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Applied Business Analytics: Integrating Business Process, Big Data, and Advanced Analytics by Nathaniel Lin

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8. Knowing the Unknowable

“Where there is an unknowable, there is a promise.”

—Thornton Wilder

Unknowable Events

History is replete with examples of how seemingly unknowable events in history were ignored or feared by most, but leveraged instead by a few as promising opportunities. David Ricardo, who lent money to the British government for the Battle of Waterloo before knowing the outcome of the war is one such example. Another is Warren Buffet, who sold earthquake insurance to the state of California earthquake authority as alluded to in a Capitalism and Society article by Richard Zeckhauser titled “Investing in the Unknown and Unknowable.”1 Obviously, after events occur and outcomes are known, these events are no longer unknown and unknowable ...

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