Antifragile — The Summary

근 몇 년간 읽은 책 중에 가장 인상 깊은 책이 아닌가 싶다. 읽으면서 메모하고 싶은 부분을 접어뒀는데, 너무 많이 접어서 책이 1.5배로 두꺼워진 정도. 덕분에 이 메모도 엄청나게 길어질 것 같다.


BOOK I. The Antifragile: An Introduction

Chapter 1. Between Damocles and Hydra

Chapter 2. Overcompensation and Overreaction Everywhere

문제에 대한 오버리액션이 재밌는 일을 만든다.

How do you innovate? First, try to get in trouble. I mean serious, but not terminal, trouble. […] The excess energy released from overreaction to setbacks is what innovates!

  • Antifragility of riots, love, and etc: 1) The higher you build your barricades, the stronger we become, 2) Criticism for a book is a truthful, unfaked badge of attention, signaling that it is not boring. And boring is the only very bad thing for a book. 3) If you survive smear campaigns, it helps enormously, conditional on the person appearing to be extremely motivated and adequately angry.

A midlevel bank employee with a mortgage would be fragile to the extreme. In fact he would be completely a prisoner of the value system that invites him to be corrupt to the core because of his dependence on the annual vacation in Barbados.

Chapter 3. The Cat and the Washing Machine

스트레스는 나쁜게 아니다. 현대 사회는 고양이를 세탁기 취급한다.

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.

생물(고양이)에게 equilibrium은 존재하지 않는다. 그건 오직 죽음만을 의미한다.

  • Touristification: The systematic removal of uncertainty and randomness from things, trying to make matters highly predictable in their smallest details. All that for the sake of comfort, convenience, and efficiency.

Chapter 4. What Kills Me Makes Others Stronger

개인의 fragility가 전체의 antifragility를 만든다.

Our linear minds do not like nuances and reduce the information to the binary “harmful” or “helpful.”

타이타닉의 침몰은 선박의 대형화 경향을 막음으로써 수많은 사람들의 생명을 살렸다.

The restaurant business is wonderfully efficient precisely because restaurants, being vulnerable, go bankrupt every minute, and entrepreneurs ignore such a possibility, as they think that they will beat the odds.

We can mistake the anitifragility of the system for that of the individual, when in fact it takes place at the expense of the individual.

“What did not kill me did not make me stronger, but spared me because I am stronger than others; but it killed others and the average population is now stronger because the weak are gone.”

(인간으로서) we can toerate some inefficiency, some fragility, in order to protect individuals, although sacrificing nature too much may eventually hurt ourselves.

Someone who did not finding something is providing others with knowledge, the best knowledge, that of absence (what does not work) — yet he gets little or no credit for it.

  • National Entrepreneur Day: Most of you will fail, disrespected, impoverished, but we are grateful for the risks you are taking and the scrifices you are making for the sake of the economic growth of the planet and pulling others out of poverty. You are at the source of our antifragility. Our nation thanks you.

BOOK II. Modernity and the Denial of Antifragility

CHAPTER 5. The Souk and the Office Building

극단의 세계, 평균의 세계: 우리는 극단의 세계에 산다.

This is the central illusion in life: that randomness is risky, that it is a bad thing — and that eliminating randomness is done by eliminating randomness.

The avoidance of small mistakes makes the large ones more severe.

커뮤니티 구성원의 양적의 변화는 구성원 사이의 관계를 질적으로 변화시킨다. nonlinear, not linear.

3년간 주인이 나에게 잘해줬다는 통계적 분석으로 앞으로도 영원히 주인이 나에게 잘해줄 것이라는 판단을 하는 칠면조.

현대사회는 과거에 비해 the difference between war and no war became huge, with marked discontinuity. 현대사회의 전쟁이 더욱 비극인 이유. 금융업과 레스토랑의 차이. randomness concentration.

CHAPTER 6. Tell Them I Love (Some) Randomness

안정성의 폐해. 랜덤성의 장점.

15년간 1분도 약속에 안 늦은 사람: 5분만 늦어도 무슨 일이 생긴줄 알고 걱정한다. 약속에 늦었다 안 늦었다하면 걱정하지 않는다.

That time bomb called stability.

  • Modernity: humans’ large-scale domination of the environment, the systematic smoothing of the world’s jaggedness, and the stifling of volatility and stressors.

