Nassim Nicholas Taleb, one of great philosophers our time, author of “The Black Swan“ has revealed his new concept of “Antifragile“, a philosophical approach on how to thrive in an uncertain world. In The Black Swan theory, Nassim Taleb showed that highly improbable and unpredictable events trigger almost everything in our world.
In Antifragile, Nasim Taleb proposes that many things in life come as a result of stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “Antifragile” is that there are many events that not only have something to gain from chaos but in fact need it in order to survive and flourish.
As part of this new theory Taleb identifies fragility everywhere and mentions that fragile-persons in their attempt to try and manage it all, in fact make it more fragile; from the medical doctor who damages the body’s natural ability to heal and uses drugs with serious side effects and vast implications, to the finance expert that uses models to measure risks, that in the past have already destroyed the banking system.
All these efforts, Taleb argues, “weaken our health, our economy, political life, education, almost everything, by suppressing the randomness and volatility.”
Taleb claims that in the case of a certain aspects of life such as technology, the need for stability leads to maintaining and preservation but if you do the same things to organs, such as the human body, you in fact harm them. If you take a child and prevent him from experiencing a variety of situations, this child would die the instant he is exposed to bacteria and that the same rules are apply to other fields such as politics and economics.
Nassim Taleb believes that we should reverse the trend: stop trying to impose order on reality, begin to accept the fact that the world is unpredictable and learn how to benefit from disorder. “I want to live a happy life in the world I do not understand”, he formulates the Antifragile goal.
How do we deal with an unpredictable world? Taleb introduces the notion we maybe cannot expect extreme events, but we definitely must try to manage risks. Our biggest mistake, he says, is that instead of managing our risks we try to take over the randomness, avoid the unforeseen events and according to Taleb, this is a recipe for disaster.
So how do we manage our risks?
It is our experience that in order for an organization to be able to manage its risks it has to be able to understand how it acts (or reacts) in the presence of adverse events. We would like to point out that the majority of organizations do not really know how they will react when these events occur.
In the last few months we have seen the surge of events that are the result of “black Swan” and “(Anti)fragile” thinking which have led to catastrophic events (both Malaysia airline events for one) which emphasize this point.
We at Lotan Group argue that the use of Strategic Computerized Gaming for serious gaming, enables the organization the “feeling” and understanding of how their organization behaves under duress thus leading them through a learning process enabling them to manage their risks and come out stronger at the other end.