Comments on: No black tulip bulbs, no black swans Insights behind the investment headlines Wed, 16 Nov 2016 21:43:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ian Kemmish Wed, 10 Dec 2008 20:41:52 +0000 To all mathematicians save one currently popular one, the phrase “black swan” has always meant the exact opposite of what it now means in the press.

A black swan was a idle curiosity: something had no reason not to exist, and whose nonexistence could only be proved by exhaustive enumeration; conversely, the discovery that such did creatures did exist would not require any rule books to be thrown out, and would only appear to be a major scientific discovery to non-scientists.

I believe the “black swan problem” is discussed in Russell’s Principia.