Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Local Cult of Teenager Death: Brattleboro Ford and the Local Newspaper

Sorry, Drew is not associated with Brattleboro Ford.

The lot of them are nothing but addicted thrill seeking punks!!! 
Did Drew, Brattleboro Ford or the Reformer get permission from the owners of the bridge? Did he go around to the local police and rescue authorities to get their sign off on the jump. 
Honestly, can you imagine the "Reformer" passing this by their lawyers? They would be in stitches laughing breathlessly on the floor for an hour.
Me: Edward, It is not perfect grammar or English but it gets the message across…ask the right questions. "The Local Cult of Teenager Death: Brattleboro Ford and the Local Newspaper"

Drew Christiansen stands on the Fort Hill Branch Rail Bridge that crosses the Connecticut River from Brattleboro to Hinsdale, N.H. Christiansen jumped from

Drew Christiansen stands on the Fort Hill Branch Rail Bridge that crosses the Connecticut River from Brattleboro to Hinsdale, N.H. Christiansen jumped from the top of the bridge into the river after pouring a bag of ice in for an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)
You know this is going to cause a local mother to be waiting on the side of the Connecticut river while the rescue departments are fishing with a rope and a grappling hook trying to find her child's dead body in the Connecticut River. Will his dead body get chewed up in the dam?

Is this how morally bankrupt we've become? Are Drew, the Reformer or Brattleboro Ford going to be liable when a teenage jumps to his death off this bridge. You are teaching teenagers to take terrible risks.  This is basically Russian roulette...putting a revolver to head with one bullet in the chamber and pulling the trigger. Is this what you are trying to do. Next the Reformer will trying trying to boost circulation by producing a article on Russian roulette and a Brattleboro Subaru employee will You Tube it by pulling the trigger for Parkinson disease funding.   

Drew is not on the railroad bed...he is on the top of the superstructure.

Lets say, Drew upon trying to climb to the top of the superstructure, he lost his footing and fell to his death. Would it become a cover-up with the Reformer and Brattleboro Ford. Imagine how this would look for these guys.

I see numerous routes of injury  or deaths.

1) Hitting something on the way down.

2) Climbing to the jump perch...slipping off the bridge by accident.

3) That ski pole puncturing your chest or skull.

4) Teenagers jumping in shallower water.

5) Tripping over his flip flops and falling to his death. 

Hey, I got a idea...all the local newspaper and car dealerships could create a trifecta or perfecter. It would be really cheap advertising. Nobody in their right mind would put a horse to such risky behavior. The first to jump off all three, the superstructure of the Seabees bridge, the rail bridge  and the French KIng Bridge while playing Russian Roulette on way down. It is cheating if you know the depth of water where you are going to jump. Think of how much free advertisement you could get out of this? it would even be better if somebody died! 

This is nothing but free "junk"newspaper circulation and advertising...these local companies should just put the money into these organizations instead of risking their valuable employee. You know, it is tax deductible?  

This is going to get out of hand with escalating the risk...these crazies trying to outdo each other.

Locals join nationwide trend of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for charity

By DOMENIC POLI / Reformer Staff

BRATTLEBORO -- The latest trend in humanitarian efforts is to simply get doused with water.
In an effort to raise money and/or awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, people have started to record ice water getting dumped on themselves and post it online. The exact origins of this fad, known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, are debated, but it has recently spread like wildfire.
And plenty of locals have taken up the cause. The Reformer has found videos of employees at Brattleboro Ford, the Hampton Inn of Brattleboro, the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital's radiology department, the Chester Fire Department and Mount Snow and Stratton Mountain ski resorts -- to name just a few -- getting water poured onto them.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Black Swan Event in USA: Ebola in NYC

Aug 29: Right, historic low approval ratings of government in the USA. How is this going to play out in a modern country with broad based Internet and cell phone coverage? We are seeing the results of communication impoverished country... I bet you they will be thinking of shutting down our Internet? Can you imagine us with our wide spread communication and cell phone? Will we destabilize quicker that Nigeria because of the panic caused by our facebook or google in the USA?
The watchword so far on the ground is nobody can be trusted to tell the truth once exposed to Ebola...most of our societal protections is based on everyone telling the truth.
A Ferguson popping up in every community???

