In Deep Survival, Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, author Laurence Gonzales explains, “The events that we call ‘accidents’ do not just happen. There is not some vector of pain that causes them. People have to assemble the systems that make them happen. Even then, nothing may happen for a long time.”
In 1960, when MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz was modeling weather systems, he discovered a tiny change in the initial state (1 part in 1,000), explains Gonzales, was enough to produce totally different weather patterns. It became known as the Butterfly Effect, “the notion that a butterfly stirring the air today in Peking can transform storm systems next month in New York,” writes James Gleick in Chaos.
“People routinely fail to realize that an accident not happening is no guarantee that it won’t happen,” writes Gonzales. “As Scott Sagan puts it in The Limits of Safety, ‘things that have never happened before happen all the time.’” Words of wisdom to understand in times like these.
Action Line: The stock market is yet another manmade system, where accidents can and do happen without much warning at all. Be prepared.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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