Who knows about disasters more Nassim Taleb? ANDsecond of the 2007 bestseller “Black Swan” and the theory of the same name – an expert in the field of hard-to-predict and rare events fromsignificant consequences. we here are excerpts from him of an exclusive interview that took place on October 23, 2020 as part of the Bitrix24 online presentation.
Sidebar: How often the world has faced pandemics over my history? Why states and governments were not readys to today’s events? What three measures are needed to stop the spread COVID-19 and no longer lock people in strict quarantine?
– INyou say: “The curse of modernity is is that there are more of those who explain than those who understand“. INwe predicted that a pandemic will turn into big problems. Bill Gates and many scientists but nobody of them and did not warn us about true scale happening now disasters… Did they fail to convey to us the seriousness of the problem, or did we really not heed their warnings? AND how can we now trust global forecasts in general?
– While it turns out that your grandmother much better versed in worldsproblems than officials. INfrom it, modern reality, and this is not because officials are stupid. Here business in the instincts of our ancestors: lit is better to overlook than not to miss… And this is “overlook” eventually turns out to be much cheaper than “to miss“, because we mammals (not only people), flooruchandwhether the system management risks, which protects us from all sorts of troubles.
But in the modern world, a large number of people have appeared who too think a lot. They don’t understandwhere there are risksand where not. therefore aboutnor make logical mistakes like “absence evidence is noteare proof of the absence“…
As a result, we have a whole class of people who do not understand the essence of what is happening, but still try to control it. They don’t understand that the world today is very muchup to more vulnerable to pandemicsthan it was 500 years ago. And the explanation is simple. Now we just have nowhere to hide and wait out the pandemic. Well, perhaps in New Zealand. And even then 500 years ago, you could have taken refuge in places like Alaska or Mexico, because very smalla large number of people have crossed the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Therefore, the plague left dabout 150 years to get to some havedistant regions. FROMcrust spreading diseases was low, as was the density of communications.
Today, one conference is enough anywhere in Strasbourg or Las Vegason some boring topic like urology or gastroenterology that will collect 6-7 thousand doctors from 150 countries of the world. AND if one of them has a coronavirus, then by return home, four days later, these people will spread the infection around the world. This is the fundamental difference between the modern world and the world of our ancestors. That is why we need better risk management.
– Is there a tool that would allow us to make global forecasts, and mwill we live basically them trust?
– I continue to argue that there is no need to predict. You just have to be prepared. We live in such an unpredictable world that pandemics are spreading much faster than before., in the past.
In fact, there have not been many pandemics in history. A total of 72 documented cases of those, which led to the death of more than 1,000 people. And here is a simple solution for you: as soon as something leads to the death of a certain number of people, you react immediately and nip the problem in the bud. And we have had a pandemic for nine months now, but officials continue to spend money on nuclear weapons instead of testing people. Simple business solution – express test, albeit with an error, but it’s still better than nothing. Did the test – pass calmly where you want. Eif we had something like that, we would now not talking about a pandemic, but about something more pleasant.
– How, in your opinion, should the authorities act to help the population and business in such a crisis situation?
– They did everything wrong. The exception is China, Taiwan and other Asian countries, there drastic measures were taken almost immediately. And now they are more or less calm. When you face a problem of this magnitude, half measures not enough. Mass quarantine can be avoided by introducing a general mask mode, isolate soupepdistributors and conduct bulk testing…
Have Europeans have a strange, contradictory policy – keep people out of the bars, but still let the crowds go down the subway: “Well, vethey need to get to work somehow“. This intermediate option was as unconvincing as possible and cost us many human lives and money. I had to isolate super-distributors immediately, cancel flights between continents and introduce quarantines.
– Recently WHO announced that to defeat the coronavirus the main thing is not quarantine, but mutual trust between the authorities and the population. How, in your opinion, should officials do?
– You just need to isolate super-distributors… ABOUTlimit how exactly the virus is spreading, and do not lock people home… Pbecause, firstly, they will not listen to you anyway, and secondly, there is no point in arranging repressions on this matter. Instead of quarantine, you need to use a mass testeducation, for example at airports before boarding the plane. EThis will avoid the introduction of quarantine, especially as, how coronavirus tests will become more accurate. To the authoritiesI had to invest in development systems express tests, and not spend them unclear on what.
Punct first – isolate super-distributors, understand as exactly the virus is spreading… Second point – mWe know that the speed of propagation is higher in crowded places, which means you need to avoid them. And of course the third point – get people to wear masks. Even if we don’t know how effective it is, but it’s better this way, than nothing. Analyzing the articlesAccording to the statistical data, I concluded that even these three measures would be enough to prevent a pandemic.
Mmeasures that were taken already during the pandemic, were also not logical in everything. The US government helped corporations instead of helping ordinary people. Many corporations have suffered during the pandemic, but they deserve it. The airlines deserve it and they will no longer recover, because they continue to bend their line. Look, here we are now successfully communicating through Zoom, and there are other similar platforms… Everything it is strong hit air travel businessclass. Mmany airlines earn exactly for businessclass – and it turns out that offline conferences are not so necessary.
Let’s help ordinary people – aviation company employeesniy and not them business structures and not at the expense of taxpayers… Especially considering that aairlines unwittingly contributed to the spread of the virus. On the other hand, once everyone this is will end, at low-cost airlines type Ryanairbringing Brits in droves to Spain so they can drink on the beach, things will go well. Because people will travel anyway, but not business class anymore. That is why some of the actions of the authorities are perplexing to me.
The crisis has a detrimental effect on the well-being of ordinary citizens, and it is necessary to help them, encouraging the most resourceful among them, those who organize new businesses capable of operating in new conditions.
Prepared by Elena Nedelya