Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better. (Location 436)

The antifragile loves randomness and uncertainty, which also means—crucially—a love of errors, a certain class of errors. Antifragility has a singular property of allowing us to deal with the unknown, to do things without understanding them—and do them well. Let me be more aggressive: we are largely better at doing than we are at thinking, thanks to antifragility. I’d rather be dumb and antifragile than extremely smart and fragile, any time. (Location 441)

anything that has more upside than downside from random events (or certain shocks) is antifragile; the reverse is fragile. (Location 459)

Note: Anything that has more upside than downside to random events is antifragile

The rarer the event, the less tractable, and the less we know about how frequent its occurrence—yet the rarer the event, the more confident these “scientists” involved in predicting, modeling, and using PowerPoint in conferences with equations in multicolor background have become. (Location 505)

we can estimate, even measure, fragility and antifragility, while we cannot calculate risks and probabilities of shocks and rare events, no matter how sophisticated we get. Risk management as practiced is the study of an event taking place in the future, and only some economists and other lunatics can claim—against experience—to “measure” the future incidence of these rare events, with suckers listening to them—against experience and the track record of such claims. (Location 525)

Note: We can measure fragility but can accurately predict the chances of a rare event occuring

If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud. Just as being nice to the arrogant is no better than being arrogant toward the nice, being accommodating toward anyone committing a nefarious action condones it. (Location 651)

Note: Being nice to someone doing something bad condones it

Let us call Mithridatization the result of an exposure to a small dose of a substance that, over time, makes one immune to additional, larger quantities of it. It is the sort of approach used in vaccination and allergy medicine. It is not quite antifragility, still at the more modest level of robustness, but we are on our way. And we already have a hint that perhaps being deprived of poison makes us fragile and that the road to robustification starts with a modicum of harm. (Location 880)

Layers of redundancy are the central risk management property of natural systems. We humans have two kidneys (this may even include accountants), extra spare parts, and extra capacity in many, many things (say, lungs, neural system, arterial apparatus), (Location 995)

Note: Redundancy is the main risk management strategy of natural systems

risk management professionals look in the past for information on the so-called worst-case scenario and use it to estimate future risks—this method is called “stress testing.” They take the worst historical recession, the worst war, the worst historical move in interest rates, or the worst point in unemployment as an exact estimate for the worst future outcome. But they never notice the following inconsistency: this so-called worst-case event, when it happened, exceeded the worst case at the time. (Location 1015)

With few exceptions, those who dress outrageously are robust or even antifragile in reputation; those clean-shaven types who dress in suits and ties are fragile to information about them. (Location 1141)

Tags: reputation

In the complex world, the notion of “cause” itself is suspect; it is either nearly impossible to detect or not really defined—another reason to ignore newspapers, with their constant supply of causes for things. (Location 1196)

Tags: cause

Note: In a complex world it is very hard to know the cause of many events

“Machines: use it and lose it; organisms: use it or lose it.” (Location 1258)

Further, this randomness is necessary for true life. Consider that all the wealth of the world can’t buy a liquid more pleasurable than water after intense thirst. (Location 1323)

Tags: water