Here is a slightly modified reproduction of an answer I wrote at quora.com concerning the black swan theory and black swan events in History.
The Black Swan theory or notion can be sometimes useful but it cannot be reliable or subject to generalization for History.
Explaining (or not being able to explain ) historical events by often relying on the concept of Black Swan can be counterproductive and prevents researchers and thinkers from analyzing objectively and impartially human history in order to find patterns , regularities , and reasonable interpretations in accordance with the principles of the scientific method.
I’ll give an example:
The British had a guy called Oliver Cromwell.Then the French had a guy called Napoleon Bonaparte . Then the Germans had a guy called Hitler. So one could discern a pattern here in the historical succession of great powers.
There are many important scientists and scholars but a few have an importance or greatness of the biggest caliber.
The British had a very important scientist called Isaac Newton , then the French had a scientist called Pierre Simon Laplace , then the Germans had a scientist called Albert Einstein ( Einstein was born in Germany , then he lived in Switzerland , then he came back to Germany , then he went to the United States.But in his most productive years he was in the sphere of influence of the German language and of the German culture).
An interesting field for studying history is, but I think the methods of cliodynamics can also be ameliorated and surpassed.
Certain events might be unexpected for a group of people , but they could be expected and/or predictable for another group of people.
A famous event such as the
For the last two centuries the French Revolution and its causes have been explained , interpreted and reinterpreted in many ways by many people and thinkers.
Some events may seem surprising or unexpected , but the big picture and the general structure of historical events can be analyzed , found and interpreted.
As an additional example , I think there is no need to refer to black swans in relation to the 2016 presidential elections in the USA . Things and events to come can be viewed objectively by analyzing past historical events the right way , impartially and coherently , and by making the right and correct connections .
I also think specific patterns , regularities , and connections between important events can be found in human history for (definite) periods extending over centuries and even millennia.