Fragilistas jogging

At Purchase College there is a ring road that runs all around the campus. On the outer side of that road, the is a very wide grassy verge. People would jog around this ring all the time.

Every single person I ever saw jogging did so in the road, and not on the grass.

They are what Nassim Nicholas Taleb calls "fragilistas": they want everything in life to be perfectly smooth, with no bumps or dog poop. In their effort to smooth out life, however:

1) They avoid building the strength and adaptability one gets from landing on a bump periodically; and

2) They set themselves up for much bigger risks. In this case, their odds of getting hit by a car have obviously risen tremendously versus jogging on the grass. In an economy run by fragilistas, the attempt to banish recessions leads to periodic catastrophic crashes. A childhood run by fragilista parents tries to shelter a kid from every bump and bruise, leaving him catastrophically unprepared for when real trouble comes down the line.


  1. I once listened to an interview with Taleb where he said that he didn't run on paved surfaces based on exactly this sort of reasoning. He mentioned it because he had recently been jogging off road and had fallen and broken his nose.

    1. Yes, in the anti-fragile orientation, you risk more minor losses (broken nose) to avoid catastrophic ones (killed by an errant truck).


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