Creed of The Antifragile

We are the Antifragile

Our mission is to control the world

By influencing centers of knowledge and power

Through actions of stealth and cunning

While maintaining absolute commitment to a simple ethic

To maximize utility for all who inhabit this world

We are De Oppresso Liber

We have risen from obscurity to power

Yet choose to remain cloaked in secrecy

Lest our power and presence draw unwanted attention

Yet we do not hide or retreat in the face of challenge

Our enemies learn of our existence as we strike with overwhelming force

Our allies learn of our presence as we protect, defend, and promote them

We are not selfless

We are guided to live and succeed

Beyond Three Sigma

We do not shy from opportunity or challenge

We embrace chaos and disorder and abhor complacency

We thrive in spite of fear and uncertainty

We choose to act because Who Dares Wins

The Creed Defined

The Creed of the Antifragile is a declaration by those who seek and wish to live antifragile lives. It is both explanatory, instructive, and uplifting. Each member of the antifragile may take its meaning and purpose differently, as all antifragile individuals are unique. The most important fact to know about the antifragile is that they choose to be so whether consciously aware of it or not. The Antifragile are not born, they are made.

We are the Antifragile

This is the declaration. Membership in the antifragile is started by making the commitment to join its ranks and taking the necessary steps thereof. One is antifragile upon trial, with confirmation only possible ex-post the event which arose the test.

Our mission is to control the world

The mission of the antifragile is broad and sweeping, as the world can only be antifragile if the antifragile are in control of it. Thus, it is the core mission of the antifragile. Note, the key phrase ‘control’. It is not to own; this is not a statement of desire for or of having ownership of anything. Ownership is transient at best. The control sought is not absolute, but it is meaningful.

By influencing centers of knowledge and power

The antifragile are masters of influence. They influence themselves and all those around them. To gain control of the world, they must influence the centers of knowledge and power. The antifragile need not be members nor endowed with knowledge and power themselves; yet many will acquire both. They only need to exert influence upon those who poses the knowledge and power to assert the type of control required. 

Through actions of stealth and cunning

Knowledge and power are inherently fragile when displayed and wielded overtly. To overcome this challenge, the antifragile take their actions using stealth precision to avoid direct detection. This means actions are measured, timely and thus cunning as opposed to overt and loud. This yields a strategic advantage for the antifragile, they can achieve their desired outcomes while minimizing the full exposure to the risks their ideas and decisions may present. Making oneself able to gain from asymmetric risks, weighted in one’s favor, is necessary to become antifragile.

While maintaining absolute commitment to a simple ethic

The antifragile are not as complex as their nature implies, they are minimalists in their adherence to doctrines, creeds, and ethics. Those they adopt, the do so in absolute resolute fashion. If such adherence is not warranted, then no adherence is warranted.

To maximize utility for all who inhabit this World

The simple ethic that binds all antifragile is to maximize the utility for all who inhabit this world. This not to imply a devotion to any particular brand of justice, theory of equality, or other normative view of politics, religion, or economics. Although, each antifragile may choose their devotions to such platforms as they each see fit. The ethic binds all antifragile is one of improvement, or utility maximization, for both themselves and everyone else in joint fashion. This is not altruism, this is pragmatism, as the antifragile inherently understand that that equilibrium can’t be achieved without joint utility maximization. Any action that undermines this ethic could easily endanger the antifragile and leave them in a fragile state.

We are De Oppresso Liber

De Oppresso Liber, a Latin phrase, carries a dual meaning for the antifragile. First meaning comes from the statement’s direct translation, as ‘a free man, out of an oppressed man.’ This is the origin statement of the antifragile. They were once held in some form of oppression, striped or denied full access of their abilities and freedoms. Then, after encountering some great challenge or negative forces, they arose as free men, typically due to their own actions. The second meaning comes from the accepted translation of the phrase used by military forces, as ‘to liberate the oppressed.’ This is part of the antifragile’s calling to maximize utility for all, to help others who are oppressed become liberated. Said another way, the antifragile seek to increase the ranks of the antifragile, thus making themselves more Antifragile in the process.

We have risen from obscurity to power

The antifragile arrive at their stations in life from relative obscurity, however this is not a universal truth of all who are antifragile. What all do have in common is that their current positions of power, knowledge, and wealth are substantially enhanced from their initial starting points and recent minima. This pathway is inherent in the definition of antifragile.

