The methodology of SF&W and risk management allows addressing these points. They should become rules and principles all analysts follow. Indeed, without paying attention to them, good analysis is impossible. The first article on The Black Swan can be accessed here.
(Notably pp.190-200) Considering uncertainty, but also our imperfect condition of human beings, the complexity of the social world, feedbacks, our more than insufficient knowledge and understanding, we must ….
Second, “black swans” refer to events that could absolutely not be predicted, as, for example for the Economist in ”The prediction games: Our winners and losers from last year’s edition”. Unfortunately, in this case, the label “black swans” excuses foresight errors. It tends to stop explanations and evaluation. Similarly, some will make statements along the line of “oh, but there is no point to do any foresight (or futures work or forecast), did you not read Taleb’s Black Swan? One cannot predict or foresee anything.”
This is a rather bold statement, especially when one seeks to anticipate uncertainty and to foresee and warn. We thus need to explore the unpredictability claim further.
2012 predictions for conventional and unconventional national security Every year, a host of actors, from newspapers to magazines, from think tanks to futurists and other experts, publish predictions at the dawn of every New Year. The aim here is to create a repository of all the predictions done for 2012 that are directly or indirectly related to national security, as primary material for all those who would like later on to sort them, analyse them and finally test them. The section will be populated as forecasts and webpages are published and identified. You are most welcome to post a link to 2012 predictions you found or did in the comments. Please mention the origin, date, title and hyperlink. And to start with: The […]