(2010-11-10) Taleb Antifragility

Nassim Taleb is playing with the term Anti-Fragility.

Just as the opposite of NEGATIVE is not NEUTRAL, but POSITIVE, the opposite of fragility is not Robust Ness, but something that has no English word...

Taleb's argument is that nature is brilliant at design. "EvolutIon doesn't forecast" he says, unlike economists and finance professors. It is shocks, changes in climate or the availability of food, that cause new species to emerge. Nature also builds in a fair degree of redundancy into the system to guard against shocks - we have two lungs and two kidneys for example. Nature doesn't try to optimise.

Note 137.

Album of images.

Mar'2012: the prologue to the coming book is online (PDF). Antifragility is beyond robustness: it is about loving randomness, uncertainty, opacity, adventure, and disorder and benefiting from a certain variety of shocks. And —centrally — love of randomness is love of errors, a certain class of errors. Antifragility has a singular property of allowing us to do things without understanding them —and do them well. Let me be more aggressive: we do even better by not understanding them.


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