Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why is it so hard to swat a fly?

They are operating at a different perception level. The world passes slower from their perspective.

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Time out! Time out everyone!

Overtime limits have been hit.

The German military, once the most feared fighting force in Europe, is being forced to lay down its weapons by restrictive new overtime limits.

German soldiers taking part in a four-week Nato exercise in Norway earlier this year had to leave after just 12 days because they had gone over their overtime limits, it has emerged.

Troops have complained to a parliamentary watchdog that they are being forced to spend entire days doing nothing under the new rules.

“It can’t be that we can’t fulfil our Nato obligations because of overtime,” Hans-Peter Bertels, the German parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

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The Information Age, Cultural Stagnation, & the Arc of American Failure

notspecial

I am 38 years old. I grew up in the 80’s and came of age in the 90’s. To be sure, the 1980’s were a grand time to be an American kid. There was no social upheaval, no imminent existential threat to our nation (foreign or domestic), though my brothers and I grew up killing Russians because that’s what good American kids do.

People, by and large, still hated Communism. Kids were taught to respect authority. They were allowed to play outside without fear of being molested, kidnapped, or murdered.

Then, one day we began hearing stories of people who used force to defend themselves being sued by their attackers – and losing. The murmur of corporal punishment being abusive began to creep, slowly, inexorably into the American consciousness. As many households had two incomes, the kids were largely unsupervised. Most of us did just fine. We broke rules. We tried to grow up too soon. We survived. Unfortunately, most of these children grew into young parents in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The free range childhoods we experienced seem to have led to an over-abundance of caution when raising the children of people in my age group (give or take 5 years), thus creating the helicopter parent.

We all know examples of these people. They make their kids wear helmets on a bicycle and pick them up any time they fall down. These are the parents who take their kids to the doctor when little Johnny or Suzie scrapes their knee. These are parents who the Good Idea Fairy smacked upside the head and convinced to give every kid a trophy. When I was in middle school, I was selected to spend a day with 8-10 other kids who were of exceptional intellect. We spent the day with some savant who was trying to teach us how to tap into different areas of our mind to maximize what we could accomplish. By the time I reached high school, we had motivational speakers telling everyone in school that they were “…someone special…”. Exceptional, each and every one of us.

In just a few years, we’d gone from singling out the exceptional to telling everyone they were so. Yep, you’re unique and special… Just like everyone else.

At the same time these parents were coming-of-age the internet was coming online. The information age was upon us and man was it glorious! Having never ventured outside of the small town in which you were raised, you could now have a sex-chat with some chick in Australia [or more likely some guy in Des Moines]. We went from having to go to the library and trudge through dusty encyclopedias to find information to having the sum of human understanding quite literally at our fingertips, in the span of 5 years. It was a great time to be alive.

Do you remember all of the phone numbers you used to have memorized? Addresses, important dates? How many numbers do you retain now? Bear with me here, I’m making a point. How utterly unremarkable and unimportant were you when the internet was first introduced to the public? Do you miss it?

Life became easier. No longer did you have to commit things to memory. You can just google it or find it in your phone. You didn’t have to put in work to find information. The collective knowledge of mankind has increased beyond comprehension, but mysteriously people seem dumber. Why do you think that might be?

Is it possible that with the advent of the information age, we have created a generation of children-cum-adults who merely phone it in because they’ve not been required to put in the effort? That we’ve created a culture of the “special” with none more remarkable than the next? That this has led an entire nation to over-estimate it’s own individual worth?

A society where everyone can be famous for 15 minutes for nothing more than a funny comment or picture? Everyone is now the star of their own reality tv series. They headline their own news agency, and display their lives however they see fit. Each a star in his own sight, you can truly be anything you want to be in today’s social media culture.

Is it then, any wonder that these same self-absorbed, self-ingratiating, self-aggrandizing people would vote for individuals who personify the very traits they exhibit each and every day in their own life? Is it really a surprise that the majority of a nation of intellectually lazy, cynical, self-important imbeciles would select intellectually lazy, cynical, self-important imbeciles to represent them? Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton… these people represent the worst attributes of American culture, but amazingly they have achieved cult-like status among their followers and caused American to lose it’s f-king mind.

Enjoy the decline (and hopefully the largest cultural backlash the world has ever seen).

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“An unbelievable academic answer!”

Awesome.

WILLIE GEIST: What about what you told Chris Matthews a few weeks ago, which is that women who get abortions should be punished? Do you still believe that to be true?

