Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb looks at life according to a Stoic philosophy which is indifferent to pleasure or pain. The concept of antifragility domesticates uncertainty and examines the future with a robust rationality devoid of too much emotional attachment.
The main thrust of antifragility teaches that systems benefit from stress and uncertainty. The Stoic sage transforms fear to prudence and pain to information.
Every good doctor investigates the source of pain. This is true because valuable information can be gleaned in order to arrive at a correct diagnosis and treatment regimen.
Taleb teaches that major systems benefit from stress, disorder, volatility and turmoil. Essentially, the absence of challenge degrades the best performers because they cannot grow due to atrophy from disuse of their talents and skills.
In fact, barricades can enhance strength from the monumental effort needed to break them down. The only problem here is the stress on the individual which extracts costs to society later on.
Taleb discusses a new concept called optionality. With optionality, intelligence per se is constant. Learning happens by a continuous asymmetrical process married to rationality in order to arrive at more optimal outcomes and ways of doing things.
The author believes that the antifragility process has a lower downside because there is less exposure to negatives in the scheme of things. The iterative process of an ordered chaos tends to insulate the superstructure from random or unexpected challenges because the organization is always operating in a protective mode.
AntiFragile has some interesting notions worthy of examination. The thinking in the organizational design of systems is that conflict has to be modulated. Too much conflict can be detrimental while too little conflict leaves an organization open to destabilization when the suppressed emotions are collectively released at some point.
Taleb's ideas can and should be subjected to a critical analysis. There is another dimension to conflict. That is, too much conflict is bad for the health of individuals and the downside costs back up into the public health systems. At bottom, someone pays to optimize outcomes.