Why couldn't Ebola jump back in the animal population, then go on to infect humans through a animal or insect vector?
NYT: The World Health Organization is belatedly catching up to a warning issued in June by Doctors Without Borders, a group that has been delivering care in some of the hardest hit areas, that said the epidemic was out of control. On Thursday, the health agency said that the reported death toll had risen to 1,552, from 3,069 cases of infection in four West African countries — Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria — and that the actual toll could be up to four times higher because many cases go undetected or unreported. That suggests there could already be up to 12,000 cases.

Originally posted on 8/4

Aug 28: We expect these things to take off like the movies. Right, there is the disease, then how community responds to the disease...
Ebola Could Eventually Afflict Over 20,000, W.H.O. Says
GENEVA — As the tally of deaths from the worst known outbreak of the Ebola virus continued its seemingly inexorable rise, the World Health Organization said on Thursday that the epidemic was still accelerating and could afflict more than 20,000 people — almost seven times the current number of reported cases — before it could be brought under control.
The dire forecast was made as the W.H.O. reported that the number of known cases and fatalities had risen once again. The organization also acknowledged that in areas of intense transmission “the actual number of cases may be two-to-four times higher than that currently reported.”
The outbreak “continues to accelerate,” the organization said.
According to the latest figures released by the W.H.O. on Thursday, the death toll has risen by more than 100, to 1,552 out of 3,069 cases in four West African countries: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, which had previously indicated that its outbreak was under control.
While the disease was first identified in March, “more than 40 percent of the total number of cases have occurred within the past 21 days,” the W.H.O. said. “However, most cases are concentrated in only a few localities.”
Aug 22

Basically they put a veil over most of the information coming out of West Africa. I consider nothing accurate. Even these number are highly suspect...under counted.
"Ebola outbreak's death toll rises to 1,427."
"The scale of the world's worst Ebola outbreak has been concealed by families hiding infected loved ones in their homes and the existence of "shadow zones" that medics cannot enter, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. 
The U.N. agency issued a statement detailing why the outbreak in West Africa had been underestimated, following criticism that it had moved too slowly to contain the killer virus, now spreading out of control.
Independent experts raised similar concerns a month ago that the contagion could be worse than reported because suspicious local inhabitants are chasing away health workers and shunning treatment." 
More than 1,300 people have died from the disease and many experts do not expect the epidemic to be brought under control this year.
Aug 11

Looks like the nations closed down the reporting of events in West Africa.
 "man has contacted health authorities in Mumbai, after he started experiencing symptoms associated with the Ebola virus, which has killed over 900 people in West Africa." 12 million people.
Aug 8

 India has a lot of workers in Nigera...what if the flee ebola and get repatriated to back home?  

Aug 7

WHO declared a emergency

The west needs to see a lot more gruesome pictures and videos of Ebola victims and them dying.

Congressional Hearing

Tom Friedman CDC Director: "The infection and death numbers are a fog of war situation".

Ken Isaacs Samarian Purse: "The data is at least undercounted by 25% to 50%".

"If we don’t make a stand in West Africa, then we will be making a stand in all the capitals of the world. But I am afraid the cat is already out of the bag."
Dr Frank Glover: "People are getting infected because the care givers don't have gloves."

Ebola Deaths Go Exponential; Nigeria Demands Experimental Drug From US, Saudi Death First In Arab World

The chances of this happening would be one and ten thousands or more. I am sure every precaution known to mankind was taken. I wouldn’t be that concerned in a good bio-suit if I was next to one of these USA Ebola patients. Considering the bugs were two suits away from me. But the consequences are so huge to the accident.

Can you imagine if anyone in the airplane or other medical or care taker came down from the disease once the airplane got into the USA?
By the way, on the below graph, once we got into Aug, why did the increase slow down.
Basically the graph is heading in the exponential increase area. These aren't absolutely accurate numbers, more a guess.

Aug 7

Could it happen here?
Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf declared a 90-day state of emergency to help deal with the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the West African country.
The government will use “extraordinary measures,”including suspending certain individual rights, to stop the spread of the disease that continues to kill people in Liberia, Johnson-Sirleaf said in a televised speech in the capital, Monrovia, yesterday.
Aug 6:

 Dr Jorge Rodriguez on CCN says he expects 10 to 20 million deaths worldwide from Ebola.

 New Yorker test negative for Ebola.

