***UPDATE 11/4/13: Due to a special event that popped up unexpectedly this meetup has been cancelled. We will reschedule soon. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I think you'll understand when you see the new meetup. - Matt ***
November's book club selection is Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, by bestselling author Nicholas Nassim Taleb. This topic has come up at several previous meetups, so it's probably time to learn more. Taleb's idea is that there seem to be two types of things in the world: those that wear out under stress (e.g. furniture) and those that become stronger (e.g. immune systems). Antifragile explores the latter.
Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.
This selection is available in paper, digital, and audio formats.
Now the housekeeping--Please feel free to BYO snacks and drinks (beer, wine, etc). The meetup costs $1 cash money. Space is limited so sign up early and PLEASE keep your RSVP status current. The only rules are: (1) be respectful of others and (2) stay on topic. Simple! I hope you enjoy this one.
Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.