TRUMP: No, he was asking me a theoretical, or just a question in theory, and I talked about it only from that standpoint. Of course not. And that was done, he said, you know, I guess it was theoretically, but he was asking a rhetorical question, and I gave an answer. And by the way, people thought from an academic standpoint, and, asked rhetorically, people said that answer was an unbelievable academic answer! But of course not, and I said that afterwards.

What was the “unbelievable academic answer”?

MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?

TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.

MATTHEWS: For the woman?

TRUMP: Yes, there has to be some form.

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The end of classical liberalism in the GOP

gopgrave

Trump’s nomination signals the death of American conservatism or classical liberalism as one of the two main forces in American public policy. He ran away with the nomination despite being exposed as a nonconservative who is hostile to private property rights, free trade and orthodox constitutionalism.

Trump discovered something important. He discovered that much of the Republican voter base does not share the policy preferences of those as professed on this site. He proved that it is possible to win the GOP nomination without being saddled with unpopular policy preferences like free markets and free minds.

He proved that much of the Republican base wants much of the same things that the Democrat base wants: Big government programs, governmental restrictions on trade, protection from entitlement cuts, isolationist limits on America’s commitment to military alliances and greater recognition of social changes such as those regarding homosexual and transgender people.

Future GOP candidates will understand this. They will follow this model. Those who believe in the classical liberal principles we have long espoused here no longer have a seat at the table. We have been shown the door.

This is why we have such a difficult time with each other. On this forum, Joe and I talk past each other because we want different things from government. Joe wants control of the borders, law and order and America to be first in all things. I want individual liberty and freedom of association with anyone in the world under my terms. Those are largely incompatible visions. Joe’s side has won.

Trump will still lose in November. He has found a way to tap into the non-conservatives in the Republican Party but his nastiness toward women, his crypto-racism and his generally crude and boorish demeanor will very likely cost him the election.

The next Republican candidate to adopt and refine his big government approach but will not make the tactical mistakes he has.

The bottom line is that the Republican Party has evolved. It became the party of small government in 1980 under Ronald Reagan. The classical liberal roots of Reagan’s presidency have been in decline since. Under Trump, whether he wins or loses, it is dead.

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Top of the morning to you!

Since I have decided not to spend the next six months squandering my brain cells in endless arguments about the lesser of two evils, I need to figure out what to talk about here. I am open to suggestions.

In the mean time, ponder the SMOD alternative.


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The morning after

Good morning everyone. This place was a little sad last night when I went to bed and this morning I have decided to do something, ANYTHING to turn those frowns upside-down. I am going to have to take you back in time. It couldn’t wait until Throwback Thursday.

I had planned on holding off on this trip back in time until the Republican Convention. This journey takes us back to two different stops in the year 2009. The first stop is in October of 2009 and there you find a link that takes us back to January of the same year. Both of these places in time offer interesting insight to the point I’m trying to make.

At your first stop, October 21st 2009 you will find some frustrations expressed that have affected the outcome of the 2016 Republican Primary. When you take the hyperlink to your next stop you will land on January 19th 2009. You will again see some frustration directed at the Republican Party by a life-long Republican. Those things are old news. We have all expressed the same frustration from time to time.

I would like to draw your attention to the hyperbolic silliness expressed, specifically in the January publication. In it I laid out all the things that were likely to happen as a result of electing a Communist Revolutionary to the Presidency. Some of them came to pass and some of them didn’t but at that time looking forward to the days we are living, I expected a MUCH higher body count by now. The bottom line is, I thought that things would be a whole lot worse today than they actually are. That’s not saying that things are great. That’s not saying that I don’t think the Pockeelypse could be just around the corner. It’s just not here yet.

It is easy to see the future in a negative light when all we do is read and comment on the news. Speaking for myself, putting my fears in writing too often affected my mental well being in a negative way. Making such an emotional investment in such writing caused me to fall victim to it even harder. I started really believing my own BS and that accelerated my woe to the point where I started making some desperately unwise decisions in my life because I thought I had to.

The point of this publication is to say that no matter how bad we think things are going to get, specifically as a result of politics, things might not turn out to be as bad as we imagined.

Now then, flashback to October 21st 2009…

Another open letter to the Republican Party

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So be it…

maga

So it will be Trump, Clinton or Sanders. Well, the American people have spoken and they deserve to get what they have asked for… good and fucking hard. 🙂

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Back In The Saddle

I love this guy.

