antifragility. Nassim Taleb | Video sammari

Table of contents:

01:31 Insight 1. Use a barbell strategy.

03:10 Insight 2. Practice is safer than theory.

05:12 Insight 3. Via negative.

07:12 Outcome. Main idea Books.

The main idea of ​​the book:

  • antifragility, the ability to get better through difficulties, we need to survive. To develop antifragility in yourself, need to get into non-critical risk situations. First, protect yourself and only then embark on adventures..
  • “The best way to make sure, that you are alive, - check, do you like change ". Нассим Nicholas Taleb
  • Theories are not that important, as practical skills: develop your skills by trial and error. ▪️ In terms of efficiency, "Less is more". Give up excessive.

About the book

  • В «Антихрупкости» рассказано о ключевом свойстве людей, system, about property, which still didn't have a name. In the world, where uncertainty reigns, you can't ask for more, than being antifragile, that is, to be able, when faced with the chaos of life, not just to remain unharmed, but also getting better than before, evolve, develop.
  • Талеб формулирует простые правила, that allow us to overcome fragility and act like this, so that unpredictable uncertainty, this formidable and sudden Black Swan, did not harm us – and more, so that this rare and powerful bird will help us improve.
  • antifragility – this is a wise oracle, helping each of us navigate our own future. Here such themes are masterfully intertwined, how to make vital decisions, trial and error method, risk assessment, innovation, politics, education, war, personal finance, economic systems and medicine. ?‍? Who wrote the book?
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Essayist, mathematician and trader.
  • В сферу его интересов входит эпистемология (section of philosophy, foundation student) chance, as well as interdisciplinary challenges for uncertainty and knowledge, especially in view of the serious, difficult to predict events. One of the first to become interested in derivatives trading mechanisms.


We are afraid of uncertainty, we strive to foresee everything and tame the future with the help of ever more accurate forecasts. And on this path we regularly get trapped: future surprises (most often unpleasant), and predictions come true exactly the opposite, which leads to losses and losses.

How to curb the element of chance and learn not just to live with it, and benefit from it?

To do this, you must understand, что такое антихрупкость, and develop the skill to find it in any phenomena or things, that we face in life.

Things and phenomena can be considered antifragile., which retain their properties in extreme situations for themselves, regularly exposed to stress and strength tests.

To deal with the ineradicable uncertainty of the future, you should learn to protect yourself from risks, without modeling them, while making it as antifragile as possible.

But how to do that? Deciding whether, how to organize or expand a business, where to invest or whether to agree to an operation, which the doctor suggests to you, know, that the human body and a viable business require periodic stress and shock; that artificial stability would later result in even greater losses; that nature is always smarter than us, and you should not interfere with the operation of the systems once again, which function even without our "rationalization".

Learn about antifragility, as well as learning how to create antifragility with your own hands, will be useful to everyone, but especially to people, who make decisions for many.


“Realizing the mechanisms of antifragility, we can make a list of recommendations, which will allow us to make unpredictable decisions in the face of business uncertainty, policy, medicine, in life in general - in any situation, when the unknown dominates and we are dealing with opacity or incomplete understanding of what is happening ".

1. What is antifragility?

1.1. The cup is not rubber

The porcelain cup is fragile, because, if it falls to the floor, will inevitably break. She doesn't like accidents. There are many fragile things in the world, phenomena and companies, which do not cope with the loads, break and die even with small unplanned impacts or blows of fate.

Unlike them, healthy human body, a dynamically developing city or a demanded technological innovation from volatility, stress (physical exertion or economic shocks) become only stronger and develop more dynamically.

They're not just tough or resilient, but antifragile.

Information is also antifragile. Books, which prohibit, vice versa, often become more popular from this and ultimately break the prohibitions.

The stronger the shake or the greater the load, the more benefit they bring to an antifragile thing. Of course, this rule has a limit, and the load cannot be increased indefinitely.

Many athletes and physiologists claim, what, if you want to build muscle, it is much more useful to lift the barbell once in 50 Kg, how 50 times dumbbells in 1 Kg. However, if you try to handle a 150-pound barbell, then blow yourself up. There are no miracles.

The human body copes better with acute physical or emotional stress, than with less intense, but chronic stress.

1.2. Antifragile are not born, антихрупкими становятся

Strive to become antifragile, look out for anti-fragile things around you, follow this principle, making decisions.

stress, blows, trials (ultimately fickle) useful for living organisms and systems; excessive regularity and lack of testing softens and weakens them.

