Terms & Definitions

  • Aporia, In philosophy, an aporia is a philosophical puzzle or a seemingly insoluble impasse in an inquiry, often arising as a result of equally plausible yet inconsistent premises (i.e. a paradox). It can also denote the state of being perplexed, or at a loss, at such a puzzle or impasse.
  • Coronavirus, are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections which are typically mild including the common cold but rarer forms like SARS and MERS can be lethal. In cows and pigs they may cause diarrhea, while in chickens it can cause an upper respiratory disease. There are no vaccines or antiviral drugs that are approved for prevention or treatment.
  • Cognative Dissonance the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in people is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: they reject, explain away, or avoid the new information; persuade themselves that no conflict really exists; reconcile the differences; or resort to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in their conceptions of the world and of themselves.
  • Capitalism, an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. Wikipedia – Capitalism
  • Communism, a) : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed, b) : a theory advocating elimination of private property. Wikipedia-Communism
  • Conservatism, a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (such as retirement income or health-care coverage). Wikipedia – Conservatism
  • Diffusion of Responsibility. This is the sociopsychological phenomenon in which, faced with a public crisis, people figure somebody else will take care of things.
  • Empathy, the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner also : the capacity for this
  • Fascism, a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. Wikipedia – Fascism
  • Liberalism,   a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (such as those involving race, gender, or class). Wikipedia – Liberalism
  • Neoconservative, a conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and U.S. national interest in international affairs including through military means. Wikepedia -Neoconservative
  • Peer Review, The peer review system exists to validate academic work, helps to improve the quality of published research, and increases networking possibilities within research communities. Despite criticisms, peer review is still the only widely accepted method for research validation and has continued successfully with relatively minor changes for some 350 years. Wikepedia – Peer Review
  • Neoliberalism, ideology and policy model that emphasizes the value of free market competition. Although there is considerable debate as to the defining features of neoliberal thought and practice, it is most commonly associated with laissez-faire economics. In particular, neoliberalism is often characterized in terms of its belief in sustained economic growth as the means to achieve human progress, its confidence in free markets as the most-efficient allocation of resources, its emphasis on minimal state intervention in economic and social affairs, and its commitment to the freedom of trade and capital. Wikipedia – NeoLiberal
  • Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning ‘few’, and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning ‘to rule or to command’) is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, education or corporate, religious, political, or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition of oligarchy.
  • Pucker Factor The “Pucker Factor” (PF) is a scale that seeks to measure fear by the force of contraction exerted on the sphincter muscles surrounding the anus during a given situation of danger. The scale is from 1 to 10. One being equivelent to a whistle, ten equivelent to turning coal to diamond.
  • Reality Apathy. Misinformation researchers warn of growing “reality apathy” whereby it takes so much effort to distinguish between what’s real and fake that we simply give up and rely on our base instincts, tribal biases, impulses. Immersed in our leader’s deceits, we come to believe in nothing.
  • Renfield. A human enabler, assistant, patsy or slave to a psychopath. Just as Milo Renfield is a slave to the pschopath Dracula from the novel.
  • Spanish Flu The 1918 influenza pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920; colloquially known as Spanish flu) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people around the world, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic. The death toll is estimated to have been 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million (three to five percent of Earth’s population at the time), making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify with certainty the pandemic’s geographic origin.
  • Swan-Black, A Black Swan event (aka Black Turdball) is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight. Also referred to on this blog as Emerging Megatrends. Example is 9/11.
  • Swan-Grey, Grey swan event (aka Grey Turdball) is a term used to describe a potentially very significant event that is considered unlikely to happen but still possible. Because there is a slight chance the event will occur it should be anticipated, particularly as it could shake up the world, economy, and stock market. They can be positive or negative and significantly alter the way the world operates, which is why we are urged to take them seriously. Examples include climate change, population growth, and rising debt.
  • Swan-White, White Swan event (aka White Turdball) is characterized as something almost certain to happen.

* most definitions by Merriam Webster, Encyclopedia Britanica, Wikipedia, Investopedia and general consensus in the grocery line.