Philosopy For Zap Zoners

Filed in Astro-Passages

AntiFragile BookSo I just bought Anti-Fragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and i cannot wait to read it. It’s so totally Zap Zone in its philosophy, so NOW. The guy is a 9 degree Capricorn (so Zap Zoned up his arse at the moment) with Moon in Aqua and Mars-Jupiter in questing Saggo…

Here is the blurb – tell me Mr Taleb is not totally tapping Uranus square Pluto…Thoughts?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls antifragile are things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. Here Taleb stands uncer­tainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resil­ient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

What’s more, 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 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, drawing on modern street wisdom and ancient sources.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: the antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.



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55 thoughts on “Philosopy For Zap Zoners

  1. He’s born on 1st Jan 1960. Sun exactly conjunct Saturn in Cap trine Pluto in Virgo. Interesting.

  2. Awesome. I admit I couldn’t stomach Black Swan, but this book DOES look fascinating and YES so very ZZ.

    My own mantras right now:

    “Credit is the opposite of money.” and
    “I’m not committed or attached to this employer/job.” (I’m a contractor and commitment would be shooting myself in the foot – got to keep moving on and UP)

    Also, I keep my mouth shut about what I feel about the world’s obsession with saving lives.

    • I have some less than politically correct views on “saving lives” too. Death doesn’t always have to be viewed as a tragedy or a failure but it seems that’s how we see it nowadays. That said, I did help save a friend’s life and I would do it again.

  3. Funny, I just heard a radio discussion about the negative effects of the current parenting style of protecting our children from failure. In some schools they play netball without scoring??! Cant see what’s wrong with losing a game. In adulthood this apparently shows up as always blaming others – Turning a mirror to ones self occasionally does wonders for growth.

  4. LOVE Black Swan theory! Totes want to read this book. Completely forgot about Taleb. So timely.

  5. Well, yeah. Not to spoil the book, I will dissect the blurb above.

    What are my problems? He cherry picks his examples. For each one he proposes, I can find another one where the same case didn’t work, or made things worse. He believes in city-states, I say city-states also produce petty tyrants, not always democracy. Mr Taleb should know better with his Levanten background. Government policies hurting the weak is debatable – has he ever been to a developing country? Many people depend on the state transfers. Plus, has he ever considered the cases where social policies disappear completely? Again he should know better. He didn’t need to invent a techno-babble word to describe his ideas. I say “spandex” fits his description well.

    And if you have time, check his recent interview with D Kahneman – who rightly points that people prefer stability. Or let me ask, would you like to have anti-fragility in your close relationships? It is a bit psycho-bats, borrowing from Mystic’s prose,

    Sorry if my post reads in a sour mood. Today my tolerance for self-absorbed ego male seems to be low. Anyhow, what kind of a Cap he is? Aren’t they supposed to be humble? 😉

    • Haven’t read Black Swan or this, but I like THE WAY his thinking sounds. Also good to read what you have said about it Quadrupled…Perhaps his line doesn’t lead to a place, like a destination that is associated with stability, but crikey, these are not times of stability. ( Destroy the Joynt, Occupy etc) …and as a multiple mutable myself, it seems stability illudes definition, other than constant change..

      One thing I have noticed with this Cap Pluto is the rise of brittleness, and perhaps his anti-fragile is a look beyond that. the depth point core strength that enables you to hack anything by bend, sway or loss, without flinching within.???

      • My vantage point differs from his. In some parts of the world at least, people want stability, not anti-fragility. They don’t have the resources to cope with it.

        I also have trouble with Taleb touting independent thinking, then ramming down his ideas. People who criticize him are either envious of his ideas or plain idiots – I mean, come on!

        TBH, I am not claiming his ideas are worthless, I am just suggesting his ideas leave out the reality of most of us. I live in a place where it is impossible to repeat a day, life is total chaos – power is cut with no advance warning, buses don’t arrive on time, a road is closed for traffic on a whim, a traffic accident means getting home three hours later. A nerve grinding schedule seriously takes a toll. And I am one of the lucky ones, relatively.

        I understand his ZZ attitude but humility also takes us a long way.. said my Pisces rising 😉

        Ok, I am out. I will not spoil the fun :-)

        • You are quite correct! I mean, I love te idea of it all, but let’s face it… theories are formed in a vacuum of inclusivity/exclusivity.

          • Theory. The guy puts thoughts out there. He isn’t telling you to go out there and live according to them.

            I read black swan in short bursts. Always eye opening to see different ways of seeing things

            • He does tell you to live according to his ideas. Black Swan was OK, still after Fooled with Randomness, his subsequent musings do not rise to the same level. The reviews on Black Swan at amazon are also eye opening.

