Антихрупкость | Насим Талеб

Antifragile book 1

What is AF at the core

  • AF get better after shocks, wherever mild resilient stays the same.
  • It loves randomness, uncertainty, and crucially love of errors, a certain class of errors. What class of errors are useful?
  • It helps understand the notion of fragility better.
    • Fragility can be measured, but risk can’t. Outside the minds of “risk experts” and casino players. ![[экспертное мнение#^7f0692]]
  • Everything that has more benefits from unexpected shocks is AF, the rest is fragile.
  • Af is a groundwork of all innovation breakthroughs. It is highly dependent on tinkering, aggressive risk bearing than on formal education.
  • Smoothness of memory, linear facts’ representation, omits understanding and role of randomness.
    • Embrace the chaos and randomness, get yourself a semblance of order. [[Sonke Ahrens]] spoke about decentralized system of notes, which was similar to antifragile idea of randomness.
  • Man-made systems of knowledge that has been created to promote more predictability instead of that make system more unstable and paradoxically even more unpredictable.
    • Odds are rare events, that can’t be computed.
    • AF gains from wild cards, prediction errors in the long run.
    • Things that gain from randomness should rule the world, and it is the case.
    • Academics write books, engineers tinker with stuff. Academics don’t know the process, thus sending the wrong message, leaving randomness and errors out of the picture.
      • History of innovation must be refined with this concept in mind.

Antifragility measurement

In short, AG can’t be measured, due to the high dependence on randomness and uncertainties.

  • You can’t calculate the risk and probabilities of shocks and rare events, no matter how sophisticated we get.
    • Memory can’t deal with unknowns.
    • Unknown must never be considered non-existent. ![[Critical thinking#^3deaa8]]
    • These delusions leads to overratioanlization, appearance of rationalists and limited rationalists. Who believe that the reasons behind things are accessible to them.
      • This makes fragilista of them. Entity that is engaged in policies and actions that lead to small benefit, and possible severe and invisible side effects.
  • Less is more, the constant message in problem-solving.
    • Not only more, but also more effective.
  • Complex doesn’t mean complicated. It doesn’t need intricate policies and regulations. That all leads only to a bigger number of chains, which in turn multiplicate mistakes.

Arabs on trenchant prose: No skill to understand, mastery to write.

  • Heuristics are not perfect, expedient don’t forget that otherwise it turns to be dangerous.
  • Things that make the whole system stronger, not safeguards but completely different in its core mechanisms.
    • Uncertainties.
    • Variability.
    • Imperfect or incomplete knowledge.
    • Chance.
    • Chaos.
    • Volatility.
    • Disorder.
    • Entropy.
    • Time.
    • The unknown.
    • Randomness.
    • Turmoil.
    • Stressors.
    • Error.
    • Dispersion of outcomes.
    • Unknowledge.

Taleb’s books are now finished essays or standalone works, they are nonoverlapping chapters that are constantly under construction. That looks into each of the aspects of the antifragility mechanisms of the system from above. Good reference for a book as digital garden and beginning.

  • Doxastic commitment, is a class of beliefs that go beyond talk, and to which we are committed enough to take personal risk

Levels of fragility

  • Fragile
    • Mistakes are rare and large, hence irreversible.
  • Robust
    • Just resilient.
  • Antifragile
    • Mistakes are small and benign, reversible, quickly overcome. Rich with information.
  • The bigger the society, the easier it to topple.
    • Technology and sophistication, aversion to risk do not tolerate randomness and chance, thus do not immunize itself, from natural occurrences.
    • Humans and society become intellectually blind, as Maria from color-blind room has been. We are AF-blind.
      • Intellectuals tend to focus on negative responses from randomness. [The mistake of survived], better to look into positive, how the event made us stronger, what bigger harm it prevents, how it could be worse.
    • The first step on the road from fragility to robustness to AF is mild harm, non-lethal or existential.
      • That’s how we innovate. Necessity first, then go beyond the satisfaction and then from invention to invention.
      • Excess energy release from a setback innovates!
  • The reacher we become, the harder to live within our means. ![[Самое большое препятствие в развитии общества#Самое большое препятствие в развитии общества]]
  • Noise produced by a person is a reverse of a chain food, the quietest is the most dangerous. Listen not to the loudest, but the least audible. ![[Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less#^d4ab1c]] ^ed987f
  • Don’t overthink. More effort to control ideas and what we think about them changes the roles of the thinker with the idea itself.
    • Ideas start controlling us.
  • The more is said about the book, the better it is. Criticism is a hallmark of recognition.
    • To estimate the quality of research, start by looking at those who scolds it.
  • Do not control the reputation, you can sustain it, but not control. Information impossible to control.
    • Governments and big corporation are unable to understand this simple rule, that controlling information is similar to controlling a white water river.
    • When reputation is not at stake, or you just plainly do not care enough, only then you tend to have brilliant ideas.

Stress is knowledge (and knowledge is stress). The organic and mechanical.

