machines are harmed by low-level stressors (material fatigue), organisms are harmed by the absence of low-level stressors (hormesis).
In a system, the sacrifices of some units—fragile units, that is, or people—are often necessary for the well-being of other units or the whole. The fragility of every startup is necessary for the economy to be antifragile, and that’s what makes, among other things, entrepreneurship work: the fragility of individual entrepreneurs and their necessarily high failure rate.
Had restaurants been individually robust, hence immortal, the overall business would be either stagnant or weak, and would deliver nothing better than cafeteria food—and I mean Soviet-style cafeteria food.
So some parts on the inside of a system may be required to be fragile in order to make the system antifragile as a result. Or the organism itself might be fragile, but the information encoded in the genes reproducing it will be antifragile.
Nature prefers to let the game continue at the informational level, the genetic code. So organisms need to die for nature to be antifragile—nature is opportunistic, ruthless, and selfish.
Black Swan Management 101: nature (and nature-like systems) likes diversity between organisms rather than diversity within an immortal organism, unless you consider nature itself the immortal organism, as in the pantheism of Spinoza or that present in Asian religions, or the Stoicism of Chrisippus or Epictetus.
Every plane crash brings us closer to safety, improves the system, and makes the next flight safer—those who perish contribute to the overall safety of others.
If every plane crash makes the next one less likely, every bank crash makes the next one more likely. We need to eliminate the second type of error—the one that produces contagion—in our construction of an ideal socioeconomic system.