              • Haven’t read any of his books, but your thoughts here about Taleb make me suspect the rising of a new Ayn Rand.

                I’m always suspicious of people who preach from positions of material success and ease.

                Keep a critical eye open, MM. :-)

                • the thing that is most interesting is that his philopsophy comes from the shattering of his world when he was 15 ! he lived thro some sort of dreadful historical event, every smashed up – it comes from that ! maybe if he worked thro the trauma he might have a completely different understanding of stability !

                  • sorry that came out a bit burbled – blame it on th e moon but basically it isnt anti fragility, the guy does not trust. thats it. and it is that reductive too. it is sad.

    • The delusion of “certainty” is not an issue for those living in a developing country. It’s an indulgence of the so called privileged societies – and an indication of how far they are removed from the realities (the rhythms?) of life. I think that is what Taleb’s argument is.

  6. This sounds interesting. The Black Swan phenom somehow missed me (didn’t read the book and had no interest in the movie) but I think I might read up a little more on this.

    • Totally different swan. It’s more about chaos and events you can’t plan for that people later make contingency plans for not realising that the next event will be a black swan. Unthought of, unpredicted and unexpected.

  7. This book sums up my take on a wrongly convicted local man who ended up with a huge payout after spending years in prison.
    He was a homeless, unmedicated schizophrenic. Got nabbed in the area of a crime. Convicted.
    The years he spent in jail allowed him to be diagnosed, medicated so he can live without ever present voices. He completed a university degree. He was released and now can afford to live a life he never would have if he had stayed on the streets.
    His incarceration was his salvation though he is also a victim of the system for ending there.

  8. Been meaning to buy this book. I like quad’s dissenting opinion and will read with questions in mind. Also laughed at the male ego recognition thing – have been researching this thing called the male ego recently on a quest for greater understanding and YES I am in fact learning yet more about the male of the species. Useful for manipulation hahahahahahaha joke.

    I am comfortable reading such a book without feeling as tho I have to take it as gospel. I enjoyed black swan btw. Interesting the way he portrayed data as behaving more like fractals than in a linear fashion. At least, that’s my recollection from it a coupla years ago.
    No book should be taken as gospel, except maybe the Gospels, but who said they were the truth anyway. I would see this book more as a collection of ideas that spark discussion and debate. A la Quad.

  9. I want to be anti fragile and agree with his thoughts on not using taxpayers money to bail out banks acting like casinos, only we guarantee their downside. But i dated a guy last year who quoted Black Swan exhaustively. Late for dinner ” Black Swan event” – couldn’t get it up that night “Black Swan Event.” Crossfit, paleo dieting part time coke head. That too would be a “black swan event” like “troy ran into his dealer at the pub so we got on it, it was a black swan event.”

    Mystic please can we have a post on how there is horse meat in everything? Or do you not want to because you are vegan?

    • Leo Socialite, you are here!!

      Pi and I would like to ask you if you can teach us how to fake like a Leo..Pi’s progressed ASC and my progressed Sun just moved to Leo.

      Pi is Pisces/Gem rising, and I am Gem/Pisces rising.. We have no idea how Leos act, think, behave.. Pretty pleaseee :-)

    • Was thinking about this on morning moonlit run. horse/cow/calf/pig/piglet … from a Vego’s point of view, i don’t see the difference.

  10. Is this totally off topic? Maybe not.

    T-minus 6 hours or so & I just realized that this full moon is conjunct my DC & natal Persephone. Should be a real corker, right? Ha!

    And I also just realized why this harkens back to Oct’ish: that was the new moon in Virgo, the beginning of this cycle. Coincidentally, that’s also when my Feminine “snapped,” metaphysically & metaphorically speaking.

    It was easy for me, then, to consider this full moon in terms of my body: readying my rollerskates, sure that this full moon would have me twirling about at the local rink, but no– it’s not about my body at all. It’s deeper than that.

    Oh, it’s so so deeper than my physical self! What a trip I’ve been on these last five months… and now, culmination. The antifragile, the black swan world of today, the evolvers, the evaporations: I see you, and raise you ten-fold.

    It’s a new day. Let’s do this!

    • (E.g., Virgo just happens to be the only female archetype type of astro sign. Think about it, re the last 5-6 months. I didn’t. But then I did.)

    • — and I’m off now to sharpen my blades & see Pluto off to work with a kiss. Saturn’s our dinner guest tonight: pulling out all the stops.

      Until we meet again, astro bitches…

  11. I think he’s philosophizing about something he doesnt understand very well. This reminds me of an episode of The Big Bang Theory when Sheldon goes to a book reading from a guy with no background in physics who proposed different types of alternate universes… just because. We know the answers to the big questions now. Why not apply our knowledge and make good decisions instead of using some trial and error philosophy?