  • Complicated is not complex. They don’t have interdependencies.
    • Complex systems are all about information. Casual opacity, hard to see the arrow from cause to consequence.
      • In most everyday lives, casual methods of analyses are inapplicable. Logic, reasoning, writing analyses.
      • The reason behind that is that we don’t know what has really happened.
  • Multiculturalism is a need of the modern time. We, those who live outside English-speaking countries, are blessed with the need to learn English. It brings joy of and exposure to different culture and we get pollinated by them.
  • Goal driven attitude hurts more than decentralized systems. ^c6309a
    • Something inside loves randomness and disorder. Entropy.
    • Writing a book should be an adventure, the same principle can be applied to writing notes. You don’t know where it brings you and how far will you go.
    • All life is random stimuli. But we substituted it with modern way of living, which excludes randomness and minimizes effects of game of chance.
  • We get antifragility at a price of someone else’s fragility.
    • Parts of inside system must be fragile in order for the whole system to be AF.
    • Evolution works like this. Constantly tinkering and playing with our designs. But we reject this chance by artificially making us stronger against evolution, though inside we know that natural selection doesn’t work like this.
    • We are prone to overlook the fact that organisms are complex, aside from outside level there is inside level, there are dependencies of one part of the system on the other.
    • Organisms and systems need to die for nature to be AF. It’s merciless, selfish, opportunistic and ruthless.

Robert Trivers and his discovery of selfish gene.

  • Mechanisms of evolution is randomness.
    • Mutation of organisms.
    • Change in environment.
  • Every trial provides the information about what doesn’t work, which in turn brings closer to the solution. And of course there are plenty of discoveries along the path.
    • Avoid at all cost mistakes that produce contagion and as a result drop the whole system. Banking e.g.
    • To do that you have to allow small mistakes to roam the system and after resolving the stress, dissect it, look for new information. Enrich yourself with new piece of information.
      • Losers don’t do it. They tend to look for excuses for the failure wherever they should search for knowledge.
    • Continuous failure work for the benefit of the system, building resilience and immunity. The system where no mistakes are allowed won’t survive for long.
  • Best knowledge, that of absence (what doesn’t work). It is frightening now to know and to be in control, but liberating in knowing that life is a wild card game. You won’t know what hand you are dealt with until the moment you need to play.
    • ![[Harry Potter and the methods of rationality#^a81e1b]]

Antifragile books 2 and 3

  • Randomness is not risky. It’s not a bad thing. ^2f62fb
    • You can’t defeat randomness by eliminating randomness.
    • The world doesn’t work like this. Even though we are looking at the world from an objectively understandable position, still too much is left to chance and the designs of nature.
  • Humid office and vast prairie.
    • George. The taxi driver.
      • Unpredictable but comparable to John’s income over the year.
    • John. The bank clerk.
      • Stable income with no variability.
  • The example of two brothers provide the understanding that free options, that George has, is the hallmark of antifragility.
    • A small nonterminal mistake is information, that dictates the changes and adaptive approach to work.
    • Here we can see a rift between the nature and the human nature.
      • The first one loves small errors, without it evolution would be impossible.
      • Humans don’t. Hence, we rely too much on our judgment. And by doing it, we put ourselves at the mercy of personal biases that do not enjoy the company of AF.
        • Judgments according to Stoics could be put on a leash. ![[The Practicing Stoic#^4201ff]]
  • Quantity into quality. The bigger the number of elements of the system, the more different the relationship among them.
    • The increase doesn’t preserve properties. The transformation is taking place.
    • Big entities tend to break in all manner of ways, wherever small one prove to be antifragile.
      • Small is beautiful in so many ways.
    • Example is countries with municipalities and central management, like USSR, but I am not sure that fall of the country had been the consequence of the size.
      • Examples, small countries with municipalities and big one.
  • Hand on vs know what approach.
    • Switzerland has low number level of university education compare to rich countries that rely on their banking system.
    • Model of banking education is mostly based on apprenticeship, and nearly vocational.
      • In other words. Crafts and know how instead of book knowledge and know what.
  • The best way to fail is to plan on a bid scale. ![[Harry Potter and the methods of rationality#^c8809a]]
    • The world is too random and unpredictable. Though we can use some semblance of planning, without too many details.
    • The reason for the failure is the fact that we plan with the notion of visibility of the future, which is a mistake.
    • Survival comes from mixing fitness and environmental conditions.
  • If the butcher feeds the turkey all year, it doesn’t mean that he loves it.
    • The black swan day for a turkey is Thanksgiving Day. And the goal of AF is to become the butcher, not the poultry.
    • It’s the mother of all mistakes. Unknowledge of the possibility of the harmful outcome.
      • It prevails in social science circles and grounded in intellectual one.
        • Know the difference between real and manufactured stability.
        • Risk is in the future, not in the past. Don’t rely too much on the data.

[!NOTE] Title
Don’t mistake what you don’t see for the nonexistent.
Don’t mistake absence of evidence for evidence of absence.