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Primitive Technology

This guy is a modern day Tarzan. The nice thing about his videos is that he doesn’t have music playing, no talking, just demonstrates by doing. Not a sliver of modern day technology is being used, except for the camera to record. This guy will probably be the last man alive on earth after the apocalypse. This is quite impressive.

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Your Would-Be Emperor Has No Clothes!

If you’re a single-issue “Immigration” vote for Trump, you may want to consider that one more time.

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Trump ties Cruz’ father to Lee Harvey Oswald

enque

I am sure he and his pals at the Enquirer are putting together a theory to tie Cruz to John Wilkes Booth as well.

Seriously, this is just reckless, ignorant blather…

Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he murdered the president, parroting a National Enquirer story claiming that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963.

A Cruz campaign spokesperson told the Miami Herald, which pointed out numerous flaws in the Enquirer story, that it was “another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage.”

“His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said Tuesday during a phone interview with Fox News. “What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.”

“I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?” Trump continued. “It’s horrible.”

The editor of National Enquirer is a friend of Trump. He writes National Enquirer’s standard drivel so Trump can just report what he read.

Trump, with this sort of conspiracy mongering, proves himself to be unstable, unsteady, untrustworthy and incautious. Each of these words is a antonym of the word “conservative”.

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How do you see patriotism?

Think about what “patriotism” means to you. The photos below are different visions of patriotism. Which of these images best matches what comes to mind when you think about what it means to be patriotic. Pick one and comment below.

1.
workers

2.
1200px-Declaration_independence

3.

4.
dc

5.

6.
stone-city-iowa-1930

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Indiana is Cruz’ last stand in open country…

And it doesn’t look good.

Ted Cruz — attempting to hold on to the narrowing possibility that he can wrest the GOP nomination away from front-runner Donald Trump — faces a crucial Indiana primary on Tuesday. Meanwhile, and perhaps ominously for Cruz, he has run into headwinds among Republicans at the national level. His image has essentially nosedived over the past week or two, while Trump’s image has become more positive.

fjfnzqrvmeyk8j-op94-ng

I remember during the dark days of 2009 when Obama was riding high and economic jackassery like Cash for Clunkers the GM bailout were being rubber stamped by the Democratic Congress we hunkered down here and talked about the state of the nation.

We were depressed that so many of our fellow Americans were caught up in a personality cult. We swore that we would never allow ourselves to be seduced by the power of celebrity. In July of 2009 I wrote this regarding Barack Obama and, frankly, Sarah Palin…

We are individualists in a great army of fellow travelers marching in different directions all out of step. We need no one to call cadence including those who share our deeply uncommitted inactivst mindset. We are not charmed by personality cults no matter how charming the personality. Sarah Palin will not lead us out of the wilderness. We need no leadership. We follow an azimuth that is tattooed on our genetic code. We need no prince (or princess) to show us the way. Freedom is familiar territory. We need no introduction to its charms. We know what Psalm 146:3 means: “Trust not in princes – in a mortal man, for he hath no deliverance.”

And yet here we are. Republicans are lining up to pledge allegiance to the next strong National Leader. Evidently the remedy for eight years of Barack Obama is to elect a Republican pandering, populist version of Obama. It would seem that Republicans don’t want the opposite of Obama. They want their own personal Obama.

I can’t get on board with that. Today, I think, will be an important day. If Trump takes Indiana, there will be few means left to stop him. The Republican Party will have cut free from the principles that have defined us: Protecting private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade.

In it’s place will be Trump and his views: Private property can be seized by the state and redistributed, the government has a critical role in administering, regulating and restricting trade and commerce, the power of executive fiat, that speech must be suppressed by the expansion of libel law, that a federal registry of people of a particular religion is worthy of consideration, and that blocking trade between America and the rest of the world will “make America great again”.

Modern American liberalism as defined by Obama and Clinton is the sworn adversary of liberty supporting civil society. Obama and company are the architects of the “the all-devouring state”. They demand that the political be personal and that the state define us. Trump has embraced the power of their all-devouring state and wrapped it in red, white and blue knee-jerk patriotism.

If Ted Cruz is eliminated today, regardless as to the outcome of the general election, the all-devouring state will have won. This is an important day.

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Trumps Are Orange, Ovaries Are Red

So, I’m doing a mental inventory of where America stands and why as a nation we decided to get hammered, blindfold ourselves, and play poison-tipped lawn darts.
 
Seriously, someone explain to me how the best 300 million-plus Americans can come up with is:
 
• Vote for the ovaries!
• Vote for the brand!
 
