Review: Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

A book for the thinker – that’s for sure. Taleb challenges all of the false fodder served up to the average citizen by his or her betters. He’s a statistician and a formidable researcher, so if you are looking for a beach-read, this book should not be your first choice.
My nickname for this book and for all that Taleb has to say about the world is …. Common Sense 2.0.
Be prepared – he has a sharp tongue.
Throughout the reading of this book, I wondered what Taleb would think about home education. Virtually all he has to say about the world – how everything in it gains from chaos – how disorder makes things stronger – squares with a DIY approach to education. Too much process homogenizes content and infantilizes the learner. Ask any homeschooler how their child learned to read or do long division and they will usually have a story to tell(!) .  Often it is not pretty.   Often it is not orderly.  Rarely is it conventional.  Yet, the job gets done and it gets done well.  And it usually results in an anti-fragile learner.
Anytime a learned group of people gather to tell us how we should live our lives or raise our kids (think teacher’s union or politicians or the pharmaceutical industry) Taleb is suspicious.  He calls people in these groups “Fragilistas”
If you read this book, you will love learning about the Fragilistas!
This is a great book for the home educator because it posits a philosophy that works hand-in-glove with those who have chosen this road less traveled.

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