Healthy Eating Benefits Carefully Calculate Calories, as well as proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which a person supposedly should consume daily. But they come from the wrong idea, that we benefit from uniform nutrition and should always adhere to the same rate. In fact, intermittent fasting and the associated shake-up are beneficial for the body.. This is why the post is useful (programmed abstinence from food) and even intermittent forced fasting (eventually, prey is not always guaranteed to predators).

1.3. The calm kills

All natural systems, who managed to survive: from the body, evolutionarily selected, to a prosperous company, withstanding competition with other companies, more or less antifragile.

However, modern society all the time seeks to deprive them of this property. Not by malicious intent, and from a seemingly good desire to plan everything, regulate and protect a person from any vicissitudes. We ourselves impose fragility on ourselves and make the world around us fragile.

  Linda Bradford Raska / Linda Bradford Raschke

A viable system is more of an organism, than a car, and she needs periodic shaking.

Constant attacks by hackers contribute to the development of computer systems (and not only antiviruses), which are getting better.

In fact, the seemingly unstable system, constantly shaken by micro-vibrations, turns out to be much stronger than the system, where there are no visible fluctuations, but at the first unpredictable shock - the Black Swan - it risks collapsing.

Taxi driver's income, who earns more in one day, in the other less, and sometimes in a day he remains almost without clients, more reliable in the long term, than the salary of the head of the personnel department of the bank, who always receives a stable income, but in a crisis, he may be left without work - and then he will lose everything. Privateers' income fluctuates, but they are not so vulnerable to Black Swans, as employees, whose risk is hidden, but that's why it doesn't get smaller. In this sense, the taxi driver is antifragile, but the manager is not.

Small noise of constant vibrations is better than calm, which threatens a sudden storm.

1.4. On the benefits of political "noise"

This principle can be easily applied to political systems.: to keep stability, they don't have to deal with micro-oscillations, for example, with public protests and even occasional unrest.

The political calm established from above leads to the accumulation of hidden contradictions, which someday will explode. Political speeches, suppressed by force, often lead to more unrest or revolution, because the brutality of the authorities increases the number of protesters and increases their willingness to sacrifice.

As terrible as it sounds, even in wars, with all the sacrifices, which they entail, there is also a "positive" side: they make systems stronger, a forced peace, which is not beneficial to anyone, ultimately makes the next war bloodier.

The current stability of many corrupt regimes, for example, Saudi Arabia, supported by the USA, gives the illusion of stability, but this loan will have to be paid sometime. This has already happened in Iran, when the USA, also in the name of stability, supported the shah's repressive policies, and then the anti-American Islamic revolution happened, which they partly prepared themselves.

1.5. Srednestan vs. Extremistan

Small regular vibrations, происходящие регулярно в стране с условным названием Среднестан, usually extinguish each other, as constant petty disputes in the self-government of the Swiss cantons.

In the opposite model, которую мы назовем Крайнестаном, changes are rare, but big, the situation is usually stable, but on the other hand it risks slipping faster into complete chaos. Deceptive Order Is Dangerous.

If the currency is too (artificially) sustainable, the slightest fluctuation in the exchange rate leads the market players, not used to change, on a thought, that something is unclean (speculation? insider information? impending collapse?), and the panic begins.

Empire, who daily do not interfere in the affairs of the peoples they conquered, leaving to those the right to trade and build their lives, as they see fit, or small confederations of municipalities (like Switzerland) often stronger than empires or nation states, who strive to unify everything, eliminate the chaos of self-government and build a single bureaucratic vertical.

Before modern times, wars between states in Europe happened more often (which is akin to a small "noise" in Srednestan), but have never been so destructive and bloody, as relatively rare, but colossal consequences of the collision of nation states (in fact, disasters in Extremistan).

2. How to do without predictions

2.1. Non-linearity as a given

Complex systems (from the world economy to modern medicine), that surround us everywhere, so vulnerable to Black Swans, because the intertwining of cause and effect relationships in them is so difficult, what eludes the most discerning observer, and the reactions, which occur in them, mostly not linear.

This means, for example, what, doubling the dose of the drug, we will not get twice the effect and twice the recovered patient; by hiring twice as many workers to the factory, we will not double production.

Very often experts, who assure us, what exactly do they know, how the system works and how it should be reconfigured, just scammers either act sincere, but in reality they turn out to be fragile: pseudo-experts, who are sure, that everyone understands, and give advice, which make things more fragile, what they were before their consultation.

