Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.

Personal

Antifragility

I love, love, love it when one part of life hits you over the head with its relevance to a totally different part of your life. Synchronicity, or grace, or coincidence. Whatever you call it. I love it.

Like recently, I got a lesson in how to live from app developers.

Simply, antifragility is defined as a convex response to a stressor or source of harm (for some range of variation), leading to a positive sensitivity to increase in volatility (or variability, stress, dispersion of outcomes, or uncertainty, what is grouped under the designation “disorder cluster”). Likewise fragility is defined as a concave sensitivity to stressors, leading a negative sensitivity to increase in volatility. The relation between fragility, convexity, and sensitivity to disorder is mathematical, obtained by theorem, not derived from empirical data mining or some historical narrative. It is a priori“.[16][17]

And that’s just the Wikipedia entry. I’m not sure I agree with that “simply” bit.

As I understand it, though, antifragility means “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – but more so. It’s not just the ability to withstand or recover. It’s the idea that the hurt actually strengthens the system. And this isn’t a gooey self-help concept; it’s a tech one.

I have sometimes been a little bitter and disbelieving about this. But I’m coming around. Things like this to seem hard to argue with: “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

Here’s to antifragility.

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