Preparing for Black Swan Events

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  • Topic: Black swan theory, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Ludic fallacy
  • Pages : 2 (678 words )
  • Download(s) : 155
  • Published : November 3, 2010
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In his 2007 book titled The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb explained developed theory that related to circumstantial disasters and events and their role in history. Events that Taleb would consider as of black swan consequence would include most major scientific discoveries, historical events and disaster, as well as certain artistic accomplishments. Referencing these events as black swan has to do with the Old World expression that that something was as “rare as a black swan”. Examples of such events would include the invention of the personal computer, World Wars 1 and 2, as well as the September 11th attacks. It seems that many are quick to consider any random disaster as a black swan event. The reference has been thrown around a bit in regards to the BP oil spill when the only real parallel is the number of oil soaked pelicans that have come as a result. I suppose that black swan events are open to interpretation, but it seems as though this event doesn’t live up to the magnitude of the previously mentioned examples. In the business world, it has become a topic as to whether management of an organization or firm could prepare or train for a black swan type of event. Again, much of this would depend on what the organization considers to be a black swan. The example of BP and the oil spill can again be used as reference to this question. When constructing a deepwater oil rig, it cannot be outside the realm of possibility to consider the idea that the structure could fail. It is mainly constructed of man-made materials that by no means could be considered indestructible. Therefore, from the day it was constructed, there was an assumable risk that the rig could fail and a spill would result. Although the odds were slim, it would still be an event that an organization should prepare for based on the fact that the risk was present from the beginning. The September 11th attacks on the World Trade towers could be analyzed through a different scope....