  • Micromanagement and rigorous control backfires and blows back, ruining the facade.
    • James Clerk Maxwell, electromagnetic theory.
    • Light control works, tight control leads to overreaction, bringing is some extreme cases the destruction of the system. [Swiss air].
    • Volatility introduces factuality of certain things, giving them opportunity to float without risk of sinking.
    • Where tight control breaks a hull of a ship, allowing no place for elasticity.
  • Donkey hunger – mental experiment.
    • Donkey can’t choose between water and food if he stands at the equal distance from both.
    • Dangerous impasse brings inevitable death for a donkey.
    • But as soon as we spur it randomly, either towards water or food, donkey will make its choice.
    • Randomness helps some solutions come to fruition.
  • Math randomness, annealing. That brings optimal solution because it invites randomness to the equation. And this kind of solutions only randomness can deliver.
    • Experiment with a ball, which chaotic bouncing had been put into order by random low-intensity shocks.
    • Ancients used hidden and sophisticated way to exploit randomness in their decision-making routine.
      • The stickier the business, the more it needs random chance to be successful.
      • I have a book which you open at a random page, and you have the decision. When did I use it. I need to remember.
      • Another way to use a book is to open it on a random page, look at a random line and read it. Usually there is a decision you need.
      • And we have everything in books. [Moby Dick and The Bible, predictions].
  • Do not suppress volatility. It brings fragility to the system.
    • Volatility is information. Use it.
    • Life’s package, no stability without volatility.
  • We are living in modernity. The age in which we believe that we know nature and hence the society must be designed by us.
    • Which is a mistake. We didn’t domesticate nature, we subdued it to our needs by bending ourselves to the nature’s whims.
  • Blue is just a word. The color is and always has been and definitely will be the spectrum numbers. We don’t need to know the numbers in order to operate.
    • The thinker who doesn’t know the word blue is handicapped, but not the person who does something with the hands.
      • [[научное знание]] thinker
      • [[техническое знание]] doer
  • Intervening can be harmful.
    • Look for balance between benefits and harm.
    • Analyze the trade-off of probabilistic benefits and probabilistic costs.
    • Let go the need to make everything functional. There is no need in that.
      • Just make bets and play. The probability is on your side. Twenty-five managers decision in front of CEO, Kahneman’s experiment from [[Thinking Fast and Slow]]
    • Interventionism depletes mental and financial resources without giving advantage and is almost always absent when needed the most.
      • We are blind to natural AF of the systems, they can take care of themselves, but we don’t give them chance to do it so by messing with them.
    • Abundance of road signs kills more than it saves. And 20 km speeding limit does the same. Lack of overcompensation, destroys alertness.
  • Develop an intervention policy. Define a breaking point of the system and initiate intervention to prevent the tripping point, where nothing can’t be saved anymore.
    • Risk-management routine.

Phenomenology is the observation of an empirical regularity without a visible theory for it.

  • Modern bonus systems are based on principle, what I’ve done to be where I am now.
    • But it is completely blind to a point what I’ve avoided doing to get here.
    • Which in most cases is more important.
    • Procrastination is a natural defense that allows things to take care of themselves and exercise AF.
      • Procrastination usually happens when you are faced with unnatural duties and procedures.
        • Visiting a dentist, doing homework with your son.
      • We, humans, are terrible at filtering information, especially short-term information.
        • From a meeting, or newsfeed or social media feed.
      • Procrastination is a safety mechanism to filter better, to resist the consequences of jumping into the pull.
        • Jumping makes us neurotic individuals. Avoid at all cost.
        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37M1W8TPSPs
    • Information can be toxic even in moderate quantities.
      • This quality of data is rarely discussed, though Marcus Aurelius warned about it. ![[Марк Аврелий о чтении#^691deb]]
      • The more you look at data, the more noise you get in return. ^f81513
        • Reduce the frequency, instead of looking at the phone every hour, pick it up every two hours, or even better, every 4 hours.
        • Use it primarily as a gadget to receive and make calls.
        • Keep silent in the absence of something significant.
          • Newspapers and social networks can’t do it, due to the economics.
        • Information is a stressor. Too much of it and you step over a threshold of no return and drown.
          • You are becoming fragile.

Mitigation of interventionism lies in reducing the amount of data needed at certain moments, as naturalistically as possible. In the age of hyperconnectivity it’s hard to get. To do science, doesn't mean to have more data.
gauge the quality of data, significant is useful, abundant is harmful.

  • Percolation theory. Physicists know that we shouldn’t study one element of terrain.
    • Instead of that, randomness of the system need to be surveyed.
    • Not seeing a random event is excusable, not preparing for it not.
      • We have to built antifragile systems, that are gaining form random events.
        • Curiosity is antifragile, like any form of addiction, and magnified by the attempts to satisfy it. Book have this ability.
  • Focus on actions and avoid words.
    • Don’t expect a recognition, it’s health eroding. Action only matter. External aspects of the actions are just your own perception, as said in [[The Practicing Stoic]]
    • A man gains from personal opinion, ability of risk taking.
      • Erudition.
      • Aesthetics.
      • Risk taking.
      • Nothing else matters.
  • Bet on those who betting against.
    • Oppose them. We can’t predict in general, as [[экспертное мнение]] experiment proved. It means that those who rely on predictions, take bigger risk than those who don’t.
    • Believing in predictions is a straights road to bankruptcy.
  • To reach a sound decision, you don’t need data of more knowledge or vaster information field.
    • All you require is a sliver of wisdom. Not even practically, philosophically, is enough.

