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Anti-fragility and the coronavirus crisis

 
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toaster



Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Posts: 20
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:43 am    Post subject: Anti-fragility and the coronavirus crisis Reply with quote

Not sure if this is a "general yin yoga topic" but thought I would give it a shot.

Bernie, I was just reading your article about anti-fragility and how humans (and other beings, like frogs) have the potential to improve from being stressed. Do you think that some version of this theory might apply to the current coronavirus crisis?

I'm thinking about this philosophically obviously, looking for a sense of hope.
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
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Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 19th century, German philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche once said “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. I never quite agreed with that and if we look at the graph of antifragility, we can see why. (That which doesn't kill can sometimes make us permanently weakened!)

Eustress, which is the form/quality/quantity of stress that can make us stronger, has a limit. Too much stress turns into distress, which is harmful or even deadly. So, for some people the coronavirus will indeed make their immune system stronger: that would be eustress. But, for others, the virus will be too much and the distress will kill them, or leave them with severely weakened lungs and breathing problems. The theory of antifragility postulates that we need stress to regain and maintain optimal healthy but too much stress is unhealthy. (Also, no stress at all is unhealthy!) Where the balance between too much and too little lies varies considerably by one’s biography and biology.
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toaster



Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Posts: 20
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernie, I appreciate your reflections on this! That all makes sense.

As a clinical psychologist, I find myself thinking about it in terms of emotional or mental health. I think all the same things you suggested would still apply.[/b]
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