Be careful what you start: Quotation

By | October 30, 2010

“In this simplified setting of the sandpile, the power law also points to something else: the surprising conclusion that even the greatest of events have no special or exceptional causes. After all, every avalanche large or small starts out the same way, when a single grain falls and makes the pile just slightly too steep at one point. What makes one avalanche much larger than another has nothing to do with its original cause, and nothing to do with some special situation in the pile just before it starts. Rather, it has to do with the perpetually unstable organization of the critical state, which makes it always possible for the next grain to trigger an avalanche of any size.” from Ubiquity, Why Catastrophes Happen quoted in John Mauldin’s Newsletter entitled “Black Swans and Endogenous Uncertainty” published on December 7, 2007.