@ About 6 pm today the CDC raised the Ebola alert to the highest level and a presidential national news conference.
Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the United States Center for Disease Control, announced this afternoon that the agency has elevated its response to the Ebola virus to Level 1-- the highest possible response level. The CDC heightened the level today in response to multiple new diagnoses and scares around the globe.
Ebola lying:
WSJ: Mr. Sawyer's arrival on July 20 marked the first case of Ebola in Africa's most populous nation, though medical staff didn't know it at the time: For two days, Mr. Sawyer told his caregivers that he had malaria, even though his sister had recently died from Ebola, Lagos officials have said. But blood tests confirmed Mr. Sawyer had contracted Ebola.
The Catholics got it right.
It’s been cooking for months.
The question now is whether it will get out of the box.
“It” is the long-smoldering Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The box, of course, is West Africa itself.
Will a disease vector — meaning, an infected person — manage to infect someone else who is going to, say, Sudan, who infects someone else who is going to Egypt, who manages to get on a plane and end up in Instanbul?
There are many routes this disease could take out of that box. In this age of air travel and high mobility, disease can spread at the speed of a jet engine. But that is the worst one I can imagine. If, through one of the many routes available to it, this thing ends up unnoticed in Istanbul, the potential for it to go on to the airport in Frankfurt, and from there to the whole wide world is enormous. Istanbul is the roadway between Africa and Europe. Always has been.
That’s the nightmare scenario. It’s the one that tantalizes us like a real-life disaster movie as we watch this unfold. I’ve been reading about this killer disease as it has slowly built itself into an out-of-control epidemic for a long time now. The death toll kept rising, the affected area kept spreading. But it was slow. It sludged from one godforsaken arm pit of a country to another and nobody cared much.
The world has become inured to horror stories from Africa. We don’t know what to do about these things, and it beats us up to watch them. So we watch, feel bad for a moment, and then go on. What else can we do?
  But the trouble with these human horror stories is that, if they are allowed to fester, they reach a critical mass and begin to spread. It doesn’t matter much if the illness is terrorist serial killers posing as religios, or an actual virus that we can only see with an electron microscope, the death and sickness will fester and smolder like a fire in the attic until it bursts out and takes somebody’s house down in a conflagration.
Ebola is out of control in West Africa. I read today that Sierra Leone is using troops to quarantine the sick. Medical teams from all over the world, but most especially the United States, are out there fighting the fight in their hazmat soldier suits. At the same time, frightened villagers have been known to turn on the docs and even burn down aid stations.
I’m guessing that these villagers have their reasons for feeling this way. But I don’t know enough to speculate what those reasons might be.
All I know for sure is that there’s a fight going on to stop a virus before it gets out of the box and begins a run down pandemic highway, killing a huge percentage of humanity as it goes.
I honestly think that the boys and girls in the hazmat suits will shut this thing down. It’s almost never the thing we see coming that gets us. It’s the blind-side that take us down.
But the lessons in this horror story are obvious. You can’t consign any part of humanity to the waste bin and get away with it. Not forever. Like it or not, these people in West Africa are part of the human family. That’s why their long-smoldering virus scares us. Because what kills them will also kill us, and — here’s the big one — what kills them will spread to us just as if we were the same as them.
Which, of course, is the point. We are the same as them. Same DNA. Same human body. Same human immune system. We are them. They are us. These aren’t a bunch of infected bats or monkeys. These are human beings. Just like us.
And what kills them, can and will kill us.
There’s a moral here, and it’s not hard to find. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the blight of inner city neighborhoods, drug cartels in Central America or a killer virus in Africa, what happens to other people will come around and happen to us if we ignore it.
Take, for instance, the blight in inner city neighborhoods. Much — not all, but much — of that soul-killing blight is linked to the use of addictive and illegal drugs. These drugs come from South of the Border. The drug cartels south of the border, who are financed by our drug use north of the border, kill and terrify whole populations, who in turn head up north to get away from. We, in turn, stand at the border with signs, yelling at them and telling them to go back where they came from.
We’re all connected. What happens to them, will bite us too.
A virus in the poorest and most hopeless countries on the poorest and most hopeless continent in the world is cooking up a storm that will kill a lot of us if we don’t shut it down. The immediacy and the terror of this virus has our attention and we’re doing what has to be done to get it stopped. We are racing against time. Hurrying to get this thing pinned to the ground before that one infected person takes a pickup ride into the Sudan and meets someone else who goes to Egypt, who talks to someone who decides to take a short flight to Istanbul.
Because if that happens, we’re staring at the gun barrel of a conflagration.
We. Are. One. Highly-Dysfunctional. Family.
That is not poetry. It is absolute biological fact.
One thing is certain, you can’t depend any Ebola infected count or death count from any official source including WHO.
Certainly from Africa…
This is already coloring our mid term. With our opinion with our government, do you think we will handle this any better than Nigeria. 
Nigeria Ebola delay creates fears of more cases
 I bet you a contagion is better controlled in a modern dictatorship.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry says a man who was being tested for the Ebola virus and was in critical condition in an isolation ward has died.
The Health Ministry says the Saudi man died Wednesday morning in a hospital in Jiddah. He was hospitalized after showing symptoms of a viral hemorrhagic fever following a recent trip to Sierra Leone, where there has been an outbreak of Ebola
Aug 5:
This is going to be a agonizing next two weeks.
Will the transmission rate change in the cold weather like the flu?

