-thoughts and ideas

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Black Swans and Bridge Collapse

Though I never lived in Minneapolis for more than a few days at a time, I had motored across the I-35 bridge many-a-time. I heard about the collapse via cell phone call whilst traveling on the Florida turnpike. We stopped in a travel plaza and watched on the television mounted in the ceiling corner of a Burger King the "news" coverage of the event. Quite a fright to be there, or as was my case, to have family and friends, as I eventually found out, very close to it. Over a thousand miles away it made me anxious as we continued to drive. Graciously all phone calls were returned and the first priority was vested- knowing they're okay.

A friend of mine, also Minnesotan by birth and primary education, posted something profound about the cause:

...on the cause of the bridge collapse, I think they'll determine it was a cascading failure and not a singular reason...this is a so-called black swan, an event no one would have expected.
I believe he's been reading "The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Excellent work, both of you. I highly recommend the read. In fact here you go: to buy it; to wiki it; to drink it.

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