Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder

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    洪一萍has quotedlast year
    Never ask anyone for their opinion, forecast, or recommendation. Just ask them what they have—or don’t have—in their portfolio.
    洪一萍has quoted9 months ago
    Perhaps Voltaire’s charm was in that he did not know how to save his wit. So the same hidden antifragilities apply to attacks on our ideas and persons: we fear them and dislike negative publicity, but smear campaigns, if you can survive them, help enormously, conditional on the person appearing to be extremely motivated and adequately angry—just as when you hear a woman badmouthing another in front of a man (or vice versa). There is a visible selection bias: why did he attack you instead of someone else, one of the millions of persons deserving but not worthy of attack? It is his energy in attacking or badmouthing that will, antifragile style, put you on the map.
    洪一萍has quoted10 months ago
    When some systems are stuck in a dangerous impasse, randomness and only randomness can unlock them and set them free. You can see here that absence of randomness equals guaranteed death.
    洪一萍has quoted10 months ago
    So our mission in life becomes simply “how not to be a turkey,” or, if possible, how to be a turkey in reverse—antifragile, that is. “Not being a turkey” starts with figuring out the difference between true and manufactured stability.
    洪一萍has quoted10 months ago
    Recall our mission to “not be a turkey.” The take-home is that, when facing a long sample subjected to turkey problems, one tends to estimate a lower number of adverse events—simply, rare events are rare, and tend not to show up in past samples, and given that the rare is almost always negative, we get a rosier picture than reality. But here we face the mirror image, the reverse situation. Under positive asymmetries, that is, the antifragile case, the “unseen” is positive. So “empirical evidence” tends to miss positive events and underestimate the total benefits.
    洪一萍has quoted10 months ago
    ith few exceptions, those who dress outrageously are robust or even antifragile in reputation; those clean-shaven types who dress in suits and ties are fragile to information about them.
    洪一萍has quotedlast year
    洪一萍has quotedlast year
    Black Swans hijack our brains, making us feel we “sort of” or “almost” predicted them, because they are retrospectively explainable. We don’t realize the role of these Swans in life because of this illusion of predictability.
    b1773896487has quoted3 years ago
    America’s asset is, simply, risk taking and the use of optionality, this remarkable ability to engage in rational forms of trial and error, with no comparative shame in failing, starting again, and repeating failure. In modern Japan, by contrast, shame comes with failure, which causes people to hide risks under the rug, financial or nuclear, making small benefits while sitting on dynamite, an attitude that strangely contrasts with their traditional respect for fallen heroes and the so-called nobility of failure.
    Vasily Betinhas quoted3 years ago
    very rarely discussed property of data: it is toxic in large quantities—even in moderate quantities.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted18 hours ago
    Further, businesses with negative optionality (that is, the opposite of having optionality) such as banking have had a horrible performance through history: banks lose periodically every penny made in their history thanks to blowups.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted2 days ago
    If the population in the Western world had an average income of fifty thousand dollars, with no inequality at all, luxury goods sellers would not survive. But if the average stays the same but with a high degree of inequality, with some incomes higher than two million dollars, and potentially some incomes higher than ten million, then the business has plenty of customers—even if such high incomes are offset by masses of people with lower incomes. The “tails” of the distribution on the higher end of the income brackets, the extreme, are much more determined by changes in inequality than changes in the average. It gains from dispersion, hence is antifragile. This explains the bubble in real estate prices in Central London, determined by inequality in Russia and the Arabian Gulf and totally independent of the real estate dynamics in Britain. Some apartments, those for the very rich, sell for twenty times the average per square foot of a building a few blocks away.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted5 days ago
    What makes life simple is that the robust and antifragile don’t have to have as accurate a comprehension of the world as the fragile—and they do not need forecasting. To see how redundancy is a nonpredictive, or rather a less predictive, mode of action, let us use the argument of Chapter 2: if you have extra cash in the bank (in addition to stockpiles of tradable goods such as cans of Spam and hummus and gold bars in the basement), you don’t need to know with precision which event will cause potential difficulties.1 It could be a war, a revolution, an earthquake, a recession, an epidemic, a terrorist attack, the secession of the state of New Jersey, anything—you do not need to predict much, unlike those who are in the opposite situation, namely, in debt. Those, because of their fragility, need to predict with more, a lot more, accuracy.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted6 days ago
    Consider that every day, 6,200 persons die in the United States, many of preventable causes. But the media only report the most anecdotal and sensational cases (hurricanes, freak accidents, small plane crashes), giving us a more and more distorted map of real risks. In an ancestral environment, the anecdote, the “interesting,” is information; today, no longer. Likewise, by presenting us with explanations and theories, the media induce an illusion of understanding the world.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted6 days ago
    Consider the iatrogenics of newspapers. They need to fill their pages every day with a set of news items—particularly those news items also dealt with by other newspapers. But to do things right, they ought to learn to keep silent in the absence of news of significance. Newspapers should be of two-line length on some days, two hundred pages on others—in proportion with the intensity of the signal. But of course they want to make money and need to sell us junk food. And junk food is iatrogenic.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted7 days ago
    Some libertarians use the example of Drachten, a town in the Netherlands, in which a dream experiment was conducted. All street signs were removed. The deregulation led to an increase in safety, confirming the antifragility of attention at work, how it is whetted by a sense of danger and responsibility. As a result, many German and Dutch towns have reduced the number of street signs.
    votlendisfuglahas quoted7 days ago
    Further, consider how toxic such growth-followed-by-a-fall can be to society, as the fall of the dining guest, in response to the fall of the sword of Damocles, will bring what we now call collateral damage, harming others. For instance, the collapse of a large institution will have effects on society.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted8 days ago
    Time for American policy makers to understand that the more they intervene in other countries for the sake of stability, the more they bring instability (except for emergency-room-style cases). Or perhaps time to reduce the role of policy makers in policy affairs.

    One of life’s packages: no stability without volatility.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted8 days ago
    Without the United States, the country would have had its revolution, a regional breakup, some turmoil, then perhaps—by now—some stability. But preventing noise makes the problem worse in the long run.

    Clearly the “alliance” between the Saudi royal family and the United States was meant to provide stability. What stability? How long can one confuse the system? Actually “how long” is irrelevant: this stability is similar to a loan one has to eventually pay back.
    Иванов Алексейhas quoted8 days ago
    Saudi Arabia is the country that at present worries and offends me the most; it is a standard case of top-down stability enforced by a superpower at the expense of every single possible moral and ethical metric—and, of course, at the expense of stability itself.
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