Antifragility

We use fragility theory to show the effect of size and response to uncertainty, how distributed decision-making creates more apparent volatility, but ensures long term survival of a system. Simply, economies of scale are more than offset by stochastic diseconomies from shocks and there is such a thing as a “sweet spot” in optimal size. We show how city-states fare better than large states, how mice and small species are more robust than elephants, and how the canton mechanism can potentially solve Near Eastern problems.

This talk was part of “Cities and Development: Urban Determinants of Success” — the NYU Development Research Institute’s 2014 Conference, hosted jointly with the Marron Institute of Urban Management. The conference touched on the role of cities in the development process.

» Property Soul, Notes from a Singapore property investor writes Six reasons why property is not an antifragile investment after meeting Nassim at his recent talk there.

» Zero Hedge talks Antifragility on Prepared? When Ebola hits your town you will want to be antifragile.

» Nouriel Roubini on CNBC reveals his black swan scenarios.

» Business Insider names Nassim one of The 25 Most Successful Wharton Business School Graduates.

» Antifragility explored when applied to raising children on Why Parents Inadvertently Hinder The Success Of Their Children on Forbes.

» Lorin Hochstein discusses the fragile side of cloud software concluding the “future of cloud software is systems that fail much less often, but much harder” on Cloud software, fragility and Air France 447.

Got any other links? Let us know in the comments!

econ-talk-library-of-economics-and-liberty-nassim-talebNassim Taleb of NYU-Poly talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his recent paper (with Constantine Sandis) on the morality and effectiveness of “skin in the game.” When decision makers have skin in the game–when they share in the costs and benefits of their decisions that might affect others–they are more likely to make prudent decisions than in cases where decision-makers can impose costs on others. Taleb sees skin in the game as not just a useful policy concept but a moral imperative. The conversation closes with some observations on the power of expected value for evaluating predictions along with Taleb’s thoughts on economists who rarely have skin in the game when they make forecasts or take policy positions.

Website: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2013/09/taleb_on_skin_i.html
Direct Link (mp3): http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2013/Talebskin.mp3
Link to the Paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2298292