  12. And I agree this is very saturn/virgo/earth hard knocks of life philsophizing, not something that would be good for everyone, but maybe for those with similar astro influences or who like this sorta thing!

  13. my moon is 9 degrees Capricorn..dang man, no wonder I feel so intense, but in a really good way. Thank goodness I have nothing to keep me awake at night worrying about things..I feel really good about all of my choices.
    i feel like all my creativity has been renewed like i am coming out of a sleep or something..ah this zap zone! It has sure taught me to be humble!

  14. oh one more thing I’ve noticed with is Pluto in my first conjunct my moon, is that I can see right through people’s motives and not that it bothers me but I will not fake it for their benefit either..
    for example; at work and Aquarius man has been very friendly and acting like we’re in a thing..and I see him doing that with every other woman there..then when he gets dumped by someone pretty harshly..he strats all this affection.. hey, am I now your fucking fill in for when you don’t have a honey to love? WTF dude? I am not your woman at all!
    So i said no more hugs all day!
    And.. we have the work party the other day and the same thing happened with the wine guy..I saw it with my eyes from across the room after he was rejected by a gal and he strolls over to me as once again some sort of conciliation prize!
    see how I think? This is not me, man. when was I ever this sensitive?
    whatever with the wine guy or that Aquarius fellow..I don’t want a lover like that, dude! Pick me first and maybe and I mean maybe. we’ll have a coffee or something, otherwise no more random hugging..I feel like you are groping me!

  15. ahh!! his sun is EXACTLY ON MY neptune! and i’ve got moon in aqua and sometimes feel like ONLY other aquamooners can ever understand me. thanks for this post! i gotta check it out, i bet his work would work magic for me! as a virgo sun i tend to <3 the cappies anyway!! woo woo

  16. I’ve got to buy this!

    Thanks MM! sounds incredibly ZZ material. Love it.

    Boy did I learn about the ‘stay stuck and you are fuqed’

    Oh god. Thought I had this job lined up. They said – congratulations. You’re on. Training starts next week.

    Still no call re: training so I CALL and in return receive a voicemail.

    “We have given it much thought over the weekend and retract our offer. Good luck to all of your endeavours”.

    Wow. No explanation nothing.

    “Never complain, never explain” I wish them well and the hunt starts again.

    Never rely on an organisation. Rely on YOU. that is all.

  17. Enjoyed Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness even more. Nicely backed up by D Kahneman Thinking, Fast and Slow. I am put in mind, reading some of the posts, of the world’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, commenting that the poor should spend less time in the pub.

  18. Hmm. I need to read it before I can comment. But I have to say that I’m going the opposite way. I’ve always been totally into freedom/change/uncertainty. Hell, I wouldn’t sign up to a phone plan as I was never sure what country I’d be in and got sick of having to pay them out. But right now some sort of stability sounds appealing. Continual change becomes boring eventually. And you know, the avid avoidance of all cages, is ironically a cage in and of itself…but then I could be babbling as it’s late over here. I think I’d better read the book in case I’ve totally missed the jist.

  19. Just ordered this book. Going to send it to my son. He was born on the 2nd January. He has just moved back to Australia from the Uk opened his own business up to do with Physical fitness and Mentoring in Sydney. He is finding it hard but he is working his backside off to get his business up and running. I love the amazing work ethic and business brains of Capricorns.

  20. Hmm. People who say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and the like have obviously not had severe adrenal burnout.

  21. Reading this now and it is a fab read – sure there are small bits that are w.t.f. incomprehensible (to me) and others where one thinks “get your hand off it mate” but it’s basically genius.

    Like any good polemic, it makes you think diff and he is very now. He applies Antifragile philosophy to everything. For instance, in medicine, fragilista philosophy is to always add something -most likely a medicine. Antifragile medicine is to deduct something, gluten, alcohol, nail varnish..he puts it way better.

    And he blends it with quite funny or poignant personal anecdotes – like how he is actually allergic to a particular style of banker, ,bitching about Dubai, a striking story about how Beirut (his native city) has the Phoenix as it’s symbol – people have been destroying it for thousands of years, it always rises back from the ashes. Some recent bombing uncovered an ancient roman library, now being bickered over by property developers and archeologists…he once saw an elderly widow in black face several young enemy soldiers, they had their guns pointed at her and could have shot her at any moment She not only faced them down, she berated them for having smashed her windows from bomb fall out.

    And then he swings back into how bad debt is and that the ideal work out regime is actually a street fight followed by dead-lifts. I mean, he’s original and interesting as fuq. He says the only people that use terms like “real world solutions” are people like politicians who don’t actually live in the real world. Everyone else just says solutions lol