Antifragile

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Some lessons learned reading Taleb's book Antifragile.

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Antifragile

  1. 1. AntifragileLessons Learnedby @andrefaria
  2. 2. Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Arabic: !"#$ %&( %")$ *+,"$, alternatively Nessim or Nissim, born 1960) is a Lebanese American essayist and scholar whose work focuses on problems of randomness, probability and uncertainty. His 2007 book The Black Swan was described in a review by Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II.The Authorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassim_Nicholas_Taleb
  3. 3. newbooksinbrief.com
  4. 4. The Black Swan
  5. 5. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
  6. 6. The Turkey Problem
  7. 7. Fragile
  8. 8. What’s the opposite of fragile?
  9. 9. Robust? Wrong!
  10. 10. Antifragile gets benefits fromrandom events andgain from disorder
  11. 11. Fragile Robust Anti-Fragile
  12. 12. Fragilista Hates disorder and seek stability by trying tostabilize the environment
  13. 13. AntiFragilista Seeks Stability byembrace chalenge and randomness
  14. 14. We didn’t have a wordfor it, but many thing has this property
  15. 15. The body is antifragile it benefits from stressors (to a point)
  16. 16. Bones gets denser when episodic stress isapplied to them and too much stress it will break them
  17. 17. Muscles grow strongest when they are taxed with the highest amount of weightbeneath their breaking pointwork with very heavy weights and few reps, as opposed tolesser weights with more reps
  18. 18. Mithridatization An organism can gain a tolerance to a poison by wayof being exposed to the poison in small doses
  19. 19. Hormesis Some toxins when taken in small doses, not only induce a tolerance in the recipient but even act as a kind of medicine
  20. 20. caloric restriction and fasting it is also a stressor to be kept from the things that the body needs (water, food and sleep) Your body may be toughened up by way of being kept from these things longer than usual occasionally
  21. 21. Not only do bodies get stronger when they are met with periodic stress, but, conversely, the lack of this periodic stress tends to leadto degeneration and atrophy.
  22. 22. Nature prepares for what has not happened before,assuming worse harm is possible
  23. 23. The single most significant way thatwe fragilize the body,is by stepping in with medical interventionfar more o!en, and far sooner than is truly necessary or beneficial
  24. 24. Unless the body is very sick we shouldlet time, and the body itself, do the healing
  25. 25. Iatrogenicsis an inadvertentadverse effect or complication resulting frommedical treatment or advice
  26. 26. Iatrogenics Historically has been asignificant problem in the medical industry. “Untilpenicillin, medicine had a largely negative balance sheet—going to the doctor increased your chance of death”.
  27. 27. Doctors are paid to treat patients (not send themhome without it), and the more expensive andinvolved the treatment is, the more the doctor gets paid
  28. 28. Barbelling “The strategy of not interfering (or not taking any risks) when there is little to gain, but possibly much to lose, while taking big risks (or many smallrisks) in cases where thereis potentially much to gain, but very little to lose.”
  29. 29. if you put 90 percent of your funds in boring cash (assuming you are protected from inflation) and 10 percent in very risky, maximally risky, securities, you cannot possibly lose more than 10 percent, while you are exposed to massive upside. Someone with 100 percent in ‘medium’ securities has a risk of total ruin from themiscomputations of risks
  30. 30. Diet “sticking to those things that were to be found in the environment in whichwe evolved (vegetables, fruit, meat, water), as well as those thingsthat have been around for a very long time(cheese, wine, coffee)“
  31. 31. Diet Mix up one’s food choices as much aspossible, periodically abstaining fromparticular options for stretches at a time
  32. 32. Expend Energy“let us not forget that we are not designed to bereceiving foods from thedelivery person. In nature, we had to expend some energy to eat”
  33. 33. Antifragile systems not only benefit from periodicstressors, but they also tendto benefit more when these stressors are distributed randomly, as opposed to more regularly
  34. 34. Antifragile systems arenecessarily complex, and a certain amount of randomness is a natural (and necessary) part of complex systems.
  35. 35. Evolution Each new generation represents animprovement over the last, for only the fittest are successful in passing on their genes.
  36. 36. Collective Antifragile Species are more antifragilethan individual organisms and on a still higher plane, life itself is more antifragile than any given species.
  37. 37. The Noncomplexis not Antifragile Inanimate objects are decidedly fragile, or robust at best. “A human body can benefit from stressors, but a dish, a car, an inanimate object will not—these may be robust but not intrinsically antifragile
  38. 38. Complex System one multiple interdependent variables and an ability to self-organize in some wayThink in terms of Ecology
  39. 39. Complex systems gain theirantifragility by way of beingallowed to unfold organically (which includes some measure of randomness)
  40. 40. Complex systems resist top-down design, and o!entimeseven top-down interference.This is because these systemsare simply too complex to be controlled from the outside.
  41. 41. The only way that we caneffectively work with complex systems is by working from the inside—by gearing our decisions and actions to act as minor tweaks (trial and error) on the system (just as evolution does)
  42. 42. Complex systems areweakened, even killed when deprived of stressors
  43. 43. Technology
  44. 44. Pratice is the Source When it comes to technology and innovation there is a widespread belief that it flows directly from scientific discovery. For Taleb this model (Baconian Linear) is almost entirely backwards.
  45. 45. The vast majority of technological innovation, now as ever, has come from practitioners and engineerstinkering with objects, improving on them, and coming up with ideas to solve their practical difficulties.
  46. 46. Economicsand Politics
  47. 47. Limit the size of businesses Ensure that mistakes and failures are kept local, and are prevented from have cascading effects.
  48. 48. “good systems are set up to have small errors, independent from each other or, negatively correlated to each other, sincemistakes lower the odds of future mistakes”
  49. 49. Debt makes You Fragile Another mistake in the economic realm is taking on debt. Debt puts in you a vulnerable position, because you must live on the creditor’s terms, and are le! with nothing to hold you up in case of an emergency.
  50. 50. Absence of Skin in the Game Specialization separates decision makers from the effects of their decisions
  51. 51. Absence of Skin in the Game Arrange things such that decision-makers are put in a position that they feel theconsequences of their decisions and actions, and only trust those where this is the case. In the case of economists, forinstance, only those should be trusted who have stock portfolios that match up with their opinions.
  52. 52. Absence of Skin in the Game Rulers once went to war with theirarmies, many led their armies into war and they were first to go in and the last to come out: Caesar, Alexander,and Hannibal were on the battlefield
  53. 53. Today rulers play video games while threatening the lives of others
  54. 54. Ralph Nader Rule “people voting for war need to have at least one descendant exposed to combat”
  55. 55. Keep it LocalTaleb maintains that political decision- making should be kept as local aspossible; as opposed to decisions being imposed from some centralized body.
  56. 56. The trick is not to spend our time trying to get better at predicting this world, or making it more predictable,for both of these strategies are bound to fail.
  57. 57. Thanks! @andrefariahttp://blog.andrefaria.com/en http://blog.andrefaria.com http://blog.blueso!.com.br

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