2013 was an interesting year for me. I reached my historical record high of book reading of 35 books. It was a journey of learning about many subjects. An erudite type, a person who loves knowledge for knowledge sake. As this list could soon be a “Ninos’ Book Club“, I nominated Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, an Amazon best seller, to be my best read book for 2013. This blog is inspired by this book.
In Antifragle, Nassim Taleb mentions a person by name: Tony DiBenedetto nicknamed “Fat Tony”. Fat Tony is of an Italian decent, grew up in Brooklyn, and moved to New Jersey. In the book, Fat Tony has an understanding of the type of Rosetta Stone knowledge that empowers him in life.
Outside my book life, I met in person Tony Geroge nicknamed “Big Tony”. He is of a Lebanese descent who grew up in Michigan and moved to Virginia. As luck would have, Fat Tony and Big Tony share not only similar names, but personality traits and characters. In both, I can see how the theory of knowledge embodied in Fat Tony applies in the tangible life of Big Tony. In this blog, where Fat Tony meets Big Tony, I will try to describe their character, explore some of their peculiar knowledge and thoughts.
Fat Tony/Big Tony does not read a lot, but in some ways he is a few steps ahead of the average person. He has exactly the expected accent. Of course our new Tony loves to eat and is highly allergic to office work. He is tired from boredom, particularly the prospect of waking up early, and constantly has to hear varieties of unsuccessful stories from his surroundings. Tony is a gifted conversationalist and a genial host. He loves to meet people from a variety of backgrounds. It increases his real cultural knowledge.
Tony has a noble sentiment, what is commonly known in human relation as loyalty. A priceless investment called moral commitment. Tony’s word is binding as a contract. It is unbreakable and more powerful than any non-disclosure agreement. We can easily spot the difference between a colorful personality, like Tony, and those characterless personalities that are lost and buried in a crowd who live mechanical lives and are less passionate and are somewhat less regular then the Clock of London. His silent presence has the image of characteristic style of personality that amuses people and gets talked about.
Tony loves doing lunch, but suffers from some people’s attitude. He got tired of some of his buddies with more transactional routine of life. Lunch is like an episode of thirst to him; it brings an immediate relief to realize that he is either not crazy, or at least not alone in being crazy. He has respect exactly in the right places while others’ work erases their social presence making them invisible to others. Fat and Big Tony feels the “Importance of Lunch”. He always says “Grabbing lunch”.
Tony elicits warm and enthusiastic responses when he walks making him a social magnet triggered by a small parade among waiters and other staff when entering a restaurant. He finds it very easy to find a lunch partner among resident office inmates who suffer from lunch amnesia. And some of them have liquefied stress hormones dripping from their pores. If Tony discusses anything outside the course of “Work” with his office inmate, they start exhibiting anxiety. Even more interesting, while Tony is in the middle of an interesting conversation, these resident office inmate hit him back with “I have to run” or “I have to catch the 12:45”. Now and then, a few of these co-workers pass him by without even noticing his huge body during lunch amnesia. Big Tony is the type of guy who talks the talk and walks the walk.
As Big Tony enjoys his successful social life with magnet-like enjoyable personalities, Fat Tony talks about being Antifragile. This concept, along with others will be explored in future blogs. Lastly, when you see Big Tony dancing on stage, please do yourself a favor and give him his space.
I sincerely invite you to read my favorite book for 2013. Antifragile