The Holy Grail of material existence is to become anti-fragile, that is to say, to become stronger after each shock like the muscles of the bodybuilder after each training session. Why is it important to become anti-fragile and why is it so hard to become so?
Anti-fragility allows us to sail through an uncertain world and take advantage of it. As biological beings, i.e. made of carbon, we are naturally afraid of death. This fear leads us to approach the world with distrust and extreme caution. Becoming anti-fragile would allow us to free ourselves from this fear while transforming ourselves into world conquerors. Anti-fragility is the power to become stronger after each crisis, which would encourage us to go from crisis to crisis.
Our Cultures Are Built On Robustness
It is difficult to develop anti-fragility because we have been brought up in cultures that are, if not fragile, at least resilient. Whether it’s marriage, work, food, everything is designed to protect us from crises. We generally eat the same foods. We don’t experiment by tasting new plants and roots to see if they give us new nutrients or contain superpowers. Our ancestors did that for us and some of them died for it. It is much wiser to stick to the foods we already know. Our work is summed up in a limited set of skills that make us specialists. The Taylorization of work encourages us to become experts in order to profit from it. The problem with this is that this specialization can easily falter in times of crisis. Indeed, if an industry is disrupted, a whole section of employees becomes obsolete. We have seen this in the past and we see it again today with the direct consequences of artificial intelligence on work.
The social structure is also based on robustness, starting with the marriage contract which is supposed to provide a guarantee to both parties. The problem is that in case of crisis – divorce – the two parties often separate weakened by the experience which remains traumatic for most people. You will undoubtedly tell me that the repetition of the relationships can bring anti-fragility. Perhaps, but the emotional investment would have to be minimal each time, which could make one doubt the sincerity or depth of the relationship.
Our culture as a whole is robust, both in art and in the beliefs we hold. It is easy to understand why it is difficult to develop anti-fragility: our matrix is fragile, we need to revise a whole part of our education in order to discover anti-fragility.
The Necessary Fragility
Why are we fragile? I would say because it makes us dependent. Today you do a skilled job that then allows you to buy food with the money you get from it. You don’t have to know how to cultivate a field or hunt to make a living. This apparent lack of compulsion makes you dependent on the system. In a severe food crisis, you may not be able to feed yourself. Your employer and your national government know this, so you work hard and don’t question it too much. Specialization is a symptom of our fragility even if it allows for greater enrichment.
Reconnect With The Hunter-Gatherer In Us
As opposed to the specialized worker, there is our distant ancestor, a being anti-fragile by nature. In the event of a food crisis, he could easily switch from one diet to another. His nomadism also made him anti-fragile because he learned new knowledge as he moved and met new tribes. Of course, these encounters could lead to clashes, but this is also the counter-intuitive characteristic of anti-fragility: sometimes it is necessary for some members of a group to perish in order for the whole to survive and be stronger in the end.
What Might Be The Characteristics Of The Modern Anti-Fragile Man?
– Mastering several languages
– Having several citizenships
– Having a job that makes nomadism possible
– Having multiple jobs and skills that are not in the same field
– Being able to work online and offline
– Not being dependent on credit to make strategic choices
– Having learned to live in different latitudes and climates
– Develop both a masculine and feminine sensibility
– Develop as many different types of intelligence as possible (visual-spatial, logical-mathematical, kinesthetic, musical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, naturalist, existential and linguistic)