Where's the underlying value?

The real question:

“Are some things objectively more attention-worthy than others?”

If yes — there’s the underlying value.

The answer: Yes

“Black elephants” are things that have been publicly known for a long time, just disregarded, that suddenly happen and get called “black swans.”

But it's not a black swan — it was there the whole time, we just weren’t looking.

The spread of COVID is a perfect example. Millions of people knew COVID was 1) important and 2) coming to America in January 2020. But the New York Times didn't sound the alarm until mid-March.

  • How many lives could have been saved if the American public had been paying attention to the best amateur journalists instead of the worst professionals?

  • How many trillions of dollars of unnecessary economic damage?

The cost of those losses is the value lost to poor attention allocation.

Attention management = risk management.