On Tuesday 23rd October on the end of a ramble round the shire post I wondered in which direction Tropical Storm, potential hurricane,
might take after going over The
Bahamas. The track of very many storms
in the last three years or so has been for most to turn East and diminish to
wet and windy weather in Sandy Europe.
But I did speculate that it might go West and be a bad one, although
and The Carolinas seemed the most
likely victims in that case. In the
event it became the Super Storm, a reality as opposed to an unlikely scenario
in a disaster documentary and hit in the place where it would be hardest, Florida . New York City
This could be the kind of “Black Swan Event”, the description owed to Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 book, something unpredicted with extensive and unpredictable adverse effects.
When the scale of
Sandy became clear, what worried me was
not that the
central and local government agencies were unprepared, but that it might be too
big and too complex for any government to deal with successfully. USA
Clearly there is now a very big job, or series of jobs, to be done which will be exceptionally difficult and very costly.
Personally, this weekend we originally had some family matters in hand involving travel between the
USA and the . The arrangements were complicated, but then
six weeks ago I got The Twitch and scrapped the plans to some
disappointment. Just as well, we might
have had a very costly and stressful shambles on our hands. UK
The trouble is that The Twitch has not gone away. Although what the next “bad one” might be is unknown and possibly also difficult; maybe it is impossible to predict. The only rationale I have is that bad news seldom comes along as single items.
Historically, there is ample evidence for this in all sorts of fields so the thought is hardly original. In terms of geophysics alone there is enough to look at. There was a very big earthquake in the last few days that could have had some serious effects. Also,
has moved attention away from many
other matters. Sandy
So this is why the picture above is of two Black Swans. It was taken at
Leeds Castle in . In 1321 there was a kind of “Black Swan”
event when Queen Isabella, consort to King Edward II arrived outside the Castle
seeking shelter. Kent
Lady Badlesmere, born Margaret de Clare (see Wikipedia), left in charge by her warring husband greeted her and her entourage with a shower of arrows. This led to a siege of the Castle and it being taken over by Queen Isabella, with Margaret sent to The Tower of London.
The upshot of this was the Despenser Wars in the Welsh Marches and North of England and the later putsch by Queen Isabella and the Earl of Mortimer to dethrone King Edward II.
One effect in 1328 was the fixing of an intended temporary border between the Norman French elites in
and . We are still trying, without much success, to
sort out the consequences. England
, therefore, what
happens next and what future may it bring? Sandy