Meta Black Swan Irony

February 26th, 2012

One of the teachings of black swan thinking is that after something bad happens, people attempt to pigeonhole that crisis into some sort of model or explanation that allows us to make sense of it. This is an innate human need, to be able to make sense of stuff. Eliminating uncertainty helps us live.

So, when Taleb (and I) look at how people’s response┬áto the crise (as compared to how they view the crisis), and pigeonhole hole that into blackhole theory aren’t we making the exact same cognitive fallacy? Taking many disparate events (9/11, Enron, Mortgage Meltdown) and their responses (Patriot Act Sarbanes Oxley, Dodd Frank) and putting together a pattern that helps us to explain what happens; that this explanation satiates the uncertainty (at least for libertarians who even see these problems).

In other words, one of the ironies of black swan theory is that it is in of it self a pattern that reduces uncertainty.

I need to think this through a bit more.