2.2. Brand of bankrupt

If the company is overly fragile, she is a direct candidate for bankruptcy. Критерий хрупкости — нелинейный рост ущерба: if the change in economic indicators in one direction leads to colossal losses, and in the other - for a tiny profit, means, the company is not doing well, and unfavorable asymmetry will destroy it.

This is exactly the case in 2008 G. Fannie Mae mortgage agency collapsed.

A system of any scale can be fragile: from a tiny shop to a colossal state.

For example, the city suffers from traffic jams. The study shows, that with an increase in the number of cars on the road by 10 thousand, travel time will increase by 10 minutes. But if more 10 thousand cars, that time, which you will spend on the way, will not increase by the same 10 minutes, but for half an hour. Growth is tragically non-linear, and the system is fragile.

2.3. Evasive statistics

Blind faith in statistics, on which forecasts are based, able to present you with an unpleasant surprise - a disaster.

Turkey, which the butcher 1000 days feeding, before stabbing for thanksgiving, every day is convinced (and its logic is flawless!), that the butcher loves her and wishes her only well. But one day he sends her to the slaughter, and no forecast, based on statistics and past experience, would not help her to foresee it.

2.4. Measure fragility

To find out, will the regime resist in the event of a revolution, will the bank survive the crisis or will the technological innovation take root, usually rely on risk calculations. However, they are unreliable and completely powerless in front of the Black Swans..

So instead of, to make predictions, the fragility of the firm should be assessed, technology or ideas and think not about that, how to maximize benefits, a about, how to minimize possible harm.

Negative knowledge (about that, what is wrong and what does not work) much safer, than positive (what is true and how something works).

Hence the conclusion: we don't always know, how to act, and even more so why, но мы точно можем узнать, what not to do.

2.5. The negative path is the shortest

Whatever futurists say, the future is unpredictable. If we try to imagine, what technologies will appear through 20 years, we will almost certainly be mistaken - and the further the forecast, the more catastrophic the mistake will be.

The only sane way is subtractive (subtractive) prediction, which comes from the opposite: we cannot know, what technologies (scientific theories, social concepts, etc.. d.) will bring the future, but, looking around you, able to understand, какие технологии и институты в нашем мире слишком хрупки и, probably, will not "live" long. Act like a sculptor, who creates the statue, cutting off all unnecessary from the marble block.

  Greece translate arrows

Looking at future projections, by Jules Verne or H.G. Wells, We'll see, that almost none of them came true, and technology, who really run the show now (for example, Internet or small, but extremely useful innovations, such as wheels on a suitcase), no one could even imagine.

The future not only adds, but also subtracts - only fundamental or antifragile technologies live for millennia.

2.6. Mania for novelty

They, who are chasing new technologies for the sake of new technologies - neoomania, are often trapped in the illusion and advertising strategy of sellers: comparing two objects - "new" and "old" computer model, we notice differences and overlook similarities. In reality, the "new" model is often almost no better than the "old".

Unlike "perishable" foods or mortal living beings, the longer the technology has existed or the longer an idea has been in demand, the longer it is, probably, will still exist and will be in demand.

The book, which has been republished for half a century, probably, half a century will not be forgotten. Antifragile things, like guilt, improve with age.

Broadway productions, which are more popular, than others (which means, go on stage longer), longer and will last in the repertoire.

3. No need to fix that, what has not broken yet

3.1. Naive interference

If you can not do something, do not do it! Things, going their own way, would rather lead to the goal, than cocky (but more often than not only multiplying errors) вмешательство. Less is better.

Excessive interference, even with the best of intentions, usually worsens, and does not improve the situation.

The benefits they bring are often minimal., and the potential harm is enormous. Moreover, in those situations, where intervention is strictly required (to prevent environmental disasters or limit the size of already bloated corporations), no one is doing anything.

Side effect of the intervention (business consultants, who are sure, what they know best, how to calculate risks, or political scientists, giving the wrong advice to politicians) can be called iatrogeny. This word means invisible and often delayed harm., which inflicts unnecessary or unnecessary treatment.

1940s - 1950s. many adolescents received small doses of radiation as a treatment for acne - 7% of them after 20-40 years found thyroid cancer, which the, probably, was associated with this unnecessary (acne is not so scary and most often goes away by itself) interference.

3.2. Presumption of guilt

To think and act rationally, should be understood, what is our picture of the world, no matter how scientific it is, always incomplete. To know, that we don't know much, useful in practice.

To make the right decisions, it is worth proceeding from the fact, that nature (T. is. natural course of things) reasonable, until proven otherwise, and all, what man and science are planning, unreasonable and wrong, until proven otherwise.

