing the benefits of completely free markets. This is essentially Fat Tony Shrugs (Fat Tony is an invented character who exemplifies the true worldly wisdom gained from the trading floors of the New York Stock Exchange).

I was hoping for better as understanding how to build systems that can manage and even thrive under uncertainty would be a boon to the new theory of government. Johansson, Silver, and Burrus are much closer to understanding how to make systems antifragile than Taleb is.