It is just a matter time.

You gotta be careful with what you post from the internet. Earlier in the day they reported this as the women showed up as negative.
UPDATE: Columbus Woman Being Tested for Ebola
COLUMBUS -- A 46-year-old woman is being tested at a Columbus hospital for the Ebola virus.

The Columbus Public Health Department says the woman recently returned from West Africa and is showing some symptoms of the virus.

Catch this date:
15 November 2012 Last updated at 19:50 ET
Growing concerns over 'in the air' transmission of Ebola
By Matt McGrath Science reporter, BBC World Service
The infection is thought to get into humans through close contact with bodily fluids.
Canadian scientists have shown that the deadliest form of the ebola virus could be transmitted by air between species.
In experiments, they demonstrated that the virus was transmitted from pigs to monkeys without any direct contact between them.
The researchers say they believe that limited airborne transmission might be contributing to the spread of the disease in some parts of Africa.
They are concerned that pigs might be a natural host for the lethal infection.
What we suspect is happening is large droplets- they can stay in the air, but not long, they don't go far. But they can be absorbed in the airway”
Ebola viruses cause fatal haemorrhagic fevers in humans and many other species of non human primates.
Detailsof the research were published in the journal Scientific Reports.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the infection gets into humans through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs and other bodily fluids from a number of species including chimpanzees, gorillas and forest antelope.
The fruit bat has long been considered the natural reservoir of the infection. But a growing bodyof experimental evidence suggests that pigs, both wild and domestic, could be a hidden source of Ebola Zaire - the most deadly form of the virus.
Now, researchers from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the country's Public Health Agency have shown that pigs infected with this form of Ebola can pass the disease on to macaques without any direct contact between the species.
In their experiments, the pigs carrying the virus were housed in pens with the monkeys in close proximity but separated by a wire barrier. After eight days, some of the macaques were showing clinical signs typical of ebola and were euthanised.
One possibility is that the monkeys became infected by inhaling large aerosol droplets produced from the respiratory tracts of the pigs.
One of the scientists involved is Dr Gary Kobinger from the National Microbiology Laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Canada. He told BBC News this was the most likely route of the infection.
"What we suspect is happening is large droplets - they can stay in the air, but not long, they don't go far," he explained.
"But they can be absorbed in the airway and this is how the infection starts, and this is what we think, because we saw a lot of evidence in the lungs of the non-human primates that the virus got in that way."
The scientists say that their findings could explain why some pig farmers in the Philippines had antibodies in their system for the presence of a different version of the infection called Ebola Reston. The farmers had not been involved in slaughtering the pigs and had no known contact with contaminated tissues.
Actually, maybe the most healthy thing for us right now is to panic.
Do you normally kiss and hug people you don't know in a taxi…something got aerosolized?
Everybody in the taxi died   

Meanwhile the West Africa outbreak, which began in Guinea in February, has reached the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. More than 1,300 cases have been reported so far, of whom 729 have died.