Phenomena, who have stood the test of time, anti-fragile. Means, there is no need for them to rebuild something "rationally".

3.3. Don't hurt

The rule of non-interference (interfere with the process only then, when the guaranteed benefit clearly outweighs the potential harm) covers many areas of life.

If you are practically healthy (say, pressure slightly above normal), do not run to be treated, T. to. likely harm from drugs will override potential benefits (pressure drop). At the same time, you will not fall for the bait of pharmaceutical companies, That, to sell more drugs, encourage doctors to regularly lower the standard (then, what used to be considered normal pressure, may suddenly be declared "a tendency to hypertension") and supposedly find more and more subtle ailments, some of which just don't exist.

Taking antibiotics on the little things, in practice we recover faster, but in fact we harm ourselves, T. to. we help microbes mutate and acquire resistance to antibiotics - to such an extent, what, when you really need, they may not work.

If you are serious or, Alas, terminally ill, then it is rational to try all means, even risky, T. to. the potential harm from treatment is still less than the potential harm from non-treatment (of death).

3.4. Negative medicine

Taking care of your health, it is also more useful to follow the "negative" path: not chasing good (what does it consist of, not always obvious), а воздерживаться от очевидного вреда: smoking, unnecessary drugs and unnatural foods, which your ancestors clearly did not consume, for example, Sahara.

The likely benefit of religion is, that belief in gods, who can help, and referring to them sometimes keep a person from unnecessary interference (treatment) Over there, where you can do without it - and the body itself will cope with the problem.

4. Saving and dangerous asymmetry

4.1. About the dangers of moderation

Одно из фундаментальных свойств жизни — асимметрия многих ситуаций. She happens:

• благоприятной — при переменах вы больше приобретаете, what do you lose.

• unfavorable - in the same conditions you lose more, what do you get.

You can work with this asymmetry, relying on the antifragility of decisions, and this requires a barbell strategy - stick to extremes and avoid the "golden mean".

4.2. Barbell strategy

If uncertainty cannot be eliminated, she should be tamed.

You can afford a lot of risk in those areas, who are invulnerable to negative Black Swans, and a small risk in those areas, who are open to positive Black Swans, - so you become antifragile.

Invest 90 % funds in reliable, but low-yielding assets, And 10 % - in very risky securities, which can bring high income. In the worst case scenario, you will not be able to lose more 10% funds, but there is a chance to make serious money.

In the social sphere, barbell strategy means, that the state should support the most disadvantaged and not prevent the strong from succeeding, instead of helping the middle class maintain its privileges.

The best conductor of antifragility - option. It is by nature built on asymmetry.: one side gets the right, but not a duty, the other is a duty, but not right.

Friends reproached the philosopher Thales of Miletus for, that he does not philosophize at the call of the soul, but from the inability to make money and impracticality. To put them to shame, Thales came up with the following operation. Even before, how ripe the harvest of olives, for a small amount he chartered all the oil mills on the islands of Miletus and Chios. No one knew, whether the harvest will be meager or plentiful, so the owners of the olive groves did not think about renting the oil mills so early, and the owners of the creamery were happy to receive at least something from Thales. Soon the olives were ripe, the harvest was very good, and the demand for oil mills was huge. But they were all rented by Thales! It was then that he agreed to release their owners from obligations., but for completely different money, and got rich on this. The contract was built as an option: Thales could use oil mills, if he needed them, but could not use; the owners of the creameries were obliged to provide their facilities to Thales and did not have the right to take olives from anyone else without his permission. If there was a crop failure and the oil mills would be of no use to anyone, Thales' losses would be small, and the benefits, which he received with a bountiful harvest, turned out to be huge.

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The one, who uses the option, does not depend on forecasts (which often wishful thinking) and may not know, what will be the harvest of olives. Главное — не делать вещей, who will harm you.

There are explicit options in business with pre-agreed terms - they are usually expensive, how good insurance. but, besides them, there are many option situations, which no one notices. To benefit from them, you need to recognize the hidden potential in them and be able to use it.

If you rent an apartment in New York, the landlord cannot set the rent at his own discretion - it is regulated by the city hall. He can't evict you for no reason. You have the right to live in his apartment for an indefinite period., and if you suddenly want, then move out. This is a typical option for you..

5. Fragility transfer, or a few words about ethics

5.1. At our expense

All the rules, mentioned above, applicable to one person, and to the whole company, helping them to become antifragile and not lose something important. However, the antifragility of some is the fragility of others., which means, we inevitably go to ethical issues.

The fragility transfer effect has always existed, but in modern society, which has become much more complex, than before, and permeated with a mass of invisible cause-and-effect relationships, he became especially dangerous.

In today's world people run (from corporate managers to political consultants), who make decisions or give advice, entailing colossal consequences, but they themselves risk almost nothing (don't put their own skin on the line).

Although economist Joseph Stiglitz argued, that the risk of bankruptcy of the mortgage agency Fannie Mae is zero, the company collapsed. And then he wrote victoriously, what the economic crisis of 2007-2008 predicted.

Stiglitz syndrome is, that a person does not just not see danger, and becomes one of her guides, worsens the situation, but then does not bear any responsibility.

5.2. Take the risk yourself

Ancient Rome engineers, who built the bridge, should have lived under it for a while. So now those, who makes decisions, gotta put their skin on the line, and the authors of economic forecasts, which often lead others to ruin, have to lose something.

Intellectual commentators should also be held accountable., которые часто играют роль «послесказателей», explanatory reasons for what happened thereafter, how it already happened. Predictions of the past always come true, and retro prophets look smarter than those around them. If they do give predictions for the future, then they stick out what came true, but they hide mistakes.

If we still need an expert forecast, you don't need to ask "what to do", and where would the economist himself invest and how would the doctor begin to be treated, if I was sick.

The criterion of correctness is not the folding of the theory, and the success of the practice, action, not words.

5.3. Agency problem

Public corporation managers, who play the stock market, other people's money is on the line (for example, billions of American retirees) and do not lose anything in case of loss.

Managers are antifragile - if they succeed, they make money, in case of failure they lose nothing, - and the risks of fragility are transferred to the shareholders and the owner.

Hired managers, who make a profit, but do not incur losses, much more prone to rash risk and speculation, than businessmen, risking their own money. The more such irresponsible managers there are, the more fragile the entire economy becomes.

5.4. Harm to corporations

Huge, but fragile corporations often transfer their fragility to consumers, misleading them (passing off harmful sweet soda as something useful). Товары или услуги, who do not survive without aggressive advertising, either not needed, either harmful, or both at the same time.

Monster firms are often ruthless and shameless, since those, who runs them, do not risk anything themselves.

Since hired managers have nothing to lose from mistakes and are not responsible for a crash, this condemns such corporations to unacceptable fragility.

As a result, they either stay afloat due to the help from the state., T. is. taxpayer money, That, without knowing it, delaying the funeral of yet another soulless and fragile firm, either go bankrupt.


Nassim Taleb - enemy of naive rationalism and critic

• оптимистической веры в объяснительную силу науки, although he believes in science and does not question its usefulness as such;

• упования на математические модели — в экономике позитивные предсказания, based on statistics, usually miss the mark;

• излишнего вмешательства: from centralized economic planning to too many visits to doctors.

Instead of planning and regulation, he proposes to follow a strategy in life and business, основанной на антихрупкости.

Benefits of fickleness

• Антихрупкие системы не боятся случайности и ошибок, and when faced with stress and uncertainty, only getting stronger. Stress is not an inevitable evil for them., but the need.

Danger of regulation

• Любые предсказания должны учитывать, which is the first to die off fragile and artificially optimized: giant corporations, who are proud of their size and dream of becoming even bigger, overly centralized nation states, ministries of economy seeking to control everything, etc.. d.

• Стремясь административными методами установить в экономике штиль и предотвращать бумы и спады, central banks and finance ministries are actually making the economy more fragile, and crises are more rare, but deep.

The inevitability of uncertainty

• Принятие решения в условиях неопределенности — это не исключение, and the rule. In most cases, when it seems to us, what we understand, how does a system work, in fact it is an illusion (social and economic processes have too many parameters, so that they can be predicted reliably).

Fear of risk

• В отличие от прошлого, when "saints" and "knights" were valued, in the modern world "bureaucrats" and "managers" triumph, which by definition are not at risk. This does not mean, that any risk is justified and that heroes always act for the good, but modern society is afraid of risk like fire and degrades from this.

Tame Black Swans

• Множество процессов, which we aim to manage, arranged nonlinearly, and this nonlinearity is either convex (the body only gets stronger from variability), or concave (from disorder it weakens and becomes fragile), or both at the same time.

• Если мы научимся распознавать в вещах опасную хрупкость, then we can create systems, disaster-proof, which cannot be foreseen (Black swans).

• Научившись жить в хрупком мире и стремиться к антихрупкости, we will be able to make the right decisions in many areas: from personal health to business and politics.

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