Mukti

White crow rising?

Posted in AL, BNP, democracy, politics by jrahman on March 1, 2013

In pre-modern Europe, no one had ever seen a black swan.  So they had a Latin expression — rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno — meaning “a rare bird in the lands, very much like a black swan”.  Then they discovered Australia, where black swans are a-plenty.  A Bangla equivalent of the whole thing perhaps would be white crow.  In South Asia, crows are black.  But Australia is home to the white crow.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb popularised the term in his 2007 book The Black Swan.  His own pithy summary of the thesis is thus:

What we call here a Black Swan (and capitalize it) is an event with the following three attributes. First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme ‘impact’. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

Are we seeing a black swan / white crow event in Bangladesh?  Let’s think about it systematically.

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