(News & Editorial/ Black swans flourish – with a helping hand)
A. The Black Swan
An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult to predict.
Black swan event: 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.
The “talking points” listed below were taken from a number of websites.
Examples of several unexpected, world-changing Black swans:
• 1850 Commercial oil drilling starts new Industrial revolution
• World War I
• The rise of German dictator Adolph Hitler and subsequent WWII
• Arab Oil Embargo of 1973…
• The precipitous demise of the Soviet bloc
• Personal computers
• The rise of Islamic fundamentalism
• The spread of the Internet
• Stock market crash of 1987
• 2008 Lehman Brothers and the Great Recession
• Flooding in Thailand
• China sharply tightened its limits on exports of rare earth minerals, on which the information technology, automotive, and energy industries rely
• 2011 Japanese 9.0 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear plant melt down.
A few potential Black Swans, awaiting:
• Black swan events have often emerged in the past out of pockets of perceived market strength.
• Global Conflict triggered by Food Scarcity
• Continued and expanding severe drought In The United States
• European Community crisis, EU dissolving
• US State And Local Government Debt Crisis erupts
• The Collapse Of A Major U.S. Bank
• Explosive inflation
• Oil price shock, to either the upside or downside
• Middle east “Arab Spring” events spread
• An EMP attack against any region of the US or Europe
• Slowing Chinese growth pulls Asia into recession
• A Derivatives Crisis
• Crisis in Mexico (civil war, major volcanic eruption near Mexico City, economic collapse): hundreds of thousands of refugees swarm the US the border, militarizing America.
• US ultra-loose monetary policy leads to a catastrophic market correction
• The fall of the Japanese economy!
• Solar Megastorm
• A Major West Coast Earthquake Or Volcanic Eruption (watch the currently approaching events along the Cascadia Subduction Zone between Alaska and Seattle)
B. Life and Times of the Thanksgiving Turkey: He Never Saw It Coming
22 Nov 2012, SHTFplan.com, by MacSalvo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/life-and-times-of-the-thanksgiving-turkey-he-never-saw-it-coming_11222012
The Black Swan Theory is used by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain the existence and occurrence of high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations. One example often put forth by Taleb is the life and times of the Thanksgiving Turkey.
The turkey spends the majority of its life enjoying daily feedings from a caring farmer. Weeks go by, and it’s the same thing day-in-day-out for the Turkey. Free food. Open range grazing. Good times all around.
The thinking turkey may even surmise that the farmer has a vested interest in keeping the turkey alive. For the turkey, it is a symbiotic relationship. “The farmer feeds me and keeps me happy, and I keep the farmer happy,” says the turkey. “The farmer needs me, otherwise, why would he be taking care of me?”
This goes on for a 1,000 days.
Then, two days before Thanksgiving on Day 1,001, the farmer shows up again.
But this time he doesn’t come bearing food, but rather, he’s wielding an ax.
This is a black swan event — for the turkey.
By definition, it is a high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare event for the turkey, who not only never saw it coming, but never even contemplated the possibility that it could occur.
For the farmer, on the other hand, this was not a black swan event. The farmer knew all along why he was feeding the turkey, and what the end result would be.
The very nature of black swan events make them almost impossible to predict. The point of this parable is to put forth the idea that sometimes we are the Thanksgiving turkey and understanding this may make it easier to begin to, at the very least, contemplate the possibility of far-from-equilibrium events.
This year, when you enjoy that drumstick or Turkey breast, give thanks to the latest victim of the black swan for being non-contemplative, otherwise, he may have bugged-out long ago and you’d be eating a chicken instead.
A BLACK SWAN THAT’S BEEN GROWING “BENEATH OUR RADAR”.
C. Did Paul Harvey’s 1965 Broadcast “If I Were the Devil” Predict America’s Downfall?
22 March 2012, GodfattherPolitics, by Gary DeMar
Paul Harvey Aurandt (1918–2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was America’s National Commentator. His listening audience was estimated, at its highest, to be around 24 million people a week. “Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers. His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator.”
One of Paul Harvey’s most popular messages was the Christian classic “The Man and the Birds” based on a verse from the book of Job: “Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you”.
Paul Harvey didn’t just report the news with his distinctive voice; he would always make the point that the news was reflective of society. You could take the pulse of America’s moral health by reading the daily newspaper.
In 1964, Paul Harvey wrote, “If I Were the Devil.” Various versions of the article have appeared over time. I first heard about it from Glenn Beck’s show, but it’s been floating around the internet for some time.
Before Paul Harvey wrote “If I Were the Devil,” the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) explained the steps necessary for radicals to transform a nation without firing a shot:
They must enter into every civil, cultural and political activity in every nation, patiently leavening them all as thoroughly as yeast leavens bread. . . . This would require a ‘long march through the institutions’ — the arts, cinema, theater, schools, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, and the new electronic medium of the time, radio.”
The following is the text from an audio version of Paul Harvey’s “If I were the Devil.” you can see that Gramsci was on target and his radical heirs were successful:
“If I were the devil, I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please. Do as you please.’
“To the young, I would whisper, ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around.
I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is ‘square.’
And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’
“And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors on how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa.
I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could.
I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction.
I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
“If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches that war with themselves, and nations that war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed.
And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.
If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
“Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress.
And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science.
I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money.
If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
“If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.
What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?
I would raise questions against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct.
I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be.
And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.
In other words, if I were to devil I’d keep on doing on what he’s doing.
Click link to hear Paul Harvey’s “If I were the devil”, on YouTube, accompanied by the appropriate related imagery:
D. How can we protect ourselves from these black swan event risks?
Minimize your risks on Wall Street
Buy commodities that hold value through inflation (physical Gold, Silver, …)
Buy tangible things that are and will be useful to you in the future
Keep some cash on hand to get you through a short-term disaster
Buy food supplies now
Become more self-reliant, reduce your debt level
Plant a garden
Own physical assets without debt (land, assets of practical value)
Learn practical skills
Check under the Survival Manual tab at the top of 4dtraveler website; the articles listed are all posted in this site.
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