The disease is believed to have spread from Guinea to Liberia in March, carried by a woman who since died – as did her sister who cared for her. Before dying, the sister traveled by shared taxi to visit her husband on the other side of Liberia. The other passengers caught the disease and died.
The double message

I mean you get it, the media editors are thinking scaring the piss out of people don't sell newspapers and and others.
Yet unlike the flu, for instance, Ebola can only spread through physical contact, not the air. To catch it, a person's mucous membranes (or any cut in the skin) must come into direct contact with infected fluids - blood, urine, saliva, semen or feces, reports Scientific American. Direct contact with clothing or bed linen contaminated with these fluids can also lead to infection.          
You can't catch it from a door-knob, they elaborate. And crucially, a pre-symptomatic carrier isn't infectious.
Any nuclear worker would tell you those paper suits are an extremely poor barrier for protection from contaminants. Many of us got dressed up in three layers of coveralls and were supplied by an air supply..let alone rain gear.
See, these scumbag infected missionaries are running back to their home countries to die?
Ebola: Several Britons across the UK quarantined at home after returning from West Africa
Several Britons are quarantined across the UK with suspected Ebola, public health officials admitted on Tuesday.

I'd be watching how it spreads in Nigeria.
"Four probable cases have now been reported in Nigeria, fuelling fears the virus could be spreading from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone into Africa's most populous nation.
So far,Nigerian authorities identified 59 people who came into contact with him, including airline employees and health workers, and tested 20 of them. None of them were positive, The Associated Press reported.
Lagos has eight suspected cases of Ebola, all in people who came into contact with Nigeria's first victim who died last month, the health commissioner said on Tuesday, with one case confirmed."
Now they are running out of volunteers who track down potential contact people…you see how astronomically this thing grows at.  
Others may have been infected in Lagos, a city with a population of about 21 million, before doctors suspected that Sawyer had Ebola. They put him in isolation about 24 hours after he arrived at the hospital.
The eight quarantined people, who include the doctor, are among 14 who had "serious direct contact" with Sawyer, most of them at the hospital, Idris said. Authorities are following the conditions of a total of 70 people who had primary contact with Sawyer, and now they are tracking the secondary contacts of the eight people in quarantine, Idris said.
He said volunteers are needed to track down all the people who potential carriers of the disease had been in contact with. 
Madrid (AFP) - A Spanish missionary working in Liberia has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, the aid organization he works for said Tuesday.
During an interview broadcast on Monday, Pajares said he and the other missionaries in quarantine would like to be taken to Spain for treatment.
Halfwit missionaries don’t trust their own missionaries to care for them.
To USA, through London…
The big fallacy in this whole deal is most people will lie through their teeth for their own self-interest.
Maybe hit Europe first?
So the CDC and UN are saying you can only catch Ebola by coming in direct contact with bodily fluids. By they are warning West Africans not to eat the plums and fruits favored by the bat carriers and they are spraying the homes of the sick with chlorine spray because the house itself is a transmission vector. There is a disconnection in these official statements. Can you even imagine how this will play out in these sewer insufficient high population cities?  
This could make the 2008 world wide economic collapse look like child's play.   

