From the January 2012 issue of Claims Magazine • Subscribe!

Chaos Theory

I recently learned a valuable lesson. Do not, under any circumstances, Google “chaos theory,” especially at 2 a.m.

Aside from the PropertyCasualty360.com blog spot, I generally refrain from sharing personal musings or perusing those of others. Who has time to read that hodgepodge, let alone comment on said hodgepodge? Well, apparently I do.

While entering some last-minute revisions in the wee hours of the morning, I came across a blog post that charged that “humanity has failed the test of life” and “begs to be destroyed.” Uh, someone has a penchant for the dramatic. Surprisingly, the author did not list the multitude of embarrassing (and very human) shortcomings that immediately come to mind—such as hubris, thirst for power, brash consumerism, narcissism, chewing with one’s mouth open at a business dinner, lack of recycling, cutting off cars in traffic, and so on. Instead, he went down an intellectually treacherous path that essentially renders us silly humans—you know, including the mere mortals that read his hackneyed blog—responsible for the suffering, loss of life, and extensive property damage stemming from the disasters in Japan, amongst others.

Pitting fable against rationality, the diatribe eventually petered out—or I lost consciousness; it is hard to say now—but not before the author had accused us of a lack of reverence for “the awesome power of Mother Nature,” failing to plan or predict with absolute certainty the path and timing of any given calamity. He even blamed those zany scientists for arrogance in their “clever technology” and ideas. At one point, I remember wondering if I had stumbled upon the website of a conspiracy theorist, but was thrown off by scant statistics attributed to Bloomberg News.

The tenets, or low lights, of this argument are somewhat inconsequential, even if they do hint at an interesting philosophical conundrum. The deluge of uncertainties in life are already scary and infuriating. Now cue eerie, horrific visions of mangled landscapes—or more specifically, those of the 2011 natural disasters and grave realities in dealing with their aftermath.

On a personal note, I have found few certainties in this existence, other than the minute you walk away from your desk or need to accomplish a task, at least two people will either call or email.  Oh, and that I am destined to run into an ex-beau every few years while wearing sweatpants and a scrunchie. I also believe that, despite economic perturbations, insurance remains a necessity and a truth I believe in.

Clearly this blogger knows nothing about the weather or this noble profession. I dare say he knows little of the world in general. If anyone is capable of restoring order to chaos, aside from mathematicians and economists, it is most certainly claims adjusters and their brethren.

So, the Earth is hurling toward a massive lurch. Let’s learn how to resolve all of those claims before the global implosion. Crawford & Company CEO Jeff Bowman has some glorious insights that begin on pg. 22. You can also read more of Bowman’s insights about strategic loss management and crafting a “tone at the top” that motivates and inspires your own team in the upcoming February issue. Until then, take care.

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