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January 6, 2013

Unknown, Uncertain, Unpredictable, Unexpected Part 1 of 10

I am interested in the unknown, the unknown unknown, the uncertain, the unpredictable, the surprises, the black swans, the unexpected, the blindsides, the blinders etc. I'm writing a series on this topic starting with this post. All these are related to personal effectiveness.

I'm referring to "Tracking Asia's Black Swans" by James Shinn, in The Impenetrable Fog of War edited by Patrick M. Cronin. The book is great and this article is full of great stuffs: facts, ideas, and insights. The article is a fantastic review of the author's wide-ranging experience.

The Article Summary


  1. Black swans give no warning, come in flocks, and even stock market traders cannot predict them satisfactorily.
  2. But, fast reaction is at a premium.
  3. Checklists, "break glass" plans must stand by ready on the shelf. br Plans to act fast when caught 100% off guard? Planning for the un-plannable? I keep wondering how the author would propose to tackle this paradoxical dilemma. 
  4. "Think strategically, up front." That is, be clear about your own long-term objectives.

To echo Musashi's refrains, we need to ponder and research well this, last point.

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