Stoicism and antifragility

  • Stoicism makes you desire the challenge of a calamity.
    • Success brings asymmetry, and from it, you have more to lose. Sunk cost bias, or not even that, loss aversion bias.
      • Taleb despises the notion of aversion. And has a more practical way of looking at the problem. He calls is asymmetry.
      • When you have more to lose than to gain, it means you are fragile.
      • This asymmetry must be avoided.
    • Everyday lives bring too much of stress, especially professional.
      • Taleb used the technique “adjustment to the worst.
      • First day of the work, he wrote a resignation letter.
      • Before a new trading day, imagined the worst case scenario and lived through it.
      • It all allowed him to take certain types of risks he would never have taken if he didn’t prime himself in such a manner.
      • The rest of the career and a day would be just a bonus.
  • Modern stoics are those who transform: ^90615b
    • Fear into prudence.
    • Pain into information.
    • Mistakes into initiation.
    • Desire into undertaking.
    • Things can be taken from us, but not good deeds and virtue.
      • Such as curiosity.
  • Growth and development, movement and speed, are nothing.
    • What matter how fragile what you are building is.
  • Keep the extremes of any situation as separate as you can.
    • It also could be called bimodal strategy.
    • Extreme risk aversion on one side, and extreme risk taking in the other.
      • A good example is a portfolio investment.
        • Put 90% into strong stocks that generate nothing and usually are boring.
        • Put another 10% into high volatility zone with desire to hit a jackpot.
      • My example, from former life of top manager.
        • All downsides, no upsides.
        • Constant stress, working hours not 9 to 5 but 4am to 8pm.
        • Not time for family, children, sport, pursuing own projects and interests.
      • My example from current career as a teacher.
        • All upsides, no downsides.
        • No stress, working hours from 8 to 2.
        • Lots of time for family, sport, interesting projects.
    • But to do it, you have to experience lots of action.
      • Do a serial barbell exercise: pure action, then pure reflection.

Antifragile books 4 and 5

  • If an agent of action moves, then he must know where he goes and has intention for and end. ^0eb40b
    • It’s the most pervasive human’s mistake. According to Taleb.
    • The reason behind this – we rely too much on science, instead of tinkering.
  • The concept of rational flâneur applies to tinkering perfectly.
    • Don’t be a passive tourist, be an active participator and designer of personal experience.
      • Make a decision every step of your research or writing. Revise schedule, be explorer.
        • ![[Thoughts on the topic of digital garden on the Internet#^031b90]]
      • Train the senses to guide you and be adventurous. Decentralized knowledge base, learn as you practice.
        • The concept could be applied everywhere.
    • Don’t just make a decision, allow possibility to intervene, enjoying and not stressing from certain options.
      • Optionality is an ability to change, switch to a course of action.
        • It takes you to many places and makes AF even more to stand out.
      • Intelligence makes optionality scarce, deriving you of the possibility to change.
        • We are too grounded in what is possible and what is not.
        • The sky is a limit. Be curious. Cultivate adventurous spirit.
      • Look for options with more upside than downside, they are mortar for AF. But how to apply it at real life context?
    • Optionality doesn’t need intelligence, insight, knowledge, skills.
      • It allows a person to be moderately stupid. And get better results than traditional knowledge.
        • Taleb calls it “philosopher’s stone”, or “Convexity bias”.
          • Take a look into Jensen's inequality.

Option = asymmetry + rationality

  • Options hide in unusual places. Where we don’t want it to hide.
    • They benefit from variability, and situations with a low cost.
    • It’s weapon of AF.

[!NOTE] Cicero’s Tusculan Discussions
Pocket book with difficult content. Taleb read it only and the restaurants and not for long. What is so special about it?