CHAPTER 7. Naive Intervention

개입의 숨겨진 위험성.

고래는 새처럼 날 수가 없다. 질적으로 다르다.

아무 것도 안 하는 것의 장점. 꼭 뭔가를 해야하는 게 아니다.

Ingenuous interventionism is very pervasive across professions: 에디터들은 고치는게 일이기 때문에 굳이 안 고쳐도 되는 걸 고쳐서 글을 망친다. 아무 것도 안 할 수 있는 에디터가 훌륭한 에디터이며, 자기 일을 제대로 한 거다.

Intervention은 아예 하지 말하는게 아니라 적절하게 해야한다는 것. naive intervention이 문제. naive intervention은 진짜 필요할 때 개입을 안 햠으로써 다른 곳에서 underintervention을 만들어낸다.

What should we control? As a rule, intervening to limit size (of companies, airports, or sources of pollution), concentration, and speed are beneficial in reducing Black Swan risks.

Too much data causes statistics to be completely meaningless. We are not made to understand the point, so we overreact emoionally to noise. The best solution is to only look at very large changes in data or conditions, never at small ones.

Media-driven neuroticism.

  • Catalyst-as-Cause Confusion: Fragile한 시스템은 언젠가는 무너지는데, fragility를 원인으로 보지 않고 예측을 못 한 것을 원인으로 보는게 문제다. 다리가 무너졌는데 마지막으로 지나간 차를 원인으로 지목하는 꼴.

CHAPTER 8. Prediction as a Child of Modernity

현대 사회와 예측.

What makes life simple is that the robust and antifragile don’t have to have as accurate a comprehension of the world as the fragile — and they do not need forecasting.

BOOK III. A Nonpredictive View of the World

CHAPTER 9. Fat Tony and the Fragilistas

삶의 지혜. 가치관.

Nothing was more hideous in Nero’s eyes than excessive refinement — in clothes, food, lifestyle, manners — and wealth was nonlinear. Beyond some level it forces people into endless complications of their lives, creating worries about whether the housekeeper in one of the country houses is scamming them while dooing a poor job and similar headaches that multiply with money.

CHAPTER 10. Senaca’s Upside and Downside

Upside와 Downside의 비대칭이 제일 중요하다.

“I lost nothing”

Success brings an asymmetry: you now have a lot more to lose than to gain. You are hence fragile. […] When you become rich, the pain of losing your fortune exceeds the emotional gain of getting additional wealth, so you start living under continuous emotional threat.

CHAPTER 11. Never Marry the Rock Star

바벨 전략. 안정적인 남편 + 락스타와의 외도.

BOOK IV. Optionality, Technology, and the Intelligence of Antifragility

  • 미국의 강점: risk taking, the use of optionality, remarkable ability to engage in rational forms of trial and error, no comparative shame in failing, starting again, and repeating failure.
  • 일본: shame comes with failure, which causes people to hide risks under the rug, financial or nuclear, making small benefits while sitting on dynamite

CHAPTER 12. Thales’ Sweet Grapes

행동의 중요성. Tail의 중요성.

You will never get to know yourself — your real preferences — unless you face options and choices.

Antifragility: limited loss and unlimited gain.

평균보다 dispersion(variation etc)이 중요하다: The tails of the distribution on the higher end of the income brackets, the extreme, are much more determined by changes in inequality than changes in the average. It gains from dispersion, hence is antifragile. This explains the bubble in real estate prices in Central London, determined by inequality in Russia and the Arabian Gulf and totally independent of the real estate dynamics in Britain.

래리 서머스의 남녀능력차별 발언: "남녀 능력의 평균을 같으나, 남자 집단의 variation이 더 클 수 있다." 하지만 결국 엄청난 성과를 내는 건 극단에 있는 사람들. 반대로 감옥에 있는 남자들도 많다.

Growth in society may not come from raising the average the Asian way, but from increasing the number of people in the “tails” that small, very small number of risk takers crazy enough to have ideas of their own, those endowed with that very rare ability called imagination, that rarer quality called courage, and who make things happen.

CHAPTER 13. Lecturing Birds on How to Fly

이론 다음에 실용이 오는게 아니라, 실용 다음에 이론이 온다.

