Anti Fragile is a term coined by trader, philosopher, statistician, Twitter belligerent etc. Nassim Taleb. The concept is simple and intuitive, yet thought provoking, deep and pervasive.
Anti Fragile is not a synonym for robust. It is not the glass that can absorb the shock of hitting the floor. It is the reason we are here. Organic systems get stronger by shocks. Your bones get stronger by stress (up to a max bound). Or think about your muscles or your immune system. Anti fragile is not simply a phenomenon on the individual level, but also as you expand out to larger organic systems. What is natural selection, but the species becoming anti fragile? How about a forest burning occasionally, as opposed to building up material until an inferno destroys everything. Small periodic burns are actually beneficial to the health of the forest.
To me, it seems that over recent political and economic history the world has gotten better at building larger scale robust systems, usually at the expense of anti fragility. Our politics is centralizing, our central banks are fine tuning, and our leaders, guided by hubris or worse, are trying to steer us expertly through unknown waters. What if they are not actually reducing volatility, but unwittingly leveraging up the next crisis? Increasing the likelihood of catastrophic events. Increasing fat tails.
You can't predict the black swans. It may be tempting to try, but it will destroy you. adding complexity to a complex system has too many unintended consequences. The beauty in decentralization is its seeming planning and then reacting to every event; becoming stronger through each trial.
I see Bitcoin, and blockchain in general, as a new opportunity for an anti fragile currency(although it has much more potential than only a currency). In future posts I plan to explain why I am so optimistic about Bitcoin (and other cryptos), what it is and even a primer on how to use it.