De anti-breekbaarheid van gezondheid

NEW YORK – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, wellicht het bekendst als de auteur van The Black Swan, heeft een prachtig nieuw boek geschreven, getiteld Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. (“Anti-breekbaar: dingen die gebaat zijn bij wanorde”). Volgens Taleb verzetten dingen die 'anti-breekbaar' zijn – meestal levende dingen – zich niet alleen tegen hun eigen fragiliteit; ze worden vaak sterker als ze onder druk komen te staan. Als ze daarentegen te veel worden vertroeteld, worden ze juist zwakker. Evolutie is een proces dat zich te weer stelt tegen breekbaarheid.

In de bredere natuurlijke wereld elimineren kleine bosbrandjes zo nu en dan de ondergroei, waardoor het risico op grote branden afneemt. Kleine bevinkjes kunnen de seismische spanning in de aardbodem verminderen en grote aardbevingen voorkomen.

Op dezelfde manier is een gezonde economie anti-breekbaar, en daarvoor is meer nodig dan louter de afwezigheid van armoede. In een sterke economie zorgt stress voor een verbetering van de productiecapaciteit: een korte recessie of een kleine schok laat de zwakkere spelers afvloeien, zodat werknemers en kapitaal naar veelbelovender bedrijven en sectoren kunnen stromen.

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