Yet choose to remain cloaked in secrecy

To remain antifragile, one must avoid undue attention, especially when in possession of power and/or experiencing success. The antifragile know it is better to be in control, without the burdens of ownership or prominence, than possess ownership and prominence without full control. Secrecy allows for stealth movements while retaining maximum flexibility and optionality.

Lest our power and presence draw unwanted attention

The antifragile are more concerned with growth and survival than public praise, thus they see the risk public perches pose to their occupants. Jealousy and insecurity by those envious of the antifragiles’ success can create enemies and attacks, both are risks. Further, as the antifragile grow as a result of negative events, the timing of their gains are not aligned with times of celebration. Let them curse the darkness, the antifragile are not handing out candles.

Yet we do not hide or retreat in the face of challenge

The antifragile are full of and comfortable with dualities, this is core. As such, while they desire to stay hidden, they will not remain so if called upon by challenge. It is under pressure of difficult circumstances that the antifragile rise and perform and their best. In fact, it was likely under a circumstance of challenge that each antifragile discovered their nature. In reality, the best opportunities for the antifragile come from challenging circumstances.

Our enemies learn of our existence as we strike with overwhelming force

The antifragile do not announce their intention to strike, as the element of surprise is a strategic advantage they often choose to deploy. This first strike is often the last strike, as it comes with such overwhelming force they are guaranteed to win. This is not by luck, it is by design, as an antifragile will only strike when they can win. For many the enemy to an antifragile, they are unaware of their peril as the antifragile disdain the idle threats for the risks they pose.

Our allies learn of our presence as we protect, defend, and promote them

The antifragile lend assistance by right of virtue or strategic paradigm, both of which are often aligned. The antifragile find that stealth maneuver is intelligent in both attack and defense for the same reason. They seek the outcome, not the praise or prominence. For many, they learn they have the support and aid of the antifragile only as it is being delivered.

We are not selfless

The antifragile are not out to be guardians of the world, but enjoyers of it. They know the world is wrought with chaos that most do see coming, them included. As such, the first mission of any antifragile is survival. To do this, they must position themselves to win and thrive in all circumstances. This often involves the storing of fortunes while living frugally.  

We are guided to live and succeed, Beyond Three Sigma

Beyond Three Sigma is an ironic goal but an imperative one for the antifragile. The meaning of ‘Beyond Three Sigma’ is to be in the outer 99.7% of the distribution or level of performance, skill, and achievement. In short to the best. The 99.7% is three standard deviations (sigmas) from the mean under a so called ‘normal distribution’. Here in lies the irony, the antifragile know the world is not normally distributed and is actually dominated by the extremes. Thus, their goal is both loftier and more obtainable simultaneously. This fact is not something the resilient or the fragile will ever fully understand. 

We do not shy from opportunity or challenge

To obtain the goal to live and succeed Beyond Three Sigma, the antifragile must pursue opportunities, often ones with great challenge. One will not experience extreme success but taking normal actions.

We embrace chaos and disorder and abhor complacency

The essence of the antifragile is their ability to gain from chaos and disorder. Once they understand this, they actually embrace it. They keep this fact hidden to the public, close friends and family members to appear insensitive. Further, complacency and normality are actually the enemy of the antifragile, as such they abhor it and may even induce moments of chaos and disorder into their lives when necessary and doing so offers asymmetric gains.

We thrive in spite of fear and uncertainty

The antifragile are not fearless, nor do they enjoy uncertainty any more than the resilient and the fragile. They are able to thrive in the face of fear and uncertainty by a mixture of strategy, action, and luck. Because they see the potential upside in chaos and disorder and uncertainty, they can manage their fears and act accordingly. They know the positive Black Swans lurk around the same corners as the negative ones.

We choose to act because, Who Dares Wins

The antifragile have a keen predilection for action, even when the results are risky, uncertain, and at times, dangerous. They realize stagnation is at least equally risky if not more at times. The antifragile realizes that only ‘Who Dares, Wins’ and thus they must dare. This is not to say they do not take losses, that actually happens frequently. The antifragile realize the value in persistently taking chances, and getting back up when knocked down, as victory could always be around the next corner. If able to survive enough turns, the antifragile are almost assured to win given enough time and turns.

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