Friday, February 15, 2013

Black Swan Dive

As predicted, no meteorite apocalypse ruined everyone's day today. We "only" experienced a flyby asteroid. But as everyone knows, a different event caught everyone by surprise. A meteor blew books off shelves from twenty feet away and scared the socks off of some poor librarian (and, in all seriousness, injured around 1,000 people).

We didn't get hit. Not this asteroid, not this time. But eventually, Earth's number will be up (again). It's a certainty. And though widely disseminated graphic about asteroids being nature's way of asking us "How's Your Space Program?" is funny, it's only funny because it's chillingly true. 

We remain surprisingly vulnerable, as a civilization, to black swan events. (Black swan events are defined as events that are very difficult to predict and unlikely to occur on a regular basis, but when they do occur, their effect is outsized and probably disastrous.) Here's hoping this double meteor-fall event will spur a bit more money from world leaders to take seriously the funding of programs aimed at deflecting asteroids and comets with our name on them. 

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