On sunday, I had planned to write more about Career of Evil, but it is now 3 days since I finished that one, and I have forgotten the things I wanted to say about it. Or more accurately, I have gotten bored of them.
So I will talk about Antifragile. Someone at work recommended the Black Swan, that’s how I finally decided to read Taleb. And, as an aside, I cannot believe that I am now working at a place where people recommend books like the Black Swan, and Sapiens, to each other. When I first entered college, I had this dream that college will be this intelligent place where I will meet like-minded people who carried out interesting conversations. But no. College was full of teenagers and those just out of their teens, and their main concern was girls, and how to get to America. It was, in other words, full of people like Career of Evil’s Matthew. I still remember crying through my first week in college; not out of homesickness- I was excited and happy to leave home- but heartbroken at how prosaic the place turned out to be. Since then, I learnt my lesson, and have never expected to have intelligent conversations anywhere, except with my parents.
Then there is this workplace. People talk about books in the breakroom! People argue about the Lord of the Rings! One can have intelligent and funny conversations. I am allowed to be intelligent and funny. I am new at this job, but my heart will break when I leave it and go back to the Matthews of this world. (By the way, Rowling is trying to prove a point with this series, though she hasn’t got to it yet. Real and lasting success requires that you love your job, treat it as a vocation rather than a way of making money. Being intelligent, well read and devoted to their jobs, the people I am talking about are far more successful than the Matthews of the world tend to be.)
Why would I leave a job I love so much? Same reason Robin is finding it so difficult to work with Strike.
Oh God! I was planning to talk about Antifragile! Now that will have to wait for another day. *annoyed face* That’s what happens when you write unplanned stream of consciousness stuff. Mind you, everything that I have thought about since reading Antifragile, including the post you are reading, has been influenced by that book. It is nice to have a word for the way my parents think life should be lived. It is nice to have the confirmation that time is same as volatility, that time tells the difference between the fragile and the antifragile. Between people like Matthew and people like Robin. That it is worth the effort to aspire to robustness, if not antifragility, not just because disorder is commoner than we think it is, but also because time is volatility. Time rewards antifragility. The false robustness of the fragile which we see and despair of everyday (we being me and my mother, and no, my mother has no idea this book exists), is actually false. We are not mistaken in choosing to be what we are.
To be continued. Hopefully.