  • Two types of knowledge: 1) Not strictly knowledge, Its ambiguous character prevents us from associating it with the strict definitions of knowledge. It is a way of doing things that we cannot really express in clear and direct language — but that we do nevertheless, and do well. 2) What we call “knowledge”, it is what you acquire in school, can get grades for, can codify, what is explainalbe, academizable, rationalizable, formalizable, theoretizable, Sovietizable, bureaucratizable, Harvardifable, etc.

금융위기 나올 때 마다 "탐욕"이 문제라고 하는데... With astonishing regularity, greed is seen as something (a) new and (b) curable. We cannot change humans as easily as we can build greed-proof systems.

Someone standing today looking at events without having lived them wouuld be inclined to develop illusions of causality, mostly from being mixed-up by the sequence of events.

CHAPTER 14. When Two Things Are Not the “Same Thing”

x는 f(x)가 아니다.

고등교육 시스템이 부와 경제성장을 만드는가, 아니면 그 반대인가?

It is unrigorous to equate skills at doing with skills at talking.

“green lumber”가 뭔지도 모르고 돈 많이 범.

CHAPTER 15. History Written by the Losers

많은 발견과 혁신은 우연과 행동의 부산물로 나왔다.

Nobody worries that a child ignorant of the various theorems of aerodynamics and incapable of solving an equation of motion would be unable to ride a bicycle.

There is a body of know-how that was transmitted from master to apprentice, and transmitted only in such a manner.

Generations of collective tinkering resulting in the evolution of recipes. Cooking schools are entirely apprenticeship based.

정부가 돈을 쓰지 말라는 이야기가 아님. 제대로 써야한다는 이야기. It is just that functionaries are too teleological in the way they look for things. Funding should be given to people, not projects, and spread in small amounts across many researchers.

Historically, skepticism has been mostly skepticism of expert knowledge rather than skepticism about abstract entities like God, and that all the great skeptics ahve been largely either religious or, at leas, pro-religion.

CHAPTER 16. A Lesson in Disorder

Disorder의 장점.

CHAPTER 17. Fat Tony Debates Socrates

Hayek: opposed social planning on the grounds that the pricing system reveals through transactions the knowledge embeded in society, knowledge not accessible to a social planner.

BOOK V. The Nonlinear and the Nonlinear

CHAPTER 18. On the Difference Between a Large Stone and a Thousand Pebbles

Nonlinear는 모든 곳에 있다. 그리고 그 중요성.

For the fragile, shocks bring higher harm as their intensity increases. For the anti fragile, shocks bring more benefits as their intensity increases.

큰 돌로 맞는 것과 그걸 1000개로 쪼개서 맞는 것의 차이.

교통체증: 교통량이 10% 늘면 걸리는 시간은 50%가 는다. 9만대 한 시간 그리고 11만대 한 시간과 10만대 두 시간은 다르다.

Redundancy as an aggressive stance.

Squeeze: 어쩔 수 없이 뭘 해야만 하는 상황. 큰 조직일 수록 이런 상황의 비용은 엄청나게 늘어난다. The gains from size are visible but the risks are hidden and some concealed risks seem to bring frailties into the companies.

The fragility comes from size.

“planning fallacy”: 심리학적 문제도 있지만, inherent to the nonlinear structure of the projects. planning에 음수는 없다. 오로지 커지는 에러만 있을 뿐.

전쟁 비용: complexity plus asymmetry (plus such types as George W. Bush) lead to explosive errors.

Where the “efficient” is not efficient

pollution도 마찬가지의 관점에서 접근해야함.

CHAPTER 19. The Philosopher’s Stone and Its Inverse

그럼 어떡해야 함?

Figuring out if our miscalculations or misforecasts are on balance more harmful than they are beneficial and how accelerating the damage is.

All small probabilities tend to be very fragile to errors, as a small change in the assumptions can make the probability rise dramatically. 그래서 작은 확률을 정확하게 예측하는 건 불가능함. 그게 에러가 나도 괜찮게 만들어야 함.

평균 수심 1m인 강은 건너면 안 됨. volatality가 중요함.

할머니의 건강은 온도에 대해 nonlinear하고 curves inward. 그래서 평균보다 편차가 중요함.

  • The more nonlinear, the more the function of something divorces itself from the something. linear하면 차량 9만대 1시간, 11만대 1시간과 10만대 2시간이 걸리는 시간이 똑같음.
  • The more volatile the something — the more uncertainity — the more the function divorces itself from the something. 10만대에서 벗어날수록 점점 강도가 심해짐.
  • If the function is convex, then the average of the function of something is going to be higher than the function of the average of something.

linear payoff면 확률이 50% 이상이어야함. convex payoff면 그보다 낮아도 됨.

