The Black Swan - One For the Books - CycleBlaze

March 14, 2020

The Black Swan

Enter the black swan.  The next day I did some group fitness classes that were still running, amazingly enough.  I then met up with a brilliant guy I had made friends with at a prior Internations events.  He and discussed the coronavirus for over 6 hours at the Novotel rooftop bar and actually drank very little the entire time because we needed our brains working.

We both held the usual arguments 'it's just a flu' and all that.  In principle, we still believe that, but we cannot be casual about it anymore even if it's true that 90% of people who have it so far are recovering with mild symptoms.  But that's not the point, the real problem is how the world is responding to this.

It doesn't do any good to say things like 'it's just a flu' etc.. when clearly the whole world is freaking out and we all need to make quick actions that will have enormous long-term consequences on our life choices.  I and many others are facing a disruption of unparalleled magnitude.  Sure we could likely survive if we got the coronavirus but whatever happens our lives have been changed forever and we'll be talking about this for decades after.

A black swan event according to Binance Vision is as follows:

It is an event that comes as a surprise and has a significant effect.  The history of the black swan theory dates back to a Latin expression of the 2nd century by Roman poet Juvenal translated as 'a rare bird in the lands and very much like a black swan'.  It was thought that black swans couldn't exist.  The theory was further developed by statistician and trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  In 2007 he published a book called 'The Impact of the Highly Improbable' which formalized the theory.  According to Taleb, black swan events has three attributes:  an outlier, beyond that of regular expectations and nothing could have predicted it from the past.  It always carries an extreme or significant impact.  It will certainly have a rational explanation concocted after the fact, to try to make it explainable and predictable"

Looking at the coronavirus, how could it not be a black swan event?  

Other black swan events have been 9/11 and the development of the internet and smartphones with GPS.  They don't always have to be negative.  But they have far reaching consequences for sure.  

So that's what we concluded in our conversation.  I appreciated his compliment that I looked better in shape after doing all this biking and fitness classes.  He even called me one of the 'top 1%' thinkers he's met and I greatly appreciated that.  He was the same I would think, smart enough to sell bonds, not stock, during the economic crisis and finance a semi-retirement life in Thailand.  He could ride out the pandemic for many years with these finances.  I had a lot to learn from him especially how to better prepared for emergencies.

[Update November 2022]  Unfortunately I lost contact with him due to all the chaos in switching social media accounts and countries after the trip.  I would be super curious to find out how he managed the pandemic

The next day was more fitness class and social events where I could still find them but these were of serious risk of being shut down.  Maybe it will happen as early as next week.  Traffic was also dropping off a lot as with activity at restaurants.  Even a top international school already closed here.  I had to get as much of these social events in as possible along wiht other key business and then leave Bangkok before people started retreating to their homes.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0