Chicago Boyz

What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?

  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Black Swan

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on September 26th, 2010 (All posts by )

    Thom Yorke wrote a song called “Black Swan” that resonated with me in terms of the financial crisis of 2008-2009 (and today) commonly called “The Great Recession”. He wrote the song in 2006.

    The “Black Swan” was a metaphor used by Taleb in his excellent book “Fooled by Randomness“. The point of that book (broadly stated) is that people under estimate randomness and long-tail events; Taleb is an options trader specializing in the valuation of far-out-of-the-money options and whether or not they are fairly priced. The metaphor specifically for the Black Swan is that no one ever anticipated that there was a black swan; all swans were expected to be white and it would be viewed as a very remote or unanticipated event if a “black” swan were to turn up.  When settlers reached Australia, however, they were surprised to find black swans, meaning that they had significantly under-estimated the probability of this event occurring.

    While you can’t directly tie art to a particular business concept I liked the part of being “ground in the bitumen” and then general feeling of being lost and angst that is summarized as “this is f*cked up, f*cked up”.

    From the lyrics of the Thom Yorke song…

    What will grow crooked, you can’t make straight
    It’s the price that you gotta pay
    Do yourself a favour and pack your bags
    Buy a ticket and get on the train
    Buy a ticket and get on the train

    Cause this is f*cked up, f*cked up
    Cause this is f*cked up, f*cked up

    People get crushed like biscuit crumbs
    And lay down in the bitumen
    You have tried your best to please everyone
    But it just isn’t happenin
    No, it just isn’t happenin

    And that is f*cked up, f*cked up
    And this is f*cked up, f*cked up
    This your blind spot, blind spot
    It should be obvious, but it’s not.
    But it isn’t, but it isn’t

    You cannot kickstart a dead horse
    You just crush yourself and walk away
    I don’t care what the future holds
    ‘Cause I’m right in your arms today
    With your fingers you can touch me

    I am your black swan, black swan
    But I made it to the top, but I made it to the top
    And this is f*cked up, f*cked up

    You are f*cked up, f*cked up
    This is f*cked up, f*cked up

    Be your black swan, black swan
    I’m for spare parts, broken up

    Cross posted at LITGM


    One Response to “Black Swan”

    1. Carl from Chicago Says:

      I also had a picture of a black swan while reviewing my English garden photos so all the pieces for a post were at hand :)