  • Simple heuristic about work and ideas.
    • They benefit more if attract not zealots but bigger number of haters.
    • Tema Lebedev was following the same path when he had been creating the personal brand and his company.
      • He used to be quite ugly in conversation, which doesn’t say that he isn’t anymore, just more moderate at expressing an opinion.
  • Technology is trivial retrospectively – not prospectively.
    • We, humans, lack imagination. We can’t formulate what tomorrow’s important things look like.
      • Ford’s – faster horse.
      • Job’s – user doesn’t know what he wants.
    • Use randomness to introduce discoveries to the equation. AF demands it.
      • Our activities are managed by small accidental changes, fluctuations in the environment.
      • We only wish to think that individuals are agents of free will, but we are not.
        • ![[Free Will#^f2ae62]]
      • Discoveries of new concepts do not correlate with implementation. They are actually two different things.
        • True discovery requires wisdom of the inventor to understand what it has at hands.
      • Heuristic of discovery.
        • The simpler and more obvious it, the less likely we find it by complicated methods, and the opposite is true.
          • [[У сложной проблемы не может быть простой простой причины]]
      • Two types of knowledge.
        • Apophatic. Something that we do by intuition, we can’t really express in clear and direct language.
          • Is it knowledge if we can’t express it and explain? According to Feynman only what we can explain must be considered true personal knowledge.
          • [[Не можем объяснить ребенку значит не знаем]]
        • Gradable school knowledge.
          • Codified, explainable, academizable, rationalizable, formalizabel, provable on paper.
      • We believe in next sequence.
        • Academia → Applied science and technology → Practice.
        • But there is a mistake, Taleb doesn’t agree with that and present sound argument, which in turn also can be put under question.
          • Taleb thinks that formal education can be harmful in certain places.
          • Dorofeev, during one of our discussions, expressed an opinion that high education takes one part of the brain and employer the second.
          • Another proof of harmful theory of state education is in the speech of Sir Ken Robinson.
            • ![[why schools and modern education kill creativity#^e73109]]
      • What is the real sequence of any discovery.
        • Random tinkering (af) → Heuristics (technology) → Practice and apprenticeship → random tinkering (af) → Heuristics (technology) → Practice and apprenticeship.
        • What really happens, instead of heuristics we usually get academic research and infinite theories instead of continuous tinkering and simplifications aka heuristics.
        • Which in turn leads to the belief in knowledge economies, such as Finnish.
          • We accidentally consider strong academia as base for future wealth.
          • Which in turn the other way around. Research and wealth is a byproduct of active tinkering and problem-solving.
        • Detected the flaw in education system?
          • University education generated the economic wealth?
          • But as Seneca put it, the success is born of difficulties.
          • Not education → wealth and economic growth, but the other way around. Do you agree? Point of talk with [[Сергей Хабаров]]
        • Taleb puts another argument, that scholarship and organized education are not the same. Why?
      • Separate skill at doing from skill at talking. They are different leagues.
        • Less is more in academia action. Less talk leads to doing more.
          • The more studies, the less obvious, elementary but fundamental things become.
          • Activity, though, strips things to their simplest possible condition.
        • Thus schools and formal education kill creativity and derive us from optionality, we become blind to it.
          • Theory doesn’t take into account the difference between theory and practice, but practice does. It doesn’t happen according to the theory. Life is more complex than the most complex theory.
        • Knowledge gained from interaction with experienced peer, such as grands or craftsman is cheaper and vastly superior (empirically, hence scientifically) to what we get in formal classes in business schools.

[!NOTE] Girsanon theorem
Known to a limited number of people, back in the time.
In probability theory, the Girsanov theorem tells how stochastic processes change under changes in measure. The theorem is especially important in the theory of financial mathematicsas it tells how to convert from the physical measure which describes the probability that an underlying instrument (such as a share price or interest rate) will take a particular value or values to the risk-neutral measure which is a very useful tool for evaluating the value of derivatives on the underlying.

  • The biggest takeaway is that we don’t put theories into practice, we create theories out of practice.
    • The jet engine came out of a trial and error approach, Scranton (the inventor of the engine), focused on situations in which innovation had become messy.
    • The approach that far away from analytical and synthetic academic approach.
      • Innovation is knowledge?
      • ![[Critical thinking#^b38b8a]]
    • The messiness of the process tend to train people on a more careful attitude towards everything they do.
      • Trial and error is a great way to pass knowledge. Apprentice-like school or maybe vocational.
      • It’s non-systemic, depended on chance, not visible. The very thing that turns formal knowledge overappreciated and active learning underappreciated.
        • Again, the difference between scientific and technical knowledge, form [[научное знание]]
        • Maybe this view [[интуитивная научная деятельность]] on knowledge is better?
    • Innovation constantly drifts and quite often crosses domains and disciplines. An inventor need to be a flâneur to capture ideas and opportunities that arise.
    • Knowledge comes not from academia, but out of curiosity.
      • Academia is highly theoretical, it takes time, boredom and freedom that comes from another occupation.
        • The barbell situation.
      • The knowledge produces in such way looks like real thing, but after some closer inspection turns into a fake.
    • Don’t look at the work of a scholar first, instead of that take a peek at what his critics has to say or saying from every corner.
  • Prosperity comes from collaboration, because when we interact we create ![[Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes are High#^ba59b5]]
    • Which in turn makes possible super additive function. Where 1+1 doesn’t equal 2, it’s more possible to be 10 than 2.
  • Collaboration is even better than planning. Take a look at top companies.
    • They all started not as what they are today. Toyota (sewing machines) Cola (pharma), Nokia (rubber shoes), Avon (book sales).
    • Strategic planning makes companies option-blind.
      • [[Планирование — зло]]
    • The unique role of planning has been presented to the community by academics, who want us to believe in reasoning.
      • That it has a monopoly on the knowledge production. Which, according to the argument above, isn’t essentially true.
  • Pre-fabricated agreements of classical education derive a learner from randomness, mess, adventure, uncertainty, self-discovery and near-traumatic episodes. ^2ccb9a
    • In other words, from everything that life is.
    • Instead of all the fun, we get humid office, tight suit, desk or pulpit.
  • It brings the other issue, the more educated you are the less intelligent you become.
    • Again the topic of functional literacy. The radius of a circle is in the book, not inside the torus of the car tire.
    • We can distinguish certain types of students out of this mess with intelligence.
      • Swallowers. Those whose knowledge is taken only from school curriculum.
      • Autodidacts. A people of knowledge, who study the exact minimum of what is needed to pass the exam, with non-lethal mistakes. But reading voraciously, wholesale on the topics they are interested in.
        • The interest in the course of reading will move from one domain to another. From history to math, from math to sociology, from sociology to economics and from economics back to history of economics or maybe philosophy.
        • The transition of interests is constant and continuous.
      • The whole process must be effortless in order to be worthwhile and beneficial.
        • When a person is limited only to curriculum books, he tends to get bored easily. Thus, gives up easily or play truant.
        • The trick is though not to get bored with the act of studying itself, e.g. reading, learning.
        • As soon as you get bored – switch a book or a subject or a topic.
          • I’ve been trying this framework recently for a week and still learning the ropes. I switch between AF, Mort and Practicing Stoic.
    • For the millionths time, I read that schools are designed to educate out of erudition, by putting students into a narrow set of authors and works.
      • Depriving them of all the fun of exploration, not teaching curiosity.

