Top Ten Conflict Tips: Nassim Nicholas Taleb (1960-)

I am reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s marvelous book: “Anti-Fragile” and thought he might be a good source of relatively thought provoking conflict tips:

  1. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the anti-fragile gets better…Anything that has more upside than downside from random events (or certain shocks) is anti-fragile; the reverse is fragile.
  2. The psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer has a simple heuristic. Never ask the doctor what you should do. Ask him what he would do if he were in your place. You would be surprised at the difference.
  3. If there is something in nature you don’t understand, odds are it makes sense in a deeper way that is beyond your understanding. So there is a logic to natural things that is much superior to our own. Just as there is a dichotomy in law: ‘innocent until proven guilty’ as opposed to ‘guilty until proven innocent’, let me express my rule as follows: what Mother Nature does is rigorous until proven otherwise; what humans and science do is flawed until proven otherwise.
  4. If you have more than one reason to do something (choose a doctor or veterinarian, hire a gardener or an employee, marry a person, go on a trip), just don’t do it. It does not mean that one reason is better than two, just that by invoking more than one reason you are trying to convince yourself to do something. Obvious decisions (robust to error) require no more than a single reason.”
  5. Under such epistemic limitations, skin in the game is the only true mitigator of fragility.
  6. If humans fight the last war, nature fights the next one.
  7. The simpler, the better. Complications lead to multiplicative chains of unanticipated effects.
  8. Respect for the weak being, after intellectual courage, the second most attractive quality to this author.
  9. Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty.
  10. Innovation and sophistication spark from initial situations of necessity, in ways that go far beyond the satisfaction of such necessity

File:Taleb mug.JPG

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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Book Reviews, Conflict Processes, PERSONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CREATIVE STRATEGIES, Philosophy of Conflict, Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers, Uncategorized, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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