There are several things that people seem to conflate when talking about black swans:
heavy tails and unknown unknowns, nonstationarity…
Nassim Taleb has indeed talked about all of these concepts; He does not refer to them all as swans tho’.
What I think of in this context is
portfolio theory for a world of outliers.
I have nothing new to add yet, so I’ll just punt you to my bookmarked favoured essays on this theme.
Important terminology for unknown unknowns.
If a charity is dedicated to dealing with unpredictable events, what does this say about the financial structures they should employ?
MSF’s activity in war zones, for example.
Cirillo, Pasquale, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb. 2020. “Tail Risk of Contagious Diseases.” Nature Physics
16 (6): 606–13.
Lux, Thomas, and Didier Sornette. 2002. “On Rational Bubbles and Fat Tails.” Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
Shen, Chen, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and Yaneer Bar-Yam. 2020. “Review of Ferguson Et Al ‘Impact of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions…’.”
New England Complex Systems Institute.
Sornette, Didier. 2003. “Critical Market Crashes.” Physics Reports
378 (1): 1–98.
Sornette, Didier, and Peter Cauwels. 2015. “Managing Risk in a Creepy World.” Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions
8 (1): 83–108.
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. 2007. “Black Swans and the Domains of Statistics.” The American Statistician
61 (3): 198–200.
———. 2010. The Black Swan:The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility”. 2nd ed. edition. New York: Random House Publishing Group.
———. 2013. “Where Do Thin Tails Come From?” arXiv:1307.6695 [Physics, q-Fin, Stat]
Weitzman, Martin L. 2011. “Fat-Tailed Uncertainty in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy
5 (2): 275–92.
Wheatley, Spencer, Benjamin Sovacool, and Didier Sornette. 2017. “Of Disasters and Dragon Kings: A Statistical Analysis of Nuclear Power Incidents and Accidents.” Risk Analysis
37 (1): 99–115.