It is obvious you can catch it by sitting on a toilet seat or touching a door knob that has Ebola on it. And it stays active for a considerable amount of time. Right, we are basically talking about events in an extremely poor, isolated, rural and undeveloped environment…we don’t know the transmission rates in NYC or Calcutta.
I approve of the missionaries coming to the USA as "lab specimens" and all that we can learn about Ebola from them. These guys aren’t a threat to us.   
We just trained West Africa...your only hope if you got this disease is to come to America? If this doesn't pan out as a legitimate Ebola case...I am certain a case will show up in a week or two.
A New York City hospital is examining a sick patient who recently returned from a West African country where the deadly ebola virus has been spreading, but authorities emphasize no diagnosis has been made.
The man was admitted to the Mount Sinai Hospital emergency room Monday with a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, according to hospital officials. He had recently traveled to a West African country where ebola was reported.
The patient was put into strict isolation and is undergoing medical screenings as doctors try to determine the cause of his symptoms.
"All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff," the hospital said in a statement.
The risk of ebola spreading to the U.S. is very small. It's only spread by close contact, and ebola strikes patients so quickly they'd be unlikely to be able to fly from the three affected countries.
In the unlikely case ebola ever reached New York City, health officials say hospitals are prepared.
"We are prepared, to the best of our knowledge, for any patient who comes here who's suspected of ebola virus," Dr. Ross Wilson, who's in the charge of New York City's 11 hospital emergency rooms, told NBC 4 New York last week.
The deadly virus is causing the worst outbreak ever seen, according to NBC News, but it's been contained to Guinea, Sierra Leon and Liberia.
There is such a stigma and USA medical help has become so discredited, the true scope of the spread of this disease in severely under counted.
And don't forget how little faith in government most people have. Can you even imagine how the right winger and Obama haters would play this?
Remember the panic will cause a lot more damage than the results of the disease. The 21 day incubation period countdown has just begun. Many west Africans are heading to the USA. All hell is going to break out when a secondary infection happens...when somebody in the USA catches Ebola.
Just how much Ebola virus does it take to infect someone? Alarmingly, as the Public Health Agency of Canada explains, “1 – 10 aerosolized organisms are sufficient to cause infection in humans.” (8)
Read that again: it takes just ONE aerosolized organism (a microscopic virus riding on a dust particle) to cause a full-blown infection in humans. This is why one man vomiting on an international flight can infect dozens or hundreds of other people all at once.
Nobody is yet talking about what all this might mean if a large U.S. city shows an outbreak of infections. Will the federal government use the military to quarantine an entire city? Ultimately, it must! And make no mistake: this possibility is already written up and on the books for national emergencies. One declaration of martial law is all that’s required to seal off an entire U.S. city at gunpoint
Another CBS News article reports: (4)
“If it gets into a big city, that’s everybody’s worse nightmare,” said Dr. Tim Geisbert, a professor of microbiology and immunology at University of Texas Medical Branch, in an interview with CBS News. “It gets harder to control then. How do you quarantine a big city?”
The answer, by the way, is by deploying America’s armed forces against its own citizens in a domestic national emergency scenario. Everybody in the federal government already knows that. It’s only the mainstream media that pretends such plans don’t already exist.
All hell is going to break out if somebody in that ER comes down with Ebola...

Right, the way to handle this is anyone coming in contact with somebody who has Ebola is mandatory isolation. Anyone coming from West Africa is put in mandatory isolation...

We might see the day where these early events in the USA were utterly stupidity.

Black swan theory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.
The theory was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain:
  1. 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.
  2. The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to the very nature of small probabilities).
  3. The psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the rare event in historical affairs.
Unlike the earlier philosophical "black swan problem", the "black swan theory" refers only to unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history. Such events, considered extreme outliers, collectively play vastly larger roles than regular occurrences.[1] More technically, in the scientific monograph Lectures on Probability and Risk in the Real World: Fat Tails (Volume 1), Taleb mathematically defines the black swan problem as "stemming from the use of degenerate metaprobability".[2]


Black swan events were introduced by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2001 book Fooled By Randomness, which concerned financial events. His 2007 book The Black Swan extended the metaphor to events outside of financial markets. Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as "black swans"—undirected and unpredicted. He gives the rise of the Internet, the personal computer, World War I, dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the September 2001 attacks as examples of black swan events.[3]
The phrase "black swan" derives from a Latin expression; its oldest known occurrence is the poet Juvenal's characterization of something being "rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno" ("a rare bird in the lands and very much like a black swan"; 6.165).[4] In English, when the phrase was coined, the black swan was presumed not to exist. The importance of the metaphor lies in its analogy to the fragility of any system of thought. A set of conclusions is potentially undone once any of its fundamental postulates is disproved. In this case, the observation of a single black swan would be the undoing of the logic of any system of thought, as well as any reasoning that followed from that underlying logic.
Juvenal's phrase was a common expression in 16th century London as a statement of impossibility. The London expression derives from the Old World presumption that all swans must be white because all historical records of swans reported that they had white feathers.[5] In that context, a black swan was impossible or at least nonexistent. After Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered black swans in Western Australia in 1697,[6] the term metamorphosed to connote that a perceived impossibility might later be disproven. Taleb notes that in the 19th century John Stuart Mill used the black swan logical fallacy as a new term to identify falsification.[7]
Taleb asserts:[8]
What we call here a Black Swan (and capitalize it) is an event with the following three attributes.
First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme 'impact'. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.
I stop and summarize the triplet: rarity, extreme 'impact', and retrospective (though not prospective) predictability. A small number of Black Swans explains almost everything in our world, from the success of ideas and religions, to the dynamics of historical events, to elements of our own personal lives.