Our favorite skeptical empiricist Nassim Taleb is interviewed by financial journalist, Consuelo Mack, where he shared his insights about history and rare events. He provides a definition of his most popular phrase “The Black Swan” which he uses to describe rare, unpredictable events that have unexpectedly large and widespread consequences for society. He cites as examples: The World Wars, the rise of the internet, Google, and stock market crashes. All these events were unexpected and unpredictable but had tremendous consequences for society after they happened.
He continues to explain that some fields and areas are more prone to Black Swans than others, in this case: economics, finance, technology, and history. Taleb describes how people in general do not understand the impact of rare events on their lives.