Humans Are Idiots

Last week I finished the book “Antifragility: things that gain from disorder” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (NNT). I came to a conclusion: NNT is an egotistical ass. This is why it irks me to no end that his narcissistic rant is going to make a home for itself in my top 10 books. Why? Because he makes a great point. Human beings are idiots when it comes to risk. We have no idea how to manage it. We see something uncertain and think to ourselves: “Hmmm… how can I control that?” Then we go about creating systems to make it all shiny and smooth. There is something in our nature forcing us to try and “fix” risk. That’s not possible. The only thing we accomplish is to make it much worse when it happens. We need to take a cue from nature. I’m going to explore some of NNT’s ideas and then explain how they apply to real estate.

I tried to fit this article into one post, but failed. So, here is part 1 of…a number less than 10.

Antifragility: What Doesn’t Kill You…

When my cat, Barracuda, knocks over a vase on my dining room table, it shatters into a thousand pieces. In other words, when you stress the vase it weakens and breaks. Thus the vase is fragile.

What is the opposite of fragile? Sturdy? Robust? No. A sturdy vase is not affected when it’s banged up. That’s not the opposite of breaking/becoming weaker.

To be the opposite of fragile, the vase would have to get stronger when Barracuda topples it.

Sounds strange doesn’t it? Roughing something up to make …read more