The Joy of Black Swans | Beyond the Beyond from Wired.com
A “black swan,” Taleb explained, is an event which is 1) Hard to predict; 2) Highly consequential; 3) Wrongly retro-predicted. We pretend we know why the big event happened, and so entrench our inability to deal with the next world-changing improbable event.
Bruce Sterling writes about a talk by Nassim Taleb. And there is this:
Thus there are two kinds of experts. A soufflÃ© chef really is an expert and can be trusted. An economist is a pseudo-expert. “Never take advice from someone wearing a tie.” All you get from a Council of Economic Advisors is an illusion of control. Stock market analysts have proved to be worse than nothing.
Don’t focus on probability. Focus on consequences. Black Swans will come. Prepare against the negative ones; be ready to soar with the positive ones.
I think in music we have two kinds of “hits”. The manufactured ones, where producer, money, marketing, promotion and connections do make a hit… and the black swans. NF was a black swan. It surprised everyone. It surprised the record-companies, who tried to find and sign similar artists/music, and it surprised other artists who imitated the sound. And what about Nevermind by Nirvana. After the appearance of that black swan, musicians were moving to Seattle as if they believed there was something in the air or in the water of Seattle that helped Kurt Cobain create that album.