Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a student of probability and the author of The Black Swan and Antifragile.

In The Black Swan, Nassim shows that we consistently underestimate the probability of occurrence and resulting impact of extreme tail events, yet readily come up with rational explanations for them after they’ve occurred.

In Antifragile, Nassim shows how some things are resilient to and even benefit from these tail events, and recommends that we construct our lives and the things around us to take advantage of this property.

Nassim recently gave the 2016 commencement address at the American University in Beirut and shared the text version of it online. It’s a great read and I encourage you to read it all.

Here are some excerpts:

“For I have a single definition of success: you look in the mirror every evening, and wonder if you disappoint the person you were at 18 …”

“If something is nonsense, you say it and say it loud. You will be harmed a little but will be antifragile — in the long run people who need to trust you will trust you.”

“If I had to relive my life I would be even more stubborn and uncompromising than I have been.”

Also published on Medium.