Peace: Neither Ink nor Blood

Peace: Neither Ink nor Blood (Chapter in SITG)

Arabs fighting to the last Palestinian –Where are the lions? –Italians don’t die easily– Make historians build rockets –Commerce makes people equal (or unequal but that’s another subject)

Mars vs. Saturn

Where Are the Lions?

As I was writing Antifragile, I spent some time in South Africa in a wild reserve, doing Safari-style tours during part of the day and tinkering with the book in the afternoons. I went to the reserve to “see the lions.” In an entire week I only saw one lion and it was such a big event that it caused a traffic jam of tourists coming from all the neighboring camp-style resorts. People kept shouting “kuru” in Zulu as if they had found gold. Meanwhile, on the twice-daily failed tours to find the lions, I saw giraffes, elephants, zebras, wild boars, impalas, more impalas, even more impalas. Everyone else was like me, looking for kurus and getting peaceful animals: a South African fellow we encountered on another car in the middle of the savannah, after the usual sighting of boring (and bored) animals, cracked the joke while pointing his finger at a hill: “Look, we saw two giraffes and three impalas over there.”

History Seen from the Emergency Room

History is largely peace punctuated by wars, rather than wars punctuated by peace. The problem is that we humans are prone to the availability heuristic, by which the salient is mistaken for the statistical, and the conspicuous and emotional effect of an event makes us think it is occurring more regularly than in reality. This helps us to be prudent and careful in daily life, forcing us to add an extra layer of protection, but it does not help with scholarship.


Chapters in Progress from The Incerto Collection (The Black…

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