Drug dealers are also anti-fragile: the crazier shit gets, the more fucked up people want to get.

As you know the word "get" is a multiple meaning word. So I am confused which meaning is correct, and as a result I don't understand the meaning of the sentence. I think "get" means here:

be/get hooked on drugs.

But I'm not sure. So could you please explain it to me?

The fuller text is:

In 2011, Nassim Taleb wrote about a concept he dubbed “antifragility.” Taleb argued that just as some systems become weaker under stress from external forces, other systems gain strength under stress from external forces. [...] Then you have robust systems. Robust systems resist change well. [...] But, Taleb says, there is a third type of system, and that is the “antifragile” system. Whereas a fragile system breaks down and a robust system resists change, the antifragile system gains from stressors and external pressures. Start-ups are antifragile businesses: they look for ways to fail quickly and gain from those failures. Drug dealers are also anti-fragile: the crazier shit gets, the more fucked up people want to get. A healthy love relationship is antifragile: misfortune and pain make the relationship stronger rather than weaker.24 Veterans often talk about how the chaos of combat builds and reinforces life-changing bonds between soldiers, rather than disintegrating those bonds.

  • 2
    To get [adjective] is often used (somewhat colloquially) with the sense of to become [adjective]. In your context, shit is just a coarse replacement for non-specific it, things, the general situation - so it's effectively the "parallel construction" the more crazy things become, the more people want to get fucked up. Commented Aug 1, 2019 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


The question is What does “get” mean here?

The poster comments "I think "get" means here (be/get) hooked on drugs".

In this case Get is used in place of become

the crazier shit gets .......... the crazier shit becomes

and although the context of the sentence is drugs, shit has a more general meaning here, it is meant to mean "insane situation"

the crazier shit gets .......... the more insane the situation becomes

crazy f-cking shit 1) the name for something that was so insane, you just had to call it “crazy f-cking shit” Define Anything

have/get your shit together

get verb (START TO BE) to become or start to be:Cambridge English Dictionary

After a while you get used to all the noise.

Note I am aware that shit is also another name for Heroin but shit is not used in this context here.

However the phrase the more fucked up people want to get does relate to drug use

fucked-up adjective offensive slang : intoxicated from drugs or alcohol MERRIAM-WEBSTER

To summarise The author is saying The worse the (local) situation is the more people use drugs

  • 1
    Your opening sentence is incorrect Your final sentence is correct. "Get" refers to drug usage, not drug addiction. These are different things. Edit and I'll revise my vote..
    – Andrew
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 16:40
  • @ Andrew The opening sentence is actually quoting the information posted. I tend to do this so it is clear what exactly I am answering. Many times I have been criticised for not answering the question, When I actually have. However I appreciate your comment as I can now see I need to make this more obvious to anyone who reads my post.
    – Brad
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 21:37

There are two forms of get here:

  1. "the crazier shit gets": as the drug-takers' situations become harder for them to handle...
  2. "the more fucked up people want to get": ...the more intoxicated those drug-takers want to be.

The statement is not describing drug-takers wanting to be/get hooked on drugs, it is describing them wanting to be under the immediate effects of drugs as a distraction from their negative circumstances.

The longer excerpt suggests that drug-dealers are aware of this desire to be intoxicated, so benefit from general circumstances being harder for their prospective clients (and may also actively look to worsen those circumstances to increase the demand for their products).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .