Antifragile Summary

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Antifragile Summary by Mind Map: Antifragile Summary

1. 1-Sentence-Summary:

1.1. Antifragile reveals how some systems thrive from shocks, volatility and uncertainty, instead of breaking from them, and how you can adapt more antifragile traits yourself to thrive in an uncertain and chaotic world.

2. Favorite quote from the author:

2.1. "The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

3. 3 lessons:

3.1. Fragile items break under stress, antifragile items get better from it.

3.1.1. There isn’t really a word that describes things, which are the opposite of fragile

3.1.2. We might talk about something being robust or durable, but that really just means it can resist shocks and stress better than fragile items – but it doesn’t benefit from them.

3.1.3. Nassim Taleb took care of this dilemma by giving us a word for what we’re looking for: antifragile.

3.1.4. It describes things that benefit from shock and thrive in volatile environments, because as they’re stressed and put under pressure, they get better, not worse.

3.1.5. Here's an example: When Hercules fights the Hydra, every time he slices off one of her heads, two grow back. So for every time the beast is hurt, it actually gets stronger. That’s an example of being antifragile.

3.2. An antifragile system usually consists of many fragile parts.

3.2.1. There are quite a few more good examples of antifragile systems, one being the evolutionary process.

3.2.2. However, that also meant many humans before us had to die.

3.2.3. Any individual specimen of a species is usually fragile – every human being or animal can die and quite easily so.

3.2.4. But, because the system can use life and death as indicators of success and failure, the evolution of species in itself is antifragile.

3.2.5. For example, our hands weren’t always built to handle tools so well. Through evolution it became apparent that the more advanced our hands got, the longer we could survive, so eventually our genetic code morphed to include the incredibly refined hands we all have today.

3.2.6. So for an antifragile system to work, its individual parts must be fragile, because the success and failure of these parts serves as important feedback for the system as a whole and allows it to get better in chaotic circumstances.

3.3. Antifragile systems work, because they build extra capacity when put under stress.

3.3.1. You do experience it quite often, if you exercise regularly, that is.

3.3.2. When you go to the gym and lift really heavy weights, and when you feel the burn, you push on and do just one more rep – that’s when growth happens.

3.3.3. The fragile parts, the tissue in your muscles, is broken down – the failure is reported to the system.

3.3.4. In order to ensure future success, your body now overcompensates for this shock, by building extra capacity to handle even bigger shocks better.

3.3.5. Over night, as you sleep and recover, your muscles are rebuilt and they’re now a bit stronger than before.

3.3.6. Usually, the human body is incredibly efficient, and doesn’t want any excess capacity “lying around”. But in the case of being antifragile, your body builds redundancy in order to prepare for future extreme situations and emergencies.

3.3.7. That’s how stress can prepare your body for even bigger stress and it’s building this extra capacity that lies at the core of why being antifragile is so helpful to thrive in critical situations.

4. What else can you learn from the blinks?

4.1. Why tranquil environments result in fragile systems

4.2. The reason why you should maximize your options and why you don’t have to understand an antifragile system to thrive in it

4.3. What you should do with risks instead of avoiding them

4.4. How the size of a system influences its vulnerability

4.5. Why antifragility often comes at the expense of others and how 2008 bankers managed to keep their jobs

4.6. How our perspective on volatility is skewed

4.7. What the “turkey problem” is and how it could lead you to making false assumptions

4.8. Why the Industrial Revolution is not what we make it out to be in history books

5. Who would I recommend the Antifragile summary to?

5.1. The 17 year old who’s unsure about going to college, but is told by his parents that it’s “the safe way to go”, the 35 year old politician, who’s in charge of creating an economic spending program, and anyone who’s ever broken a glass.