Forecasting Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Forecasting. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.
George Carlin
The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.
John Kenneth Galbraith
I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. But perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.
Winston S. Churchill (The Gathering Storm (The Second World War, #1))
Despite the forecast, live like it's spring.
Lilly Pulitzer
Declare the past, diagnose the present, foretell the future.
Hippocrates
Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future.
Warren Buffett
Never ask anyone for their opinion, forecast, or recommendation. Just ask them what they have—or don’t have—in their portfolio.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder)
There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know.
John Kenneth Galbraith
I'm pretty sure Jo couldn't talk about the weather without somehow including a threat. Forecast today: cloudy with a chance I'll kick your ass.
Eliza Crewe (Cracked (Soul Eaters, #1))
One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and hold fast to the days...
Willa Cather
Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back. And it’s fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don’t believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster. We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.
Bill Nye
Weather forecast for tonight: dark.
George Carlin
    The weapon gave a rusty croak. ‘I don’t normally do weather reports anymore,’ the gun informed him politely.      ‘Why is that?’      ‘Ever since the demise of the old metropolis, there has been no control of the weather systems. Anyone who would have appreciated a weather forecast perished an awful long time ago. Besides, every time I started to inform my potential victims of the current cloud formations, or wind velocity, or barometric pressure, or potential precipitation, they simply ran away.
A.R. Merrydew (Our Blue Orange)
Revolution can never be forecast; it cannot be foretold; it comes of itself. Revolution is brewing and is bound to flare up.
Vladimir Lenin
There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know,
Rolf Dobelli (The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions)
Why is the forecast so bland? Why instead of 'stormy' don't they just say the sea's 'a frothing maelstrom of terror and hopelessness'?
Jeremy Clarkson (For Crying Out Loud! (World According to Clarkson, #3))
Some people in life, Sue, are weather forecasters, whereas other people are the weather itself.
Richard Osman (The Man Who Died Twice (A Thursday Murder Club Mystery))
To be the other woman is to be a season that is always about to end, when the air is flowered with jasmine and peach, and the weather day after day is flawless, and the forecast is hurricane.
Linda Pastan (The Imperfect Paradise)
Value versus Cost Economists tend to focus on cost, and, as economists, we are as guilty of that as anyone. The entire premise of our first book, Prediction Machines, was that AI advances were going to dramatically reduce the cost of prediction, leading to a scale-up of its use. However, while that book suggested that the initial uses of AI would be where prediction was already occurring, either explicitly in, say, forecasting sales or the weather, or implicitly in classifying photos and language, we were mindful that the real opportunity would be the new applications and uses that were enabled when prediction costs fell low enough.
Ajay Agrawal (Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence)
Pyscho-history dealt not with man, but with man-masses. It was the science of mobs; mobs in their billions. It could forecast reactions to stimuli with something of the accuracy that a lesser science could bring to the forecast of a rebound of a billiard ball. The reaction of one man could be forecast by no known mathematics; the reaction of a billion is something else again.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2))
All right, kids. We’re going to a party where they don’t like us very much. Everyone know what they’re doing? (Sin) Not a clue, but I think certain death and dismemberment is in my forecast, followed by a light rain of guys and flayed skin. (Kish)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
Don’t let yourself forget how many doctors have died, furrowing their brows over how many deathbeds. How many astrologers, after pompous forecasts about others’ ends. How many philosophers, after endless disquisitions on death and immortality. How many warriors, after inflicting thousands of casualties themselves. How many tyrants, after abusing the power of life and death atrociously, as if they were themselves immortal. How many whole cities have met their end: Helike, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and countless others. And all the ones you know yourself, one after another. One who laid out another for burial, and was buried himself, and then the man who buried him - all in the same short space of time. In short, know this: Human lives are brief and trivial. Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash. To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint. Like an olive that ripens and falls. Praising its mother, thanking the tree it grew on.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
There is no way that we can predict the weather six months ahead beyond giving the seasonal average
Stephen Hawking (Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays)
It follows that they never understood Reginald, who came down late to breakfast, and nibbled toast, and said disrespectful things about the universe. The family ate porridge, and believed in everything, even the weather forecast.