Really America? That’s the best you can do? You repelled British tyranny (twice). You saved the civilized world (twice). You put men on the moon, men into space, gave man the ability to control the winds of fortune and tame them to do your bidding. You have fed, led, and defended the world!
 
Considering this legacy, I am befuddled [not really] as to how you can offer up as the next “leader-of-the-free-world”, the political equivalent of gonorrhea or syphilis. You really can’t find two qualified individuals from which our entertainment-addled, attention deficit populace can choose? We’ve got donkeys and elephants. All we need is the cotton candy. We have plenty of clowns. (Don’t laugh. I’m probably including you in this assessment.)
 
The future of our nation is about to take a grim turn, with regard to our financial standing, diplomatic relationships, and our ability to live without being molested by our betters from the far-off capitol city (or their local minions). Most people are clueless. They don’t know, don’t care, and can’t be bothered. Some Jenner is getting something nipped, tucked, or cut off. Busy times, dontcha ya know…
 
As our nation enters her twilight. We have two candidates who are universally hated, except by their most virulent supporters. I hate what we are becoming. I hate where we are headed. I am moving closer and closer to the let it burn crowd (not “bern”). Maybe our republic is too-big-to-survive?
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Ted Cruz meets the Trumpkins

cruztrumpkin

This is an amazing video. You must watch it. I can’t embed it so click over. Seriously. Nothing can turn a Trump supporter it seems, but if it is possible, this video should do it.

I am actually amazed and fascinated how often Trump supporters corroborate every negative stereotype defining them. The man who refuses to shake Cruz’ hand at the start of this video is the perfect representation of a stereotypical Trump supporter. Angry, ignorant and rude. Watch.

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70 Years Ago Today: The Battle of Alcatraz

Of course, this was before Clint Eastwood broke out in 1979.

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A preview of the coming general election…

If you are curious as to how the Democrats will use Donald Trump to attempt to win back the Senate, here is a preview.

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This happened in Ft. Wayne, Indiana

I think Drudge is saying that this happened in California. Not so says a couple of good friends of mine who were at this rally. This happened in Ft. Wayne.

More fuel for Trumpmania on Primary Eve.

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Cultural Stagnation?

There was an amazing amount of cultural change in the 20 years between 1960 and 1980. Popular music changed and changed again.. From Buddy Holly to the Doors to the Bee Gees to the Talking Heads. It remade itself over and over.

Styles changed radically during that 20 years as well. Click to enlarge.

20years of change

The same argument can be made in the previous 20 years: 1940 to 1960. Again between 1920 and 1940. So what has happened in the last 20 years? This is what 1996 looked like.

Cast-of-Friends (1)

Does anything in that photo look like it would stand out in 2016? Not really. The fashion and hairstyles of the cast of Friends seem as stylish today as it did then. Anyone from 1960 would stand out like a sore thumb anytime after 1970.

What about music? Is there really any significant difference between the pop music being produced in 1996 and today? To my ear, it is the same beats and the same synthesized sounds. The sounds of 1960 were radically different from 1970 and radically diffident again by 1980.

So what is going on? Has the culture stagnated? Young people drive the popular culture. Have the Millennials checked out? Why do we seem to be in a period of abject cultural stagnation? Or am I wrong?

Discuss.

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“You didn’t build that…”

you-didnt-build-that

Yesterday I posted that the rise of Trump is a Black Swan event. A Black Swan Event is an occurrence that is an unpredicatable surprise, significant in negative impact but that, in hindsight, people believe it was to be expected.

It was only to be expected, however, if you believed that the Republican Party’s reaction to eight years of Obama’s economic collectivism would result in them electing a man with identical collectivist principles.

Do you recall when, on July 13, 2012, in Roanoke, Virginia, President Obama told American business owners that they didn’t build their businesses?

Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

This is off-the-shelf collectivist theory. The idea is that, since it would have been impossible to build your business without the infrastructure and protections offered by the government, the government – and thus the public – have a stake in your business. Your property is, in fact, collective property.

A conservative would argue that the beneficiaries of the profits from trade and commerce built the government for the purpose of supporting business. In other words, the government doesn’t have an ownership stake in business but that business owns government.

That isn’t, however, the position of collectivists. They believe that the government helped build individual businesses thus it has an ownership stake in business asssts.

Obama elaborated on this when he used the phrase “economic patriotism”. He used the term “corporate deserters” to describe American companies that use mergers with overseas firms to reduce their tax liability in the United States.

“It’s legal, but it’s not right,” Obama said. “You know, some people are calling these companies corporate deserters.”

