The Calculated Risk of the Coronavirus

We live in a world filled with risks, some large and some small. When we step off the sidewalk to cross the street as the light turns green, there is a risk the car to our left will suddenly accelerate and kill us. We see it stopped there, we evaluate our desire to cross the street, and we decide the threat is too small to delay us. Overwhelmingly we are right. On rare occasions, someone gets hit and dies. We do not respond to the risk by refusing to cross streets when cars are on the road. The cost of eliminating all risk is too high, and the probability of the risk materializing is too small. It’s a calculated risk, when the risk of doing something or not doing something is understood. Sometimes the calculation takes months. Sometimes it takes seconds. But it is always there, and you are always analyzing it and making decisions accordingly, rightly or wrongly. Risk and reward are at the center of human life. And to be sure, humans are not averse to risk. Many cultivate risk as a gourmand chooses from a menu. There is a pleasure in choosing to confront a risk and […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.

His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.