Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Swan Author's Dim View of the Future

Nassim Taleb is everyone's favorite Cassandra, he of the "Black Swan" cottage industry.  Here's a peek into the future courtesy of Mr. Taleb.  Robert Thorn will be taking to his sedan chair....

1 comment:

Mudge said...

Well, that does it. I'm off to start my wall-to-wall bookshelf company and I hope to God those Kindles and iPads never take off.

Speaking of black swans, one day at our tower breakfast we saw a group (flock, bank, herd, bevy, ballet or lamentation, take your pick) of tundra swans swimming along the bayshore when this mostly black (with some white markings) pitched into the tundras. The tundras immediately swam away as the newcomer attempted to catch up to them. Finally, the tundras took off (now a "wedge" of swans) and the newcomer took wing and tried to catch them in the air. This dispersed the wedge into smaller wedges with each putting more and more distance between them and the interloper. This went on for nearly and hour until the black swan finally gave up. We were intrigued at how these animals were programmed to reject diversity in their social structure. We've seen varieties of geese socialize and even different ducks interbreed but this swan, which appeared perfectly healthy, was rejected as if it had some sort of swan plague. Anyway, that's my experience with black swans. Oh, and there is a company in Connecticut called Black Swan who sells me parts for my woodstove. Other than that, I have no idea what this guy means by black swans and I don't feel like Googling it to find out but thanks for the fascinating article nevertheless.

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