Have you ever noticed that some things in the world like to be disrupted? Rogue militant groups set out to garner counter-attacks that distract their opponents while draining their resources. Viruses encourage multi-cellular organisms to activate their immune systems in attempts to wipe them out. Teenagers seek the disdain – and occasional wrath – of authority figures in their lives.
These seemingly counter intuitive behaviors are the centerpiece of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder. They are the “teachable moments” that enable us to truly understand the driving dynamics of systems that undergo shock. Indeed, there are entire categories of systems that benefit from disruption.