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Black Swan and the Historical Revisionism

“All swans are white” — this was a widely recognized truth before Willem de Vlamingh found Australia, and found black swans there. Since then, the term “black swan” has been used to refer to unpredictable events.

By PiousPublished 4 years ago 3 min read
Black Swan and the Historical Revisionism

But at least in the case of black swans, humans easily admit that “oh, maybe I don’t know what I don’t know”. Today is different.

“I know what I know,” which means you know what you know.

“I know what I don’t know”, about uncertain things like what to eat tonight or how much the Monster Box will have tomorrow.

“I don’t know what I don’t know” means there are things beyond your awareness and speculation that you can’t even imagine or care about.

The Great Depression happened around 2008 is a typical example of the black swan theory.

There were plenty of financial experts and a series of economic forecast projects, but no one ever predicted that there would be a big recession. Because in economics, if a crisis were to be predicted, it would not have happened. We often hear experts warn about financial bubbles or crises, but nothing happens after that. Because when listening to the warning, people will watch out, review and make adjustments. As a result, no crisis occurs.

The Great Depression in 2008 occurred when the whole world was busy investing in real estate, selling insurance packages, releasing loans … The atmosphere was so jubilant that even the most pessimistic people probably could not think the world would be in crisis and that they would lose everything.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster is another example of a black swan theory. Japanese engineers undoubtedly took the earthquake seriously and built the plant as solidly as possible. But as you know, in the same year, the tsunami swept over the seawall that every Japanese was proud of and destroyed it. Both are designed to withstand the worst disasters Japan had ever faced until that time. But that year, a tsunami was stronger than all the events that ever happened. The black swan told the Emperor, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

Hitler and World War II are also other examples of black swans. Meanwhile, the cold war is an example of “knowing what you don’t know”. People were afraid that World War III would happen and continually taking clever diplomatic measures. Eventually, no world war happened at all.

The internet is another example of the black swan theory. In 1960, even the person with the richest imagination could not think of his descendants would suffer from a new disease called social networking addiction.

But the “experts” in modern times are different because they are inherently good at explaining the causes of things already.

The 2008 Great Depression was over, people started analyzing the reasons so they could learn from it- without realizing that at least four big crises in the past had happened and no lessons to learn to stop the crisis from happening the fifth time.

There are many things that need to be quickly accepted that it is out of control, rather than wasting time thinking and considering.

Personally, consider the black swan theory carefully. The black swan event also has a 50/50 chance to be positive or negative. If your life is too complicated and too risky such as loans everywhere, taking care of too many unnecessary relationships, paying attention to irrelevant matters, then it’s easy to happen negative black swan events.

In contrast, the trading-time-for-money type of work such as news reporters, workers, teachers … will hardly have any major change in life. While business ventures, investors are jobs that can easily see positive black swan events. Those are the recommendations of the author of The art of thinking clearly.

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