Currently Analytically Reading: Antifragile By Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This is most likely the third time I have read this book and there is so much to glean from it that I will most likely read it a fourth time in the future. This time I am reading it for more insight in looking at problems that are presented to me and their solutions (if there is one).

I am learning that I must sharpen my questions if I am going to come to a better understanding of what I am facing and what the world around me is facing. Readers, are you sharpening your questions and becoming your own best teacher.

I have currently started teaching tennis again to juniors from the ages of eight to eighteen. My job is to teach them to be their own best teacher. When you are out on the court alone, you must be able to come up with a strategy and solutions to offset your opponent. This hopefully will carry over for them into life’s everyday problems that we all face.

I highly (once again) recommend this book and I am including a video from the author concerning his thoughts:


Some Thoughts On Black Swans From Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore, professore dottore Eco, what a library you have ! How many of these books have you read?” and the others – a very small minority – who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you don’t know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menancingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“When you develop your opinions on the basis of weak evidence, you will have difficulty interpreting subsequent information that contradicts these opinions, even if this new information is obviously more accurate.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“The problem with experts is that they do not know what they do not know.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“The Black Swan asymmetry allows you to be confident about what is wrong, not about what you believe is right.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“I know that history is going to be dominated by an improbable event, I just don’t know what that event will be.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Some Thoughts On Various Subjects From Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“When you develop your opinions on the basis of weak evidence, you will have difficulty interpreting subsequent information that contradicts these opinions, even if this new information is obviously more accurate.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“The psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer has a simple heuristic. Never ask the doctor what you should do. Ask him what he would do if he were in your place. You would be surprised at the difference”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“They will envy you for your success, your wealth, for your intelligence, for your looks, for your status – but rarely for your wisdom.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels – people you don’t want to resemble when you grow up”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Some Thoughts On Outcomes From Various Authors

“It is not a person or situation that affects your life; it is the meaning you give to that person or situation, which influences your emotions and actions. Your choice is to change the meaning you gave it or to change your response, in order to create the outcome you want.”

Shannon L. Alder

“A mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in the light of the information until that point”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Just saying an intention and leaving it at that will not necessarily result in an outcome, if there is a stronger, more primal belief behind the scenes.”

Miranda J. Barrett

“Every action you take, leads to a consequence you face. Choose wisely!”

Kemi Sogunle

“Life is a choice. Your choices each day determine what outcomes happen in your life. It is by choice, not by chance, that will determine your life. An Unstoppable Life begins by taking responsibility for your choices.”

Thomas Narofsky

What Is The Lindy Effect?

What exactly is the Lindy Effect? It is defined as the contrast with the life expectancy of humans or animals versus an idea or a technology which implies that every additional day may imply a longer life expectancy. According to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, ” The robustness of an item is proportional to its life.”

Some examples of this include our reading of books: Books that have been in existence for a lengthy period of time such as books from the 18th century are more than likely to be in existence a lengthy period of time in the future than new books that become obsolete. Therefore due to the time that we have to read it is better to invest that time in books that have been around for a long period of time.

What about disease? There are certain modern diseases that are due to modernity as compared to malaria which has been around since the beginning of time. Will malaria last longer that these so called modern diseases that have been invented by conditions?

How about college? It is stated that subjects such as Mathematics, Engineering and Natural Sciences are more robust than let’s say Social Sciences and Business.

For more on the Lindy Effect see these books and blog posts

The Fractal Geometry Of Nature Benoit Mandelbrot

The Black Swan: The Impact Of The Highly Improbable Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Endeavor-Blog of John Cook

Recently Read Books 2014

I thought I would take a minute and let you know the books that I have read thus far in 2014. Each of these is excellent in its own way and I don’t know about you but I try to put some thought into each selection since I am making an investment of my time. I have read The Black Swan and The Signal And The Noise twice and I really believe I need to read The Black Swan a third time to get a complete understanding.

(1) The Black Swan     Nassim Nicholas Taleb

(2) The Smartest Kids In The World     Amanda Ripley

(3) The Signal And The Noise     Nate Silver

(4) The Sixth Extinction     Elizabeth Kolbert

(5) The Sports Gene     David Epstein

(6) Average Is Over    Tyler Cowen

More Books Of Interest September 20, 2013

English: Timbuktu seen from a distance by Hein...

English: Timbuktu seen from a distance by Heinrich Barth’s party, September 7, 1853 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick In The Pursuit of Health     Gilbert H. Welch, Lisa M. Schwartz and Steven Woloshin

Argues that more treatment and more diagnosis are not always better. I have not read this yet but it was in the bibilography of Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Bad Medicine: Doctor’s Doing Harm Since Hippocrates     David Wooton

David Wooton argues that since the 5th century B.C. until the 1930’s that doctor’s have actually harmed more patients than they have helped. The above is from the book description from This book looks especially interesting!!!

A Labyrinth Of Kingdoms:10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa     Steve Kemper

A true story detailing a 5 and one half year and over 10,000 mile journey in 1849 by Heinrich Barth, a German explorer. All his companions died but he made it alone to the city of Timbuktu. This book looks absolutely fascinating.