Why I stopped reading Antifragile at page 43

I am a big fan of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan. I however decided to give up on Taleb’s new book, Antifragile (which I borrowed from library) , after just 43rd page.

It is likely I am not able to appreciate the dense matter the author presents in this book. It is also possible, the author may mention other factors like choosing easy over hard. Or that I am happy to give up because I only borrowed the book from the library and didn’t buy it (although I would do the same because the cost of book is sunk).

It is also possible I was put-off by the offensive stance the author takes in defending his idea against the establishment and al those who according to him refuse to understand antifragile is the correct opposite of fragile (and ot robust).

I cannot also rule out that the theory of antifragile is supported only by the every data that is used to develop it.

But the real reason is what I read on page 43. Here are some snippets, my peeves with those and hence my decision to return the book.

They say best horses lose when they compete with slower ones and win against better rivals

Where is the data? How can a statement like “they say” find its place in a book proposing a new theory?

many do  better in Calculus 103 than Calculus 101

Isn’t there selection bias here? Isn’t it likely that very few move on to take Calculus 103 and hence are likely more interested in it?

If I find these problems in subjects I remotely understand what if I do not find other such bigger problems in subject areas I do not understand?

Hence my decision to punt on the book.

3 thoughts on “Why I stopped reading Antifragile at page 43

  1. Completely agree. That first quote may have place in a casual conversation, while the second one doesn’t have place anywhere because it’s just plain wrong.

    In fact, I was planning to read The Black Swan, but what you just exposed makes me doubt it.


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