Saturday, February 26, 2011

The year of the Black Swan

2011 may or may not be a crucial year in world’s history but it is coincidental of the Arab world uprisings, a true Black Swan, and the Oscars nomination of Darren Aronofsky movie “The black swan”.

I have no idea whether Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a Lebanese and naturally a watcher of the Arab world reality, had anything like the current contest against the dictatorships in Northern Africa and the Middle East in his mind when he wrote his seminal book.
Obviously these events have come as a surprise, particularly for the tyrants, but very much too for international observers and intelligence agencies alike. The way things are going it is quite obvious there were no contingency plans, as thousands of American workers got trapped in Tripoli, along with many others, just to mention one particular fact.

Two Iranian frigates sailing through the Suez Canal between Saudi or Kuwaiti tankers heading for the Mediterranean was also unexpected.

There is no question these events are going to have a major impact, to say the least, in crude oil prices. Whether we all will be able to rationalize them on hindsight, as the events could have been expected to comply with the postulates of the Black Swan Theory, is still to be seen.

The “Black Swan” ((the movie) options to several Oscar awards will come less as a surprise, as the precious impersonation of a purposeful ballerina by Natalie Portman will be remembered for times to come.

Cygnus atratus is a beautiful bird. (The picture belongs to Martin Parr)