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Antifragile
Lessons Learned
by @andrefaria
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 Author
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassim_Nicholas_Taleb
newbooksinbrief.com
The Black Swan
Absence of evidence is not
   evidence of absence
The Turkey
 Problem
Fragile
What’s the opposite
    of fragile?
Robust?
   Wrong!
Antifragile gets
   benefits from
random events and
gain from disorder
Fragile   Robust   Anti-Fragile
Fragilista
 Hates disorder and seek
   stability by trying to
stabilize the environment
AntiFragilista
 Seeks Stability by
embrace chalenge and
    randomness
We didn’t have a word
for it, but many thing
  has this property
The body is antifragile
    it benefits from stressors (to a point)
Bones gets denser when episodic stress is
applied to them and too much stress it will
               break them
Muscles grow strongest when
  they are taxed with the
 highest amount of weight
beneath their breaking point

work with very heavy weights
 and few reps, as opposed to
lesser weights with more reps
Mithridatization
    An organism can gain a
 tolerance to a poison by way
of being exposed to the poison
         in small doses
Hormesis
 Some toxins when taken
  in small doses, not only
 induce a tolerance in the
 recipient but even act as
     a kind of medicine
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
Not only do bodies get
 stronger when they are met
   with periodic stress, but,
 conversely, the lack of this
 periodic stress tends to lead
to degeneration and atrophy.
Nature prepares for
    what has not
  happened before,
assuming worse harm
     is possible
The single most
 significant way that
we fragilize the body,
is by stepping in with
 medical intervention
far more o!en, and far
 sooner than is truly
     necessary or
       beneficial
Unless the body is
  very sick we should
let time, and the body
 itself, do the healing
Iatrogenics
is an inadvertent
adverse effect or
   complication
  resulting from
medical treatment
     or advice
Iatrogenics
  Historically has been a
significant problem in the
  medical industry. “Until
penicillin, medicine had a
 largely negative balance
   sheet—going to the
  doctor increased your
     chance of death”.
Doctors are paid to treat
 patients (not send them
home without it), and the
   more expensive and
involved the treatment is,
 the more the doctor gets
           paid
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 small
risks) in cases where there
is potentially much to gain,
    but very little to lose.”
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 the
miscomputations of risks
Diet
    “sticking to those
 things that were to be
       found in the
 environment in which
we evolved (vegetables,
  fruit, meat, water), as
   well as those things
that have been around
   for a very long time
(cheese, wine, coffee)“
Diet
  Mix up one’s food
 choices as much as
possible, periodically
   abstaining from
particular options for
 stretches at a time
Expend Energy
“let us not forget that we
  are not designed to be
receiving foods from the
delivery person. In nature,
 we had to expend some
      energy to eat”
Antifragile systems not only
    benefit from periodic
stressors, but they also tend
to benefit more when these
  stressors are distributed
  randomly, as opposed to
       more regularly
Antifragile systems are
necessarily complex, and a
    certain amount of
 randomness is a natural
 (and necessary) part of
    complex systems.
Evolution
     Each new generation represents an
improvement over the last, for only the fittest
  are successful in passing on their genes.
Collective Antifragile
  Species are more antifragile
than individual organisms and
   on a still higher plane, life
 itself is more antifragile than
        any given species.
The Noncomplex
is 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
Complex System
    one multiple interdependent
     variables and an ability to
     self-organize in some way
Think in terms of Ecology
Complex systems gain their
antifragility by way of being
allowed to unfold organically
    (which includes some
   measure of randomness)
Complex systems resist top-
down design, and o!entimes
even top-down interference.

This is because these systems
are simply too complex to be
 controlled from the outside.
The only way that we can
effectively 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)
Complex systems are
weakened, even killed when
   deprived of stressors
Technology
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.
The vast majority of technological innovation, now as
   ever, has come from practitioners and engineers
tinkering with objects, improving on them, and coming
   up with ideas to solve their practical difficulties.
Economics
and Politics
Limit the size of businesses
   Ensure that mistakes and failures are
  kept local, and are prevented from have
              cascading effects.
“good systems are set up to have small
  errors, independent from each other or,
 negatively correlated to each other, since
mistakes lower the odds of future mistakes”
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.
Absence of Skin in
    the Game
  Specialization separates
  decision makers from the
  effects of their decisions
Absence of Skin in the Game
    Arrange things such that
 decision-makers are put in a
   position that they feel the
consequences of their decisions
   and actions, and only trust
  those where this is the case.

 In the case of economists, for
instance, only those should be
     trusted who have stock
 portfolios that match up with
          their opinions.
Absence of Skin in the Game
  Rulers once went to war with their
armies, 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
Today rulers play video games while
  threatening the lives of others
Ralph Nader Rule
   “people voting for
  war need to have at
 least one descendant
  exposed to combat”
Keep it Local
Taleb maintains that
  political decision-
  making should be
    kept as local as
possible; as opposed
  to decisions being
 imposed from some
   centralized body.
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.
Thanks!




