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Black Swans Ahead, Not Behind

Nassim Nicholas Taleb points out a flaw in the 9/11 Commission’s mandate.

The greatest flaw in the commission’s mandate, regrettably, mirrors one of the greatest flaws in modern society: it does not understand risk.

The focus of the investigation should not be on how to avoid any specific black swan, for we don’t know where the next one is coming from. The focus should be on what general lessons can be learned from them.

And the most important lesson may be that we should reward people, not ridicule them, for thinking the impossible. After a black swan like 9/11, we must look ahead, not in the rear-view mirror.

[Tnx: Tim]