Monster High™ Ghoulia Yelps™ Doll ($20)
Being that Ghoulia Yelps is the smartest ghoul in school, naturally she’s a comic book fan. Ghoulia’s on her way to NekroCon dressed as her favorite zombie super hero, Dead Fast™. Ghoulia comes with a miniature Dead Fast action figure and a Dead Fast fan fic book that she wrote and illustrated herself.
Tonight’s episode seems more of a “staging” episode for future episodes. While I ponder the different sub-plots that went on tonight, I will provide a little bit of discussion on Black Swan Theory. Check in tomorrow for my synopsis of tonight’s episode.
Black Swan Theory
The Black Swan Theory (in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s version) concerns high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events beyond the realm of normal expectations. Unlike the philosophical “black swan problem“, the “Black Swan Theory” (capitalized) refers only to events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history. “Black Swan” events are considered extreme outliers. Note that in his writings Taleb never uses the phrase “Black Swan Theory”; instead, he refers to “Black Swan Events” (capitalized).
The theory was described by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 book The Black Swan. Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as “black swans”—undirected and unpredicted. He gives the rise of the Internet, the personal computer, World War I, and the September 11, 2001 attacks as examples of Black Swan events.
The term Black Swan comes from the 17th century European assumption that ‘All swans are white‘. In that context, a black swan was a symbol for something that was impossible or could not exist. In the 18th Century, the discovery of black swans in Western Australia metamorphosed the term to connote that a perceived impossibility may actually come to pass. Taleb notes that John Stuart Mill first used the Black Swan narrative to discuss falsification.
The main idea in Taleb’s book is not to attempt to predict Black Swan events, but to build robustness to the negative ones, while being able to exploit positive ones. Taleb contends that banks and trading firms are very vulnerable to hazardous Black Swan events and are exposed to losses beyond that predicted by their defective models.
Coping with Black Swan events
Taleb states that a Black Swan event depends on the observer—a Black Swan surprise for the turkey is not a Black Swan surprise for the butcher, hence his idea is to “avoid being the turkey” by finding out where one may be exposed to being a turkey and “turn the Black Swans white”.
Identifying a Black Swan event
Based on the author’s criteria:
The event is a surprise (to the observer).
The event has a major impact.
After the fact, the event is rationalized by hindsight, as if it had been expected.