The Incerto & Nassim Taleb Podcast

Could Nassim Taleb Be Wrong... Was Covid-19 A Black Swan?

July 26, 2021 Ryan Faulkner-Hogg / Nassim Taleb Episode 28
The Incerto & Nassim Taleb Podcast
Could Nassim Taleb Be Wrong... Was Covid-19 A Black Swan?
Show Notes

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Is Covid-19 A Black Swan Event?

Taleb famously came out very early during the pandemic to proclaim that Covid-19 was in fact a 'White Swan' and not the Black Swan people insisted it be categorised. Taleb complained that the Black Swan diagnoses had become a cliche for pretty much any bad event. Just because something unexpected happens doesn't make it a Black Swan. 

There are specific hallmarks that define a Black Swan. Does Covid-19 fit all of them?

  • They are an extreme event. 9/11, Coronavirus, 2004 Indonesian Tsunami…
  • They have an extreme impact. Colonisation of Latin America, the invention of Penicillin…
  • They are only explicable after the fact. The election of Donald Trump, the catalyst of WW1 (28/7-1914)

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