BOOK VI. Via Negativa

Charlatans are recognizable in that they will give you positive advice, and only positive advice, exploiting our gullibility and sucker-proneness for recipies that hit you in a flash as just obvious, then evaporate later as you forget them. Just look at the “how to” books with, in their title, “Ten Steps for-” (fill in: enrichment, weight loss, making friends, innovation, getting elected, building muscles, finding a husband, etc.). Yet in practice it is the negative that’s used by the pros, those selected by evolution.

Steve Jobs: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. […] Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

80/20: 극소수의 노숙자가 대부분의 비용 발생, 극소수의 직원이 대부분의 문제 발생 및 대다수의 분위기 오염, 극소수의 고객이 많은 매출 발생 등등

Less is more: if you have more than one reason to do something, just don’t do it. It does not mean that one reason is better than two, just that by invoking more than one reason you are trying to convince yourself to do somethiing. Obvious decisions (robust to error) require no more than a single reason. If someone attacks a book or idea using more than one argument, you know it is not real. Nobody says “he is a criminal, he killed many people, and he also has bad table manners and bad breath and is a very poor driver.”

CHAPTER 20. Time and Fragility

Fragility를 드러내는 시간의 힘.

Prophets: before you are proven right, you will be reviled; after you are proven right, you will be hated for a while, or, what’s worse, your ideas will appear to be “trivial” thanks to retrospective distortion.

공산주의나 스탈리니즘을 찬성했던 사람들은 그대로 영향력을 유지했고, Raymond Aron 같은 사람은 잊혀졌다.

Paradox: long-term prediction이 short-term prediction보다 더 정확하다. One can be quite certain that what is Black Swan-prone will be eventually swallowed by history since time augments the probability of such an event. On the other hand, typical predictions degrade with time.

  • neomania: the love of the modern for its own sake

이미 오랫동안 살아남은 것들이 앞으로도 계속 살아남는다.

Technology is at its best when it is invisible. Technology is of greatest benefit when it displaces the deleterious, unnatural, alienating, and, most of all, inherently fragile preceding technology.

  • Lindy Effect: The old is expected to stay longer than the young in proportion to their age.

책이 40년간 프린트 되어 있으면, 다음 40년간 살아남는다. 사람이 나이 먹는 것과 반대

총량을 보여주는 것보다 변화량을 보여주는 것에 더 민감하게 반응한다. 재산이 142억에서 141억이 되었다보다 1억을 잃었다가 더 큰 임팩트.

We notice what varies and changes more than what plays a large role but doesn’t change. We rely more on water than on cell phones but because water does not change and cell phones do, we are prone to thinking that cell phones play a larger role than they do.

Everything in nature is fractal, jagged, and rich in detail, through with a certain pattern. Alas, contemporary architecture is smooth, even when it tries to look whimsical. What is top-down is generally unwrinkled (that is unfractal) and feels dead.

By issuing warnings based on vulnerability — that is, subtractive prophecy — we are closer to the original role of the prophet: to warn, not necessarily to predict, and to predict calamities if people don’t listen.

If something that makes nos sense to you (say, religion — if you are an atheist — or some age-old habit or practice called irrational); if that something has been around for a very, very long time, then, irrational or not, you can expect it to sick around much longer, and outlive those who call for its demise.

CHAPTER 21. Medicine, Convexity, and Opacity

약의 숨겨진 위험성.

알려진 작은 gain, 숨겨진 커다란 harm.

이미 잘 돌아가고 있는 걸 더 잘 돌아가게 해주는 것 (예: 스테로이드)에는 free lunch가 없다. 뭔가 concealed trap이 있다.

The doctor has the incentive to prescribe it because should the patient have a heart attack, he would be sued for negligence; but the error in the opposite direction is not penalized at all, as side effects do not appear at all as being caused by the medicine.

자연이 짱임. 자연이 제일 statistically significant함. 그래서 그걸 override하려면 우리 쪽에서 엄청난 증거가 있어야함.

Theories come and go; experience stays.

Add neurosomething to a field, and suddenly it rises in respectability and becomes more convincing as people now have the illusion of a strong causal link.

