Al Qaeda's attacks on the US on September 11, 2001, seemed like a black swan or a bolt out of the blue at the time, an unprovoked, sudden and shocking event that dramatically changed Americans' perceptions of the contemporary world. Osama Bin Laden and 19 hijackers, 15 of them from Saudi Arabia, changed the world … Continue reading Was 9/11 Avoidable, Preventable?
One great temptation of looking back on history is to assume that historical events and patterns were inevitable. And that we are all just oblivious, passive inheritors of cultures, tribes, traditions, religions, politics, and belief systems beyond our awareness, understanding or control. The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union … Continue reading ‘Inevitable’ Triumph of Democracy, Capitalism Now Very Much in Doubt
"According to new research by management professors Laura Kray and Philip Tetlock, at the Haas School, UC Berkeley, counterfactual thinking -- considering a turning point moment in the past and alternate universes had it not occurred -- heightens one's perception of the moment as significant, and even fated. Armed with a sense that life may … Continue reading Power of Counter-Factual Thinking: From What Might Have Been to What Must Have Been
Writing history as if every event is inevitable is called "teleology." It is probably what has turned more students off the study of history than anything else, the notion that history is fixed and pre-determined. Entire academic courses of philosophy or theology can be devoted to debating it. Amazon.com lists 800 books on the subject. … Continue reading Exploring Divine Providence, Retribution, Destiny, Predestination, Teleology and Chaos Theory