Saturday, October 10, 2015

"On Vladimir Putin, Black Swans And Pink Flamingoes."

"What neither Taleb nor Hoffman foresaw, however, is that Black Swans can morph into Pink Flamingoes, at least in the arena of national security. We have an example of this phenomenon. Vladimir Putin has undertaken a series of political-military actions in various parts of the world, none of which were anticipated by Western observers and intelligence officials and each of which have had significant consequences."


Chiu ChunLing said...

It seems, on surveying the sorts of events that are referred to as "Black Swan" events, they already "cannot" be predicted only because of the cognitive biases of those who are in positions of power. For something to be genuinely impossible to predict, it would have to at the very least be something that nobody actually predicted. Vladimir Putin's various antics (along with the financial collapse, rise of ISIS, current "Syrian refugee" crisis, etc.) do not qualify, many people predicted them but they were all roundly ignored and marginalized.

There are occasionally events which genuinely cannot be predicted in the usual sense because the conceptual framework to describe them is not present before the event occurs and necessitates the development of the necessary language tokens to communicate about it. Even given the capacity to imagine such events in a given individual (or several), without the ability to describe it in understandable language, it is unavoidable that any warning attempted will fall on deaf (or at least uncomprehending) ears.

But a Black Swan, like the arch-typical example from which the term is derived, is something that can be readily imagined and described in simple terms but is rejected out of hand as an impossibility by those who 'know better'.

Nemesis said...

All the poking and prodding of Russia by Europe-NATO-United States by the Obama admin over the past four years, for example; the coup in Ukraine, the 'sanctions' placed on Russia in order to collapse its economy, the stirring up of the Middle East into the very real problem the whole world now faces - these actions were not considered to provoke reactions from Russia????????

Black Swans and Flamingos? No, just bloody idiots who live off an ideology that pretends to know the real world.

Anonymous said...

The linked article is nothing but more propaganda for a mass-murderous, imperialist neocon US "foreign policy". And the policy is: subvert, corrupt, divide, destabilize, terrorize, colonize.

Ukraine is just the latest in a long list of countries destroyed by Anglo-American oligarchs. Thankfully Russia stood up at last to the subhuman bastards, accepted Crimea after their overwhelming referendum, and are now helping protect Syria from complete destruction at the hands of US+Saudi trained, armed, financed, and controlled ISIS.