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Future history question: Black swans

 
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Future history question: Black swans - 1/7/2015 8:40:49 PM   
Mgellis


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A "black swan" is an event that is highly unlikely and therefore often totally unexpected but one which is still completely possible. It is also often a complete game changer as far as international politics, etc. goes.

An example often used is a global pandemic, something as lethal as the 1918-1920 flu epidemic that affected about a quarter of the people in the world and killed about fifteen percent of those who got sick (50-100 million). The sudden death of a world leader (possibly by assassination, but plenty of people just have heart attacks, too) is another possibility.

So, just for fun...what do you consider the black swans that could lead, directly or indirectly, to scenarios.

Here's one for starters...Vesuvius. What if it goes of in 2016 or 2017, but with relatively little warning, or during a period when the Italian government is in turmoil for some other reason and does not act as quickly as it needs to? So we end up with a major eruption (4 to 5 VEI, the 79 eruption was a 5) before most people can be evacuated. The results...the city of Naples is effectively destroyed, tens of thousands are killed (maybe more since 600,000 live in what is called "the red zone"), and the damages are in the billions of euros (and perhaps tens or even hundreds of billions--what is a city like Naples worth?). How would this affect Italy? And how would it affect the rest of the E.U.? What does the E.U. look like in 2020 if something like this happens?




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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 1/8/2015 2:28:12 AM   
Casinn

 

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The collapse of that volcanic island in the Azores that is supposed to wipe out the US East coast, leaving Putin to attempt the take over of Europe. :)

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 1/8/2015 3:43:16 AM   
magi

 

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i dont know.....

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 1/8/2015 5:55:03 AM   
lowchi


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maybe a small-medium sized asteroid Impact.

here is a interesting impact calculator (like nukemap):

http://www.killerasteroids.org/interactives/impact/impactCalc1024.html

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 1/8/2015 9:07:03 AM   
rixtertech

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mgellis

quote:

So, just for fun...what do you consider the black swans that could lead, directly or indirectly, to scenarios.


Well, there's the one we are currently all living in... Putin has gone off the reservation and no one knows exactly how it'll turn out and what events may occur in the course of Russias aggression against Ukraine.

China's interests in Africa. What if events in Africa cause them to feel a need to defend their holdings? Some interesting (in the Chinese sense) proxy conflicts could result. Or perhaps if enough is at stake, PLA troops might make landfall?

It's never too late to discover huge reserves of something-or-other at the north or south poles and start fighting over it in the worst imaginable conditions.







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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 1/8/2015 9:30:41 AM   
Anathema


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A few suggestions, although I consider most of these incredibly unlikely:
1. Financial collapse as a result of cyberwar, EMPs or astronomical event with the last possibly also wiping out all satellites including satcomms, ability to control UAVs, GPS for JDAMS etc.
2. Collapse of the Chinese Communist Party rule which includes the possibility of launching nukes in a final act of desperation or falling under the control of rival factions in a civil war, with the UN perhaps paralysed by veto of still sitting Chinese representative in exile.
3. Semi-successful invasion of Israel that results in nuclear release, or exchange if you give Iran nukes as well and leading to contamination of Middle East oil supply.
4. Not exactly unforeseen, but there is also climate change and peak oil as well.

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 11/9/2016 5:02:55 AM   
cf_dallas


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Ahem.

Not to get political, but the world could get very very weird in the next 4 years.

< Message edited by cf_dallas -- 11/9/2016 5:03:10 AM >


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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 11/9/2016 7:05:49 AM   
Cik

 

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sanity is now ending

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 11/9/2016 10:40:22 AM   
Hongjian

 

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Why weird? If anything, it seems like world politics could be moving into the direction of genuine great-power cooperation based on mutual respect.

Scenario-wise, I could envision more cooperation in defense fields, perhaps with the prospect of genuinely combatting international terrorism, without distinction upon their political affiliation and influencial backers anymore.

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 11/9/2016 1:22:53 PM   
kevinkins


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Discovery of relativistic travel meaning the devs have a major update to make and a new series called Command: Live - WTF.

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 11/9/2016 7:15:15 PM   
Hongjian

 

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Do you refer to the EM-Drive, kevinkin?

Flying tanks and next generation fighter jets with reactionless drives would be a fun concept.

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 11/10/2016 1:17:12 AM   
kevinkins


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Nay ... that's old hat ...

http://www.sciencealert.com/leaked-nasa-paper-shows-the-impossible-em-drive-really-does-work

I was thinking in terms of worm holes and relativistic gates. Those would provide the WTF moments players crave. Matter, energy, and information moving across time and space via amplified brain power.

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RE: Future history question: Black swans - 11/10/2016 5:26:29 PM   
hellfish6


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Mmmm. Grav tanks.



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