[!NOTE] Hugely successful speculator
Much of what other people know isn’t worth knowing.

  • Wittgenstein is considered the most AF philosopher of all time.
    • Thanks to the fact that he had remarkable insight into the inexpressible features of the words.
    • Though, he thought that an individuality could be studied through a vocabulary.
      • ![[3000 слов#^a5aba6]]
    • Textbook knowledge misses the angle. It’s incomplete, which in turn dangerous.
      • Half-knowledge is a sensation of familiarity that we get after mechanical repetition.
      • What is important is – exposure, decision that supersede logic.
      • Words do not represent risk and rewards imbalance. True and false. Every life decision is reached with the imbalance of action, gains, and losses are at the barbell distance between.
        • Just to check it take a pencil and put to paper all decisions that have been done the day, week, month before.
        • All of them will have an asymmetric payoff, with larger consequence than the other.
        • Hence, you are going to see that we decide from the position of fragility. Probabilistically.

[!NOTE] Danger of oversimplification
It changed nonlinear into linear, the entity that is distorted. Not what it is initially has been.

  • Concave – fragile.
  • Convex – antifragile.
  • ![[Снимок экрана 2022-05-14 в 18.29.03.png]]
    • Left is concave. Right is convex.

[!NOTE] The story of a true polymath.
When you accumulate extensive knowledge in certain domains, you change the essence and quality of knowledge, which in turn becomes nonlinear. It’s stops being straightforward and not in a straight line anymore. The knowledge turns into a labyrinth with complex topography. With every new piece of knowledge, it doesn’t even double. Every sliver of information rebounds from each other, pollinates becomes richer, grows layer after layer with every new input. Becomes antifragile.

  • Taleb argues that the size could be an issue.
    • The bigger the entity, the more prone it to certain type of mistakes.
    • Size hurts at times of stress.
    • The gains of the size are visible, but risks are hidden and risks bring frailties.
  • He provides an example of plane delays and assumes that in his experience arriving ahead of schedule happen asymmetrically less than delays.
    • But this is easily checked. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-87279-8
      • [[Statistical characterization of airplane delays.pdf]]
      • Is it asymmetric?
  • Wealth is also asymmetric, the more we get, the more painful headaches we have.
    • And forced to work harder at mitigating the complications arising from the wealth than we do at acquiring.
    • But what about fuck you money, he speculates so much about?
    • Ravikant might not agree with him.
      • [[Ошибочные представление о благосостоянии]]

Antifragile book 6

  • We don’t usually take into account what we missed doing. We recount only an action but not an inaction.
    • According to Taleb, it’s more important.
    • Evolution and professionals use in their framework only negative effects.
      • Chess grand masters win by not losing.
      • Entrepreneurs get rich by not getting bust.
      • The learning of life is about what to avoid.
      • Listen to [[Peter Watts]] about pessimists, who survived.
    • The greatest contribution to knowledge lies in a field of subtraction. ^1323f4
      • It’s what we think wrong must be removed, not what we think is right added.
      • Subtractive epistemology. ^70f4b3
      • We know a lot more what is wrong, not what is right. What doesn’t work stand out more.
        • It’s more robust to error than positive knowledge.
      • In an argument, one small counterargument can break everything and invalidate the soundest idea. ![[Аргументы в повседневном контексте#^23b719]]
      • Disconfirmation is more rigorous than confirmation. ![[Harry Potter and the methods of rationality#^7eb52d]]
      • Negative knowledge is more robust. It’s better not do something than do. ^07cb46

[!NOTE] Follow up on Karl Popper’s work
[[The Poverty of Historicism — Karl Popper]]

[!NOTE] Steve Jobs or LESS is MORE principle in action
«People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.»

