The world in straight lines: Why we are not ready for discontinuities

There is no way to know how long the wrenching changes we are experiencing will go on or how our arrangements for commerce, governance and social life will change. What is missing and has been missing is a map our fragilities. The pandemic revealed those fragilities for all to see; but they were not invisible. A belief in the invincibility of our global systems obscured them.

Is “antifragile” better than “resilient”?

"Antifragile" is a word you can’t find in the dictionary. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author and student of probability and risk, coined the word because, after looking at languages across the world, he could not find a word which describes the ability to improve with stress rather than merely resist it as the word "resilient" implies.

What happens when we shock a system?

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.