Quote of the day—Forrest Cooper

In his book, Antifragile Nicholas Nassim Taleb describes his concept as something which gains from disorder or resistance. Having no word to accurately describe something that is the opposite of fragile, he argues that the term robust does not go far enough, and is neutral at best. Antifragility is a trait, whether it be in markets, military strategies, or bone mass, that grows off of the volatility of their environments.

The phenomenon that is American Gun Culture has responded to censorship in an antifragile way. This can be seen in the sudden spike in firearms purchasing whenever politicians push for banning certain firearms, as well as by continuing to grow despite political and cultural opposition. While social media platforms normalize censoring firearms-related content, the culture revolving around firearms shows that it doesn’t need their approval to continue thriving.

Forrest Cooper
February 7, 2022
Censorship and Antifragility: Aero Precision
[Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder is a good book. It is a novel, (but obvious in hindsight) way of looking at things. As an engineer it helped me think about the design of reliable systems. It can help the gun rights community think about better responses to attempts at infringements too.

Gab is a good example. They were deplatformed on multiple axis simultaneously and came back stronger than before.

One might also say Boomershoot was an antifragile response to a law introduced by Diane Feinstein. The word did not exist at the time, but it certainly fits the facts.—Joe]


9 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Forrest Cooper

  1. In the same genre with Antifragile is “Personal Resilience,” the ability to weather different, and often, unpredicatable outcomes.

    It pays to be flexible, which requires designing in flexibility, starting with the primary tool – the human brain. Decision trees were invented for a reason and as a reminder they can be used for planning just as easily as post-event.

  2. Antifragile is another name for adaptive response, and it is one reason why models fail to be reliable very far into the future. The other reason is that many processes have probabilistic distribution that are not finite which Talib describes as fat tailed. Fat tailed processes have distributions which have no mean, no variance, or higher moments. Yes, you can compute these values, but they are not meaningful, and the resulting models are GIGO.

    Failure to recognize adaptive response and fat tailed processes are major reasons why so much stupidity is going on in our world.

  3. Agreed. Now it may be a nitpick but I think it important; I would NOT refer to an age-old, consistent, mostly predictable campaign to disarm and deceive the citizenry for the purpose of creating a malleable population which can serve as both a playground and a laboratory for psychotic Romish authoritarians, as “chaos”.

    Planned, coordinated, systematic, controlled and even orderly destruction on one hand, and chaos on the other, aren’t the same thing. Are they? To the extent that perhaps there can be such a thing as “planned, orchestrated chaos”, or “engineered, controlled volatility” then yes, the quote is accurate.

    Let’s refer to it rather as “challenge”. There’s a war being waged against the truth.

    Anyway it’s a Biblical concept, having come down through all the ages: Use the strength you have, to serve the Lord and the Spirit of Truth, and more will be given to you, and, “Put on the full armor of God” and so on. Re-couching it in purely secular terms is to dismiss the fullness (and origin) of its meaning.

    • As you say. Truth is the basis of resilience and adaptability. Being anti-fragile is being strong in the face of a lie.
      Our friends may not be seeing the whole picture. But they are seeing the lies pretty clearly. And that is why governments and societies fail. The lies become so obvious that people can no longer live by them.
      Life requires salt and light.
      Thanks for always being those things. Maybe one day our friends will find god’s armor. The truth.

  4. Studying anti-fragility, one of the best examples one could find is Christianity. It has endured and thrived. Contracted, only to reemerge stronger than before.
    Brutally crushed, only to return victorious.
    Anti-fragile will not easily have a single word name. Just as water only describes one phase of H2O that we see. We have to use ice and steam also.
    Like defining pornography. (You just know it when you see it.) Or pursuing a rhythm for the word Orange.
    Some things just have to be lived.

  5. Resilience is probably the best way to describe “anti fragile”.
    And it’s a quality that fewer and fewer possess as time passes.

    • No. Antifragile means becoming stronger after stress.

      Gun ownership increases when gun bans are talked about and implemented.

      Muscles grow stronger after being used to lift heavy objects.

      Computer system become more secure after security breaches (and attackers more clever in response).

  6. Interestingly, I’m coming to believe that religious faith is sort of anti-fragile. When times are good, people fall away from it, or become very formulaic and perfunctory about their performance. But when it’s attacked, lukewarm adherents start to take it more seriously. In the last couple of decades, churches that try to become modern and hip have been losing members or closing altogether. During the pandemic the churches that did their best to stay open and fight things as much as possible have been doing pretty well, as it show greater faith in God than government.

    I’ve been expecting another “Great Awakening” religious revival for several years now. It’s happening today, slowly gaining steam, ironically because of the attacks on it, both overt and covert.

  7. Pingback: Quote of the day—Chet | The View From North Central Idaho

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