Less is more principle described in [[Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less]]

  • Wrong things are quite robust.
    • They were wrong a hundred years ago and still wrong today.
    • Is it the real state of affairs, or we are missing something? How to disprove this statement?
  • Again, less is more in decision-making.
    • Fast and frugal (resource efficient), reach good decision despite limited time, knowledge and computing powers.
    • Don’t overcomplicate things you are dealing with. Abandon any sophistication for speed and efficiency.
  • Pareto’s distribution is not exactly 20-80.
    • Now we are moving this already imbalances numbers to even more imbalanced numbers of 99-1.
      • 99 percent of Internet traffic is generated to less than 1 percent sites.
      • 99 percent of book sales come from 1 percent of authors.
  • At some point, abundant information can turn itself into a problem.
    • To reach a right decision, we need the exactly needed amount of information, no more. [Occam’s razor] principle.
      • If during the process of solving the problem, you’ve reached to more than one possibility, then the problem isn’t solved.
      • If you have more than one reason to do something, don’t do it. Think better.
      • Obvious decision, which are robust to error, don’t require more than a single reason.
        • A true philosopher should be known for one single idea, not more. Wittgenstein?
    • When we cross the street, we remove everything inessential.
      • We look at the traffic and lights.
      • The question is this: how many things a person must disregard in order to act?
  • Time is an ultimate straw that breaks everything fragile.
    • No matter how something looks from an intellectual perspective, if it hasn’t passed the test of time, it stays fragile.
  • When talking about the future, or making prognoses, we tend to add certain things, but they are nothing more than wishes.
    • Wishes that don’t have support under themselves and might not come to fruition.
    • In order to save yourself the headache of being wrong, don’t add the properties to the future inventions or circumstances. Simplify.
      • Reduce properties, take away edges, talk about things that don’t belong to times.
    • We use the present as a baseline for making a prediction, which is wrong.
      • Present hasn’t proven itself even robust, yet.
      • To make a good prediction, you need to follow four points:
        • Respect for the past.
        • Curiosity about historical records.
        • A hunger for wisdom of the elders.
        • A grasp of the notion of heuristics. Unwritten rules of thumb. That are resilient to external conditions.
      • To put it simpler, give credit to what have survived and been around some time.
        • But what to weave the idea that Black Swans do not come from the past? Or it is not about Black Swan, but about a search of robust and antifragile?
        • Taleb says, that future lies in the past.

[!NOTE] Was he wrong about that?
«So, thank God, I will not be dressed in a shiny synthetic space-style suit, consuming nutritionally optimized pills while communicating with my dinner peers by means of screens

  • If we have to look at AF properties, AF objects have nonperishability among the most needed qualities. ^60d2f3
    • But physical objects are always perishable.
      • Every additional day brings it closer to an inevitable demise. In essence, making its life shorter.
    • Information, though, is not. Especially contextualized and understood.
      • Every additional day may be adding to a property. In short, it makes longer life expectancy not something unreachable, but actually doable.
      • Books are a good example. Those that survived the test of times.
      • If a book has been around for 40 years, expect it be popular or in print for another 40.
      • If some publisher has been printing a book for 10 years, then we can conclude that the book is with us another 50 years.
      • The real work of invention starts when the process of invention has been completed. ![[А что после#^5bd61a]]
    • What can we say about information explosion? That it will be with us forever, and every piece of new information makes the whole information flow more robust or even AF.

[!NOTE] Sage advice
Don’t condemn children who are watching prepacked 18 minutes hyped-up lectures on youtube, instead of that talk to them. See what they are watching. Prod their thinking.

  • Children are the key to our future, they aren’t afraid of anything, can take risks.
    • They have many unseasoned ideas, that are fragile, we need to help them grow valuable ones and trim the others.
  • Getting back to information at its properties.
    • It’s not enough that it is resilient and robust in places where it shouldn’t be.
    • Dangers are hiding in another layer, hidden from the eyes of an observer. Information failure insensitive. It doesn’t show failures, that are encoded into the fabric and in order to find, a person dealing with it must carefully unweave and decompose. ![[Декомпозиция идеи#^1c0005]]
    • We usually pay attention to what is changing. At this place our desire of new iPhone is born. Because we see changes and not the constant.
      • The modern generation, including me, is technological aggressive. We change one platform for another, we switch from one messenger to another, we update gadgets every year.
        • In this spinning world, what has failed is completely missed.
      • I see differenced but stay absolutely blind to commonalities.

[!NOTE] Interesting fact about imperial system
«A mile, from the Latin milia passum, is a thousand paces. Likewise a stone (14 pounds) corresponds to … well, a stone. An inch (or pouce) corresponds to a thumb. A furlong is the distance one can sprint before running out of breath»

  • Lindy effect is a mathematical equation that calculates the robustness of an invention, idea, book or piece of information.
    • On order to reach a decision if an innovation or scientific result is a breakthrough, we have let the time work on the fog of not understanding. Look at the definition of a breakthrough.
      • ![[a tool for conflict resolution Evaporating cloud#^f28740]]
      • ![[a tool for conflict resolution Evaporating cloud#^2fc7c0]]
    • We have to allow time and effort of others to clear the opacity.
    • We have to see all the aspects of the idea outside the noise and initial fogginess of happiness.
    • Best inventors are amateurs in any discipline. Those who like toying with ideas and look for unusual solutions.
      • They rely not on scientific method or technology, but instead use age-tested heuristics.