              @andrefaria
http://blog.andrefaria.com/en
   http://blog.andrefaria.com
   http://blog.blueso!.com.br

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Antifragile

  • 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 Author http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassim_Nicholas_Taleb
  • 5. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
  • 8. What’s the opposite of fragile?
  • 9. Robust? Wrong!
  • 10. Antifragile gets benefits from random events and gain from disorder
  • 11. Fragile Robust Anti-Fragile
  • 12. Fragilista Hates disorder and seek stability by trying to stabilize the environment
  • 13. AntiFragilista Seeks Stability by embrace chalenge and randomness
  • 14. We didn’t have a word for it, but many thing has this property
  • 15. The body is antifragile it benefits from stressors (to a point)
  • 16. Bones gets denser when episodic stress is applied to them and too much stress it will break them
  • 17. Muscles grow strongest when they are taxed with the highest amount of weight beneath their breaking point work with very heavy weights and few reps, as opposed to lesser weights with more reps
  • 18. Mithridatization An organism can gain a tolerance to a poison by way of being exposed to the poison in small doses
  • 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. 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. Not only do bodies get stronger when they are met with periodic stress, but, conversely, the lack of this periodic stress tends to lead to degeneration and atrophy.
  • 22. Nature prepares for what has not happened before, assuming worse harm is possible
  • 23. The single most significant way that we fragilize the body, is by stepping in with medical intervention far more o!en, and far sooner than is truly necessary or beneficial
  • 24. Unless the body is very sick we should let time, and the body itself, do the healing
  • 25. Iatrogenics is an inadvertent adverse effect or complication resulting from medical treatment or advice
  • 26. Iatrogenics Historically has been a significant problem in the medical industry. “Until penicillin, medicine had a largely negative balance sheet—going to the doctor increased your chance of death”.
  • 27. Doctors are paid to treat patients (not send them home without it), and the more expensive and involved the treatment is, the more the doctor gets paid
  • 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 small risks) in cases where there is potentially much to gain, but very little to lose.”
  • 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 the miscomputations of risks
  • 30. Diet “sticking to those things that were to be found in the environment in which we evolved (vegetables, fruit, meat, water), as well as those things that have been around for a very long time (cheese, wine, coffee)“
  • 31. Diet Mix up one’s food choices as much as possible, periodically abstaining from particular options for stretches at a time
  • 32. Expend Energy “let us not forget that we are not designed to be receiving foods from the delivery person. In nature, we had to expend some energy to eat”
  • 33. Antifragile systems not only benefit from periodic stressors, but they also tend to benefit more when these stressors are distributed randomly, as opposed to more regularly
  • 34. Antifragile systems are necessarily complex, and a certain amount of randomness is a natural (and necessary) part of complex systems.
  • 35. Evolution Each new generation represents an improvement over the last, for only the fittest are successful in passing on their genes.
  • 36. Collective Antifragile Species are more antifragile than individual organisms and on a still higher plane, life itself is more antifragile than any given species.
  • 37. The Noncomplex is 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. Complex System one multiple interdependent variables and an ability to self-organize in some way Think in terms of Ecology
  • 39. Complex systems gain their antifragility by way of being allowed to unfold organically (which includes some measure of randomness)
  • 40. Complex systems resist top- down design, and o!entimes even top-down interference. This is because these systems are simply too complex to be controlled from the outside.
  • 41. The only way that we can effectively 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. Complex systems are weakened, even killed when deprived of stressors
  • 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. The vast majority of technological innovation, now as ever, has come from practitioners and engineers tinkering with objects, improving on them, and coming up with ideas to solve their practical difficulties.
  • 47. Limit the size of businesses Ensure that mistakes and failures are kept local, and are prevented from have cascading effects.
  • 48. “good systems are set up to have small errors, independent from each other or, negatively correlated to each other, since mistakes lower the odds of future mistakes”
  • 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. Absence of Skin in the Game Specialization separates decision makers from the effects of their decisions
  • 51. Absence of Skin in the Game Arrange things such that decision-makers are put in a position that they feel the consequences of their decisions and actions, and only trust those where this is the case. In the case of economists, for instance, only those should be trusted who have stock portfolios that match up with their opinions.
  • 52. Absence of Skin in the Game Rulers once went to war with their armies, 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. Today rulers play video games while threatening the lives of others
  • 54. Ralph Nader Rule “people voting for war need to have at least one descendant exposed to combat”
  • 55. Keep it Local Taleb maintains that political decision- making should be kept as local as possible; as opposed to decisions being imposed from some centralized body.
  • 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. Thanks! @andrefaria http://blog.andrefaria.com/en http://blog.andrefaria.com http://blog.blueso!.com.br