Nassim Taleb, The Old Regime and the Revolution, The Hunt
Rana Mitter meets writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb, whose new book Antifragile examines how systems from evolution to modern banking embrace and benefit from chaos and randomness.
Nassim Taleb, the banker-turned-philosopher who predicted the financial collapse of 2008, has been called 'the hottest thinker in the world'. His internationally bestselling book, The Black Swan, was about the impact of rare, unpredictable events. In his latest book he expands on this theory and comes up with the concept of 'antifragile' - the idea that through small shocks and surprises humans (and financial systems) can become more than robust - they can thrive and become antifragile. But critics have labelled this theory 'antisocial'. Rana Mitter meets Nassim Taleb to test the robustness of his ideas, on Night Waves, at 10pm.
This month China announced the expected coronation of its new President, Xi Jinping. And in and around the corridors of power, rumour has it that the new leadership is turning to an old political text to guide it: Alexis de Tocqueville's The Old Regime and the Revolution. So what does this book say that has so fascinated Beijing? And can China really hope to implement the ideas of the premier thinker of 19th century liberalism?
Danish film director Thomas Vinterberg was, with Lars von Trier, the founder of the Dogme movement in filmmaking and is the darling of European cinephiles. In his new film, The Hunt, Vinterberg chronicles the chilling story of a teacher falsely accused of abusing a child at a kindergarten. Sarah Dunant reviews the film and discusses its historical and modern-day parallels.
Producer Jennifer Chevalier.
Speed Dating with a Thinker
At the Free Thinking Festival this month Radio 3’s New Generation Thinkers were put to the test – a speed thinking test. Asked to speak to members of the public for only 2 minutes each, the academics put forward their best ideas and let the audience be the judge.
Antifragile: How to Live in a World We Don't Understand, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is published on 27th November by Allen Lane.