CHAPTER 22. To Live Long, but Not Too Long

무엇이 수명을 늘렸나, 혹은 줄이고 있나.

상황이 얼마나 나쁜지에 따라 조치를 취할지 말지를 결정해야한다.

Whenever possible, replace the doctor with human antifragility. But otherwise, don’t be shy with aggressive treatments.

오래 살아남지 않은 (새로 생긴) 과일, 음료는 안 먹음.

If true wealth consists in worries sleeping, clear conscience, reciprocal gratitude, absence of envy, good appetite, muscle strength, physical energy, frequent laughs, no meals alone, no gym class, some physical labor, hobby, good bowel movements, no meeting rooms, and periodic surprises, then it is largely subtractive.

BOOK VII. The Ethics of Fragility and Antifragility

CHAPTER 23. Skin in the Garme: Antifragility and Optionality at the Expense of Others

도덕률: skin in the game

  • No skin in the game: upside만 챙기고 downside는 다른 사람들에게, bureaucrats, consultants, corporate executive, data miners, observational studies, centralized government, journalists who analyze and predict, politicians
  • Skin in the game: 자신의 downside를 책임진다, citizens, merchant, entrepreneurs, field experiment, city state, trader
  • Skin in the game for ths ake of others: 다른 사람들을 위해 downside를 진다, saint, knight, soldier, prophet, innovator, fraud expose journalist, rebel

사회의 등급: entrepreneur and risk taker / 시민 / 교수, 기자, 정치인

No opinion without risk

You express your opinion; it can hurt others who rely on it, yet you incur no liability. Is this fair?

옛날에는 전쟁을 하려면 결정권자가 전투에 나갔다. 지금은 아니다.

In tradiotional societies even those who fail — but have taken risks — have a higher status than those who are not exposed.

말만 하는 놈들은 skin in the game 안 하는 것.

Thomas Friedman은 칼럼으로 이라크 전쟁 지지해놓고, 책임도 안 짐.

I want predictors to have visible scars on their body from prediction errors, not distribute these errors to society.

의견 물어볼 필요가 없음. 포트폴리오에 뭐 있는지 보면 됨.

One should say whatever he wants, but one’s portfolio needs to line up with it.

Does the scientific researcher whose ideas are applicable to real world apply his ideas to his daily life? If so, take him seriously. Otherwise, ignore him.

자기 생각을 진짜로 책임지지 않는 사람과는 이야기 해봤자 소용이 없다. 그게 맞는 생각이건 아니건간에.

Corporate executive: they are no entrepreneurs — just actors, slick actors ( business chools are more like acting schools).

Small companies and artisans tend to sell us healthy products, one that seem naturally and spontaneously needed; larger ones are likely to be in the business of producing wholesale iatrogenic, taking our money, and then hijacking the state thanks to their army of lobbyists.

Anything that requires marketing appears to carry such side effects. You certainly need an advertising apparatus to convince people that Coke brings them “happiness” — and it works.

Mechanism of cheapest-to-deliver-for-a-given-specification. 지나친 optimization.

마케팅이 필요하다는 건 뭔가 문제가 있다는 것.

CHAPTER 24. Fitting Ethics to a Profession

“everyone needs to make a living”: fitting ethics to a profession.

Anyone who goes into public service should not be allowed to subsequently earn more from any commercial activity than the income of the highest paid civil servant.

제도를 자기들이 어렵게 만들어놓고, 나가서 그거 가지고 먹고 산다.

The more complex the regulation, the more bureaucratic the network, the more a regulator who knows the loops and glitches would benefit from it later, as his regulator edge would be a convex function of his differential knowledge.

Propose an ethical rule before an action, not after.

게놈 프로젝트가 안되는 이유: I am not saying that there is no information in the data: the problem is that the needle comes in a haystack.

CHAPTER 25. Conclusion

Remember that food would not have a taste if it weren’t for hunger; results are meaningless without effort, joy without sadness, convictions without uncertainty, and an ethical life isn’t so when stripped of personal risks.

Appendix I: A Graphical Tour of the Book

Why tinkering-derived heuristics matter because they don’t take you into the danger zone — words and narratives do.

  • x와 f(x): x=지진의 크기, f(x)=지진으로 죽는 사람의 수, f(x)가 더 예측가능함 / x=떨어지는 높이, f(x)=떨어져서 입는 피해
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