[!NOTE] Reading choice, rule of thumb
«As little as feasible from the last twenty years, except history books that are not about the last fifty years»

  • Any decision we find ourselves invested in, has more unknown factors than known.
    • So what could be done if it is the case?
  • Mean is dangerous zone for gauging the possible success or failure of any venture.
    • Marginal cases always bring danger.
    • Use barbell estimation of benefits and losses. The same approach that Kahneman used when he speculated on a
      • ![[Препарирование живого проекта negative experiment#^190a76]]
    • Reasoning usually doesn’t hold an informational dimension to a problem, it conveys information about stressors, both good and bad.
  • Take a look at the theory of knowledge, written by Claude Shannon [[Critical thinking#From data to knowledge via fake news]]
    • You can say that the last stage provides the actual sensual feeling that we can call experience.
    • This is what stays after the theory has been tested.
    • After a new theory has arrived, you are left with only experience of the previous one.
      • Thus, the logic should be this, we must stay as robust as possible to the changes in theory or our understanding of how things work.
      • People who apply theories to reality are called methodists or didacts in certain pedagogical circles.
      • Their task is to teach simple and practical heuristics out of complex theories. [[Не можем объяснить ребенку значит не знаем]].
      • They apply [[научное знание]] to [[техническое знание]] and adapt it in the process to the environment and conditions.
  • Random variability must never be considered as information.
    • If blood pressure has one result on with one doctor and another with different, it’s random variability.

[!NOTE] Correlation between data and interpretation is tricky
[[The Myth of Experience — Emre Soyer Robin M Hogarth]] Taleb says they give plentiful explanation to the phenomenon.

  • Taleb as Junger stick to the idea that the less we have the better we off in the world. We should be using absolutely needed minimum of things and this could lead to more potent life experience. ^c2b447
    • True wealth, [[Категории благосостояния]] again this thing. It consists of next categories: ^0e8afd
      • Worriless sleep.
      • Clear conscience.
      • Reciprocal gratitude.
      • Absence of envy.
      • Good appetite.
      • No meals alone.
      • Muscle strength.
      • Physical energy.
      • Frequent laughs.
      • Some physical labor (hobby will do).
      • No meeting rooms.
      • Periodic surprises.
    • It is mostly subtraction We get rid of inessential in life.

Immortality is a fools’ errand. [[Данила Медведев]] might not agree.

Antifragile book 7

  • The road to success could be compared to choosing random paths on the way in a certain direction. Heroism along the road is not random.
    • Pay attention to action, not the words.
    • Again, a narrative of a doer and not a talker. ^00ce90
  • Technology is enabling us to cowardice and opens the possibility of substitution of high quality with low quality action. [[Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less#^daf6f0]]

I think the downfall of current way of living will start with when a person will not be able to find much needed information.

Technology today drastically lowered the threshold for others to share their opinion what is important.

  • High quality – take responsibility. Live under the bridge you’ve just built. Preferably with the whole family.
      • Hammurabi’s code. A set of rules with harsh punishment. Such as an eye for an eye.
      • Example of modern times application: if a person votes for war, he must be invested in it personally. At least one descendant (child or grandchild) should be exposed to hardships and dangers of military actions on the frontline.
        • Then we know how badly he wants this war to happen.
    • Low quality – make a bet on a stock market. Roll the dice at the expense of a company or an unlucky taxpayer.
  • Dignity is nothing, unless the price is paid.
    • We should take risk speculatively. No opinion without risk worth anything.
    • And risk itself should be considered without hope for some return. The greater the risk, the bigger the return.
    • You can’t have an opinion if it’s not exposed to the risk.
  • The knowledge world separate knowing something and doing something. And this leads to fragility of society.
    • Let’s take a look at the knowledge economy. During recent geopolitical turmoil, it proves not sustainable.
    • Resource economy, on the other hand, is quite opposite.
    • You can’t think in the vacuum. It has to be done with provision at your disposal. And provision is acquired through labor.
    • While some countries think, other countries do. And that’s the difference.
      • Those who do something always end with better results.
    • Thinking must be tunneled to doing, or better to reverse the sequence.
      • Usually we stuck in thinking part and hope to outsmart hunger, thirst, and death itself.
  • Thinking is just uttered or written words.
    • Thus, victory in thinking goes not to the most correct one but to the one most vocal, charismatic and charming.
    • The one producing scientifically sound papers. Not applicable things.
  • Higher status, therefore exposure to risk, must be corresponding.
    • Napoleon.
    • Hannibal, first in the battle, last out of the battle.

[!NOTE] The past is fluid
Marred with selection biases and constantly revised memories.


  • To check a person’s investments in a certain topic, look at his decisions.
    • Doing or talking? Simple heuristics.
    • Don’t ask an opinion, forecast, or recommendation. Just ask for a peek into their work.
  • Consequences are the only things that matter. ^e4d30f
    • Don’t ask for right or wrong. Look at what has happened after and what impact the action has on everything it is related to.
    • Decisions are deeds.
    • Forecasting are words.

[!NOTE] Sucker VS nonsuckers
Sucker try to win arguments, nonsuckers try to win.

  • Taleb argues that philosophy and math do not need the connection with reality.
    • [[Алексей Савватеев]] also said that mathematicians have direct line with the God.
    • What he meant by that?