From a conceptual perspective, we expect the tails to be dominated by unknown unknowns and black swans.

I'm not sure. The reasons things happen at the tails typically fall into categories that could be organized to be a small set.

For instance:

  • The question wasn't understood correctly.
  • A significant exogenous event happened.

But, as we do a bunch of estimates, we could get empirical data about these possibilities, and estimate the potentials for future tails.

This is a bit different to what I was mentioning, which was more about known but small risks. For instance, the "amount of time I spend on my report next week" may be an outlier if I die. But the chance of serious accident or death can be estimated decently well enough. These are often repeated known knowns.

ozziegooen's Shortform

by ozziegooen 31st Aug 2019127 comments