The mergers are perfectly legal but Obama opposes them because they are not taking the collective into full consideration. The business owners are using their private property to the benefit of shareholders rather than the American collective.

This, of course, implies that self interested acts are, by definition, selfish acts. It is based on the idea that when someone creates wealth for his own benefit it benefits only himself.

Adam Smith pointed out the fallacy in this notion in 1776 in his treatise A Wealth of Nations. Smith pointed out when enterprising businesses work for their own benefit, unknowingly, they also benefit society. To earn income in a competitive market, the business must produce something others value. In Adam Smith’s eternal words, “By directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”

This is Smith’s Invisible Hand and it is the greatest engine of economic growth, wealth creation, ease, comfort, health and welfare the world has ever known. Private property and the right to pursue self interest is the fuel that drives this engine.

It is also held in contempt by collectivists like Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Here is Trump during his speech on foreign policy.

NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the United States and has emptied our states — literally emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs…

Never again, only the reverse — and I have to say this strongly — never again; only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. There will be consequences for the companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later. They fire the people. They take advantage of the United States. There will be consequences for those companies. Never again.

Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of a foreign country.

When Trump refers to the jobs created by entrepreneurs to create products and services as “our jobs” he is defining jobs as “ours” and, therefore, a collective asset. Jobs created by private individuals and companies using private property and private capital have become an asset of the American people according to Trump.

Trump’s notion that these are “our manufacturing jobs” is indistinguishable from Obama’s principle that “you didn’t build that” and that American businesses are part of the collective assets of the nation.

This sort of “economic patriotism” plays well with Trump Supporters. He says he will punish Americans who use private property and private capital in a manner that benefits shareholders but inadequately benefits the collective. “There will be consequences for those companies.”

Trump builds on Obama’s collectivist economic ideals with knee-jerk, “America First” patriotic nationalism. There is a name for this combination: fascism. It is a particular brand of 20th century progressive thinking most of us hoped was on the trash heap of history. Evidently, it still has legs in 21st century America.

trump-obama

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Nutritional Supplement Salesman for the Pockeelypse

When I look at this Infomercial I cringe. It is so insane that in the world we are living, it is utter brilliance. This guy has a cult following. Why wouldn’t he want to sell them something? The physical survival of western culture hangs by a thread. Your willingness to awaken to the threat and buy this product will determine the future of the human race.

I am trying to come up with a name for this kind of stuff and why it works.

Perhaps I should consult P.T. Barnum…

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A Sunday Worship Song

Over the weekend I presented a series of videos here that I found to be humorous. There’s a whole lot to be said about each one of them. I have a whole lot to say about the lot of them but I’m not going to do that now. It isn’t appropriate here.

What I will say is that most of those videos were made by people with good intentions. Whether or not some form of insanity was involved should be left for scientists to determine but I do have my own opinion of that. Several of the videos were made by people who boldly proclaimed their Christian Faith. The Holy Spirit does provide a means of discernment as one continues their walk in Faith and I am sad to say that I didn’t see any Fruits of the Holy Spirit on display in those videos. I saw Fear and Confusion.

Here’s a man who once lived in Fear and Confusion. He did shed those conditions in a timely manner. Before he left this life he did give evidence of his Faith in Jesus Christ. No matter how big of a mess we make, God can clean it up and use it to reach others. When the worst of sinners surrenders and asks God’s forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ they become a new being and it is clearly evident to those around them. If you haven’t done so already, please don’t leave this Earth without touching the Cross on God’s terms and receiving the Salvation he offers.

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It is May Day

May Day began as a holiday for socialists and labor union activists but it was eventually taken over by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and used as a propaganda tool to prop up their totalitarian dictatorships.

Today it is also International Victims of Communism Remembrance Day. Take a moment to remember the 100 million who died at the hands of those advocating collectivist economics.

communism1

More below the fold…

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Black Swan Event

blackswan

Are you familiar with the phrase “Black Swan Event”? You probably should be. We are in the midst of one right now. A black swan event is an extremely unlikely occurrence that has these three attributes…

  1. The event is a surprise (to the observer).
  2. The event has a major effect.
  3. After the first recorded instance of the event, it is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected; that is, the relevant data were available but unaccounted for in risk mitigation programs. The same is true for the personal perception by individuals.

This is an almost perfect description of the rise of Donald Trump as the Republican front-runner. The third factor is of special interest to me as so many people who never said a word about the possibility of anything like the Trump phenomenon describing it in hindsight as totally expected.

The reality, however, is that black swan events are completely unpredictable. More on this to come.

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