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View Diary: Uniformly Catastrophic (151 comments)

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  •  I suppose my thinking is closer to (6+ / 0-)

    something like a hybrid of the two. Disasters are just part of the gradual change that happens over time. Take some of the biggest disasters, like the Yucatan asteroid strike that ended the age of the dinosaurs. It had a huge impact on the floral and fauna and while it did leave the KT boundary with its iridium signature that boundary is often just a millimeter in meter upon meter of accumulated soil deposits. Investing can be similar. The current economy is a fluster cluck, no doubt. But if you have the time to recover from it then you can treat it like your financial KT boundary. I suppose if you didn't or couldn't prepare for it you could end up like those dinosaurs though. Not exactly a cheery thought for Sunday brunch.

    Great story and certainly something to ponder.

    "You'll find me at the intersection of geekish and nerdy"

    by ontheleftcoast on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 08:21:21 AM PDT

    •  Yes, exactly (9+ / 0-)

      Both systems -- geologic and economic -- are shaped day to day by (mostly) predictable processes, but occasionally rocked by disasters that come winging in from "left field" (where left field may include the Kuiper Belt). If we want to understand either, we have to recognize that "predictable unpredictability."

      •  I suppose you could logically extend that to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State, moosely2006

        any system that occurs over enough time. Given enough samples there is something that appears to be the "normal" and occasionally something happens to throw it out of whack. It will recover, maybe look a little different, then move on to the next upset.

        Like I said, something to ponder. Another great Sunday brain-fest on DK.

        A rather sobering though for me was when I realized that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs had about a 4 minute "window" in which it could've hit the earth. If it had shown up 5 minutes earlier or later it would have sailed on by and been just another in a long series of near misses. It might wound up in orbit and given the dinosaurs a second moon. Instead the turmoil it caused and the change it allowed gave rise to the age of mammals and eventually ourselves.

        "You'll find me at the intersection of geekish and nerdy"

        by ontheleftcoast on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:35:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds kinda like Rumsfeld (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State

        what with his known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns ... :P

        but really, great write up: makes me think of crisis exploitation and (hu)man-made disasters (both intentional and non~) in relation to punctuated equilibria


        "a lie that can no longer be challenged becomes a form of madness" -Debord

        by grollen on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 09:42:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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