Cygnus Atratus; The Black Swan

Cygnus Atratus; The Black Swan

The Black Swan is a species of swan which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. Until Australia was claimed by Great Britain in 1770, the Black Swan was presumed not to exist, therefore, the expression "very much like a Black Swan" was a common expression denoting a statement of impossibility. Since its discovery, "the Black Swan" has come to connote that a perceived impossibility which might later be proven to exist.

In his book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, author Nassim Nicholas Taleb postulates the Black Swan Theory: "the disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology". The observer is initially surprised by the improbable, yet, most Black Swan events are explainable in hindsight.

Taleb argues that: "the normal is often irrelevant. Almost everything in social life is produced by rare but consequential shocks and jumps; all the while almost everything studied about social life focuses on the normal. Maybe an old Turkish proverb may further confuse things: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there".

Song of the Day: Black Swan - Thom Yorke (2006)
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