I’ve mentioned the term Black Swan Event a few times over the years, but I never properly explained what it means. From wikipedia, the Black Swan theory describes:
- The disproportionate role of high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance and technology
- The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to the very nature of small probabilities)
- 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
In other words, a black swan event is an event that radically changes your world, but it cannot be predicted with certainty. The impending US economy collapse is not a “black swan event” the evidence is all around us, we just cannot determine when the event will occur. the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back, the seemingly insignificant event that kicks of the pre-hyperinflationary panic, would be a black swan event.
These events are the little things that snowball into the looming macro events that affect great, and usually perilous, change. If you traveled back in time to the 27th of June in 1914 and asked if a world war would start tomorrow, then you would be locked up for being mad as a hatter. On the next day, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, which many historians point to at the start of WWI.
The point of this post is to warn preppers not to waste their time looking for the black swan event. Focus on determining those maco events that are looming on the horizon, and prepare for them, not the tiny and insignificant events that only historians could point to and cry “A-ha! That’s what did it.”
To carry over the WWI example, it was the arms race, the militarization, and nationalism of the European nations that are the macro-level events that are the causes of WWI, not the killing of a man and his wife.