Black Swan

highly unlikely/unpredictable event

book by Nassim Taleb (written 2003-2006)

John Robb posts:

  • from 2020: that Coronavirus wasn't really a surprise to many, means the definition should change to include it, by including anything (beyond being large and changing-everything) that is complex (nonlinear and uncertain): that it would happen might be predictable, but how it would play out is not, even after it starts.
  • from 2005 on the Homeland Security list of attack scenarios. Events of this type should be categorized as black swans -- unpredictable events. As the Security "big thinker" Bruce Schneier points out in his book "BeyondFear", defense against black swan scenarios are a waste of limited resources.
  • from 2004 on Nassim Taleb's theory that the World Trade Center attack was a Black Swan.

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