Is Social A Black Swan Event?

by Jay Deragon on 11/08/2012

It is easy to rationalize events after the fact but unlikely to do so before the event. Everything having to do with all things social is currently being rationalized in hindsight rather than foresight.

Social technology continues to dominate conversations online and off. Most of the conversations are about past events with a few projecting further events created by the dynamics.  Experts explain the new dynamics and related events on a daily basis. Much of the dialog is about “social marketing” as if marketing were the most important social event when in reality it is the least important.

The Social Black Swan Event

The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that is a surprise (to the observer), has a major effect, and after the fact is often inappropriately rationalized with the benefit of hindsight.

The theory was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain:

  1. The disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology
  2. The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to the very nature of small probabilities)
  3. The psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the rare event in historical affairs

Much has happened since the internet was born and more continues to happen every day. The individual events get lot of attention but the meaning of the collective events get little analysis and interpretation about future possible events.

The essence of billions of people being enabled to connect, collaborate and converse freely and transparently is fundamental to the fabric of human nature.  However, human nature has indeed changed. After decades of suppression from institutional orientation and brain washing about rules created by rulers the human network is just beginning to learn the power of collaboration without controls.

While the moment may mean something to many it is the meaning of future implications that mean everything to a few.  It is those few who are creating meaning to the collective events that are shaping a new tomorrow.

Those few who define tomorrow with meaning are the ones who the many will follow.

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