chapter  4
30 Pages

Anticipation Versus Resilience

WithAaron Wildavsky

Anticipation is a mode of control by a central mind; efforts are made to predict and prevent potential dangers before damage is done. For-bidding the sale of certain medical drugs is an anticipatory measure. Anticipation attempts to avoid hypothesized hazards; resilience is concerned with those that have been realized. Resilience is the capacity to cope with unanticipated dangers after they have become manifest, learning to bounce back. An innovative biomedical industry that creates new drugs for new diseases is a resilient device. The rationale for relying on resilience as the better strategy lies in life's inherent uncertainty; for if, try as one may, or may not likely to be successful anticipators, they can always resort to resilience. Resilience is an inferior strategy only under rather strict conditions—know what, know when, know how, know how much, act as indicated. Without experience in coping with adversity, organisms and organizations can hardly become resilient.