Antifragility

The concept of antifragility, introduced by Nassim Taleb, refers to a system or an entity which gains by variability or randomness.

A simple example is the human body in which the bones gain in strength because of regular stresses and mild shocks. If one stays in bed for six months, the bones become brittle and fragile. So, our body is both fragile (if it is not subject to regular small dosages of stresses) and antifragile (if we exercise regularly, for example).

There other related examples:

  • A house which is not lived in will go to ruin
  • A plane which is not at all flown will rust and become useless. On a related note, the airline industry as a whole gains in robustness by studying the failures of previous crashes, and so, planes have today become the safest mode of transportation.

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