Click here to Download Antifragile PDF Book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb having PDF Size 6 MB and No of Pages 530.
Our idea is to avoid interference with things we don’t understand. Well, some people are prone to the opposite. The fragilista belongs to that category of persons who are usually in suit and tie, often on Fridays; he faces your jokes with icy solemnity, and tends to develop back problems early in life from sitting at a desk, riding airplanes, and studying newspapers.
Antifragile PDF Book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
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He is often involved in a strange ritual, something commonly called “a meeting.” Now, in addition to these traits, he defaults to thinking that what he doesn’t see is not there, or what he does not understand does not exist. At the core, he tends to mistake the unknown for the nonexistent.
Recall that the fragile wants tranquility, the antifragile grows from disorder, and the robust doesn’t care too much. The reader is invited to navigate the Triad to see how the ideas of the book apply across domains. Simply, in a given subject, when you discuss an item or a policy, the task is to find in which category of the Triad one should put it and what to do in order to improve its condition.
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For example: the centralized nation-state is on the far left of the Triad, squarely in the fragile category, and a decentralized system of citystates on the far right, in the antifragile one. Antifragile PDF Book Download By getting the characteristics of the latter, we can move away from the undesirable fragility of the large state.
Or look at errors. On the left, in the fragile category, the mistakes are rare and large when they occur, hence irreversible; to the right the mistakes are small and benign, even reversible and quickly overcome. They are also rich in information. If we have no common name for antifragility, we can find a mythological equivalence, the expression of historical intelligence through potent metaphors.
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In a Roman recycled version of a Greek myth, the Sicilian tyrant Dionysius II has the fawning courtier Damocles enjoy the luxury of a fancy banquet, but with a sword hanging over his head, tied to the ceiling with a single hair from a horse’s tail. A horse’s hair is the kind of thing that eventually breaks under pressure, followed by a scene of blood, high-pitched screams, and the equivalent of ancient ambulances.
Damocles is fragile—it is only a matter of time before the sword strikes him down. Antifragile PDF Book Download In Through the Language Glass, the linguist Guy Deutscher reports that many primitive populations, without being color-blind, have verbal designations for only two or three colors. But when given a simple test, they can successfully match strings to their corresponding colors.
They are capable of detecting the differences between the various nuances of the rainbow, but they do not express these in their vocabularies. These populations are culturally, though not biologically, color-blind. Just as we are intellectually, not organically, antifragility-blind. To see the difference just consider that you need the name “blue” for the construction of a narrative, but not when you engage in action.
It is not well known that many colors we take for granted had no name for a long time, and had no names in the central texts in Western culture. Information is antifragile; it feeds more on attempts to harm it than it does on efforts to promote it. For instance, many wreck their reputations merely by trying to defend it.
Ancient Mediterranean texts, both Greek and Semitic, also had a reduced vocabulary of a small number of colors polarized around the dark and the light—Homer and his contemporaries were limited to about three or four main colors: black, white, and some indeterminate part of the rainbow, often subsumed as red, or yellow.
Further, redundancy is not necessarily wussy; it can be extremely aggressive. Antifragile PDF Book Download For instance, if you have extra inventory of, say, fertilizers in the warehouse, just to be safe, and there happens to be a shortage because of disruptions in China, you can sell the excess inventory at a huge premium.
Or if you have extra oil reserves, you may sell them at a large profit during a squeeze. Now, it turns out, the same, very same logic applies to overcompensation: it is just a form of redundancy. An additional head for Hydra is no different from an extra—that is, seemingly redundant—kidney for humans, and no different from the additional capacity to withstand an extra stressor.
If you ingest, say, fifteen milligrams of a poisonous substance, your body may prepare for twenty or more, and as a side effect will get stronger overall. Antifragile PDF Book These extra five milligrams of poison that you can withstand are no different from additional stockpiles of vital or necessary goods, say extra cash in the bank or more food in the basement.
And to return to the drivers of innovation: the additional quantities of motivation and willpower, so to speak, stemming from setbacks can be also seen as extra capacity, no different from extra boxes of victuals. I have called this mental defect the Lucretius problem, after the Latin poetic philosopher who wrote that the fool believes that the tallest mountain in the world will be equal to the tallest one he has observed.
We consider the biggest object of any kind that we have seen in our lives or hear about as the largest item that can possibly exist. And we have been doing this for millennia. In Pharaonic Egypt, which happens to be the first complete top-down nation-state managed by bureaucrats, scribes tracked the high-water mark of the Nile and used it as an estimate for a future worst-case scenario.
The wily Venetians knew how to spread information by disguising it as a secret. Antifragile PDF Book Try it out with the following experiment in spreading gossip: tell someone a secret and qualify it by insisting that it is a secret, begging your listener “not to tell anyone”; the more you insist that it remain a secret, the more it will spread.
My friend Chad Garcia improved his Russian thanks to an involuntary stay in the quarantine section of a hospital in Moscow for an imagined disease. It was a cunning brand of medical kidnapping, as during the mess after the end of the Soviet rule, hospitals were able to extort travelers with forced hospital stays unless they paid large sums of money to have their papers cleared.
Chad, then barely fluent in the language, was forced to read Tolstoy in the original, and picked up quite a bit of vocabulary. So some parts on the inside of a system may be required to be fragile in order to make the system antifragile as a result. Antifragile PDF Book Or the organism itself might be fragile, but the information encoded in the genes reproducing it will be antifragile.
The point is not trivial, as it is behind the logic of evolution. This applies equally to entrepreneurs and individual scientific researchers. So, in a way, while hormesis corresponds to situations by which the individual organism benefits from direct harm to itself, evolution occurs when harm makes the individual organism perish and the benefits are transferred to others, the surviving ones, and future generations.
We saw the trade-off between the interests of the collective and those of the individual. An economy cannot survive without breaking individual eggs; protection is harmful, and constraining the forces of evolution to benefit individuals does not seem required. But we can shield individuals from starvation, provide some social protection.
And give them respect. Or more, as we see next. Antifragile PDF There is another issue with the abstract state, a psychological one. We humans scorn what is not concrete. We are more easily swayed by a crying baby than by thousands of people dying elsewhere that do not make it to our living room through the TV set.
The one case is a tragedy, the other a statistic. Our emotional energy is blind to probability. The media make things worse as they play on our infatuation with anecdotes, our thirst for the sensational, and they cause a great deal of unfairness that way. At the present time, one person is dying of diabetes every seven seconds, but the news can only talk about victims of hurricanes with houses flying in the air.
It involves the heating and controlled cooling of a material, to increase the size of the crystals and reduce their defects. Antifragile PDF Just as with Buridan’s donkey, the heat causes the atoms to become unstuck from their initial positions and wander randomly through states of higher energy; the cooling gives them more chances of finding new, better configurations.
Modernity widened the difference between the sensational and the relevant—in a natural environment the sensational is, well, sensational for a reason; today we depend on the press for such essentially human things as gossip and anecdotes and we care about the private lives of people in very remote places.
Consider the method of annealing in metallurgy, a technique used to make metal stronger and more homogeneous. Yet the best way to learn a language may be an episode of jail in a foreign country.