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Antifragile Heuristic 34 (Barbell, Jensen’s Inequality)

Antifragile Heuristic 34 (Barbell, Jensen’s Inequality): Underreact most of the time, overreact mercilessly on the occasion, going for the jugular, and people will will leave you alone. Fughetabout “measured” reactions. Be unpredictable.


From FBR (2001). “This point has applications in evolutionary biology, evolutionary game theory, and conflict situations. A mild degree of unpredictability in your behavior can help you to protect yourself in situations of conflict. Say you always have the same threshold of reactions. You take a set level of abuse before getting into a rage and punching the offender in the nose. Such predictability will allow people to take advantage of you up to that well-known trigger point and stop there. But if you randomize your trigger point, sometimes overreacting at the slightest joke, people will not know in advance how far they can push you. The same applies to governments in conflicts: They need to convince their adversaries that they are crazy enough to sometimes overreact to a small peccadillo. Even the magnitude of their reaction should be hard to foretell. Unpredictability is a strong deterrent.”

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