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February 5th, 2013

When Unexpected and Unpredictable Bad Things Happen

By Ron Nakamoto

The Blackout that occurred during the Super Bowl was an unnecessary embarrassment for New Orleans.  It might be considered what Nassim Nicholas Taleb has called a "black swan" event; something that's unexpected and unpredictable. Except that it probably wasn't.  Why?  Because with a little imagination, it's not hard to imagine a power outage (or an act of terrorism, or a structural failure, or many other things) disrupting a large event like the Super Bowl.  Just because it has never happened before doesn't mean that it can't happen (in fact, I've personally attended a game at the Superdome several years ago when a brief power outage occurred).
The military uses a technique called "scenario planning" to anticipate and think through preventative and adaptive actions in advance of actual combat.  #empoweredwealth is exploring a similar long term planning technique with families.  Perhaps New Orleans did engage in such planning and preparation and the power outage was beyond anyone's control.  But on the surface, it would seem to have been preventable with thoughtful planning and determined execution.

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Superdome Blackout Caused by “Abnormality in the System”
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Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan said, “We sincerely apologize for the incident.”
Officials in New Orleans have said the 34 minute blackout in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that stopped the Super Bowl was the result of an “abnormality in the system.” Entergy New Orleans and SMG, the companies that jointly manage the Superdome released a statement late Sunday:
Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz …

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One Response to “When Unexpected and Unpredictable Bad Things Happen”

  1. Jesus Ronquillo

    Thanks for the very thorough and  informative post!

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