Travis Wall

(Sometimes Graphic) Designer. Working on a PhD: Design Thinking +/= Heterogeneous Engineering. General flâneur. Chronic knowledge gatherer.

Location: Sydney, Australia

Nassim Taleb Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains Antifragile 2012

When you ask people what is the opposite of fragile, typically what they come up with is solid or robust or all these kinds of concepts that are not the exact opposite of fragility. Because if you map fragile mathematically, you get something called concave. Even in England or even in Russia, when you ask people what the opposite of negative is, they don’t say zero or neutral. The opposite of negative is positive. If I have a package and the package is fragile, I write please “handle with care” and I send it to Siberia, with champagne flutes, it’s fragile right? So, the opposite of that would not be a package that is robust, resilient, adaptable, all that kind of stuff that people say is the opposite of fragile. If it were robust, you write nothing on it. You don’t write “this is robust, I don’t really care, all you Russian custom agents could brutalise it, I don’t care”. You don’t say that. You just write nothing. The opposite of fragile is “I beg you to mishandle this package”, just like “I beg you to watch out for this package”. So the opposite of fragile is something that gains from disorder.