Saki (The Complete Saki)
Anger does not make history. Power does. And power may be supplemented by anger, but it derives from more fundamental realities; geography, demographics, technology, and culture.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
As those who have seen Jurassic Park will know, this means a tiny disturbance in one place, can cause a major change in another. A butterfly flapping its wings can cause rain in Central Park, New York. The trouble is, it is not repeatable. The next time the butterfly flaps its wings, a host of other things will be different, which will also influence the weather. That is why weather forecasts are so unreliable.
Stephen Hawking
The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory. There was a whole tribe of men who made their living simply by selling systems, forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had nothing to do with the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being nonexistent persons.
George Orwell (1984)
If you have to plan for a future beyond the forecasting horizon, plan for surprise. That means, as Danzig advises, planning for adaptability and resilience.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
It follows that the goal of forecasting is not to see what’s coming. It is to advance the interests of the forecaster and the forecaster’s tribe.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
If you ever do have to heed a forecast, keep in mind that its accuracy degrades rapidly as you extend it through time.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
Many people object to “wasting money in space” yet have no idea how much is actually spent on space exploration. The CSA’s budget, for instance, is less than the amount Canadians spend on Halloween candy every year, and most of it goes toward things like developing telecommunications satellites and radar systems to provide data for weather and air quality forecasts, environmental monitoring and climate change studies. Similarly, NASA’s budget is not spent in space but right here on Earth, where it’s invested in American businesses and universities, and where it also pays dividends, creating new jobs, new technologies and even whole new industries.
Chris Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth)
The old rule of forecasting was to make as many forecasts as possible and publicise the ones you got right. The new rule is to forecast so far in the future, no one will know you got it wrong.
Ruchir Sharma (Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles)
What else can it predict?” Now the other jocks encircled her like a bullseye. “Any event with data,” Holly said and really felt the need to leave. This was a set-up. Big Bob grinned. “Like when I’ll get a date?” Holly’s smile slid across her face. “Low probability events are hard to forecast.” “Huh?” Josh punched his shoulder. “She means, you are not likely to get a date.
Michael Grigsby (Segment of One)
Music forecasts the past, recalls the future. Now and then the difference falls away, and in one simple gift of circling sound, the ear solves the scrambled cryptogram. One abiding rhythm, present and always, and you're free. But a few measures more, and the cloak of time closes back around you.
Richard Powers (Orfeo)
It was the perfect trip, and as far as Stephen was concerned, the whole weekend was one magical accident. And that's because he is the weather, and I am the weather forecaster. He believes in fate, while I am fate.
Richard Osman (The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club, #2))
Music forecasts the past, recalls the future. Now and then the difference falls away, and in one simple gift of circling sound, the ear solves the scrambled cryptogram. One abiding rhythm, present and always, and you’re free.
Richard Powers (Orfeo)
Weatherman says," Kev scoffed. "I wouldn't trust that silly bugger to know it's raining now.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
Cork wished there were a forecast for his spirit. He felt the dark and the cold penetrating deep in him. He wondered when there would be warmth again, when there would be light.
William Kent Krueger (Iron Lake (Cork O'Connor, #1))
In fact, the business plans of the next 10,000 startups are easy to forecast: Take X and add AI. Find something that can be made better by adding online smartness to it. An
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
Fuck the weather forecasters and their predictions. With magic, he’d just turned their Doppler radar upside down. Sapphire Phelan (Being Familiar With a Witch)
Sapphire Phelan
This is my long-run forecast in brief: The material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today's Western living standards. I also speculate, however, that many people will continue to think and say that the conditions of life are getting worse.
Julian L. Simon
Centuries ago human knowledge increased slowly, so politics and economics changed at a leisurely pace too. Today our knowledge is increasing at breakneck speed, and theoretically we should understand the world better and better. But the very opposite is happening. Our new-found knowledge leads to faster economic, social and political changes; in an attempt to understand what is happening, we accelerate the accumulation of knowledge, which leads only to faster and greater upheavals. Consequently we are less and less able to make sense of the present or forecast the future. In 1016 it was relatively easy to predict how Europe would look in 1050. Sure, dynasties might fall, unknown raiders might invade, and natural disasters might strike; yet it was clear that in 1050 Europe would still be ruled by kings and priests, that it would be an agricultural society, that most of its inhabitants would be peasants, and that it would continue to suffer greatly from famines, plagues and wars. In contrast, in 2016 we have no idea how Europe will look in 2050. We cannot say what kind of political system it will have, how its job market will be structured, or even what kind of bodies its inhabitants will possess.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: ‘An intoxicating brew of science, philosophy and futurism’ Mail on Sunday)
For each visual input, it takes a tiny but perceptible amount of time—about two hundred milliseconds, one-fifth of a second—for the information to travel along the optic nerves and into the brain to be processed and interpreted. One-fifth of a second is not a trivial span of time when a rapid response is required—to step back from an oncoming car, say, or to avoid a blow to the head. To help us deal better with this fractional lag, the brain does a truly extraordinary thing: it continuously forecasts what the world will be like a fifth of a second from now, and that is what it gives us as the present. That means that we never see the world as it is at this very instant, but rather as it will be a fraction of a moment in the future. We spend our whole lives, in other words, living in a world that doesn’t quite exist yet.
Bill Bryson (The Body: A Guide for Occupants)
Relationship Time to Aloneness. And I remember about that. Having a companion fixes you in time and that the present, but when the quality of aloneness settles down, past, present, and future all flow together. A memory, a present event, and a forecast all equally present.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
Our human race is affected by a chronic underestimation of the possibility of the future straying from the course initially envisioned (in addition to other biases that sometimes exert a compounding effect). To take an obvious example, think about how many people divorce. Almost all of them are acquainted with the statistic that between one-third and one-half of all marriages fail, something the parties involved did not forecast while tying the knot. Of course, "not us," because "we get along so well" (as if others tying the knot got along poorly).
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
It’s the little deceptions that no one catches that are going to dissolve it all someday. We’ll look at clocks and we won’t believe the hands. They’ll forecast sun but we’ll pack our slickers anyway.
Walter Kirn (Up in the Air)
Being the soothsayer of the tribe is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
Anthon St. Maarten
It does little good to forecast the future of semiconductors or energy, or the future of the family (even one's own family), if the forecast springs from the premise that everything else will remain unchanged. For nothing will remain unchanged. The future is fluid, not frozen. It is constructed by our shifting and changing daily decisions, and each event influences all others.
Alvin Toffler (The Third Wave)
People are like their own ecosystems, little planets made up of islands and climates and forecasts. Some of us carry jagged mountain peaks, and some of us carry lakes.
Katie Kacvinsky (Still Point (Awaken, #3))
Life is like the weather,despite a sunny forecast you can get wet.
Dick Francis
Most gurus and forecasters are willing to give people what they want: exotic reasons to believe that they are in with the smart crowd.
Ruchir Sharma (Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles)
It is wrong to blame anyone for failing to forecast accurately in an unpredictable world. However, it seems fair to blame professionals for believing they can succeed in an impossible task.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Predicting the stock market is really predicting how other investors will change estimates they are now making with all their best efforts. This means that, for a market forecaster to be right, the consensus of all others must be wrong and the forecaster must determine in which direction-up or down-the market will be moved by changes in the consensus of those same active investors.
Burton G. Malkiel (The Elements of Investing)
Fuzzy thinking can never be proven wrong. And only when we are proven wrong so clearly that we can no longer deny it to ourselves will we adjust our mental models of the world—producing a clearer picture of reality. Forecast, measure, revise: it is the surest path to seeing better.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
- Obviously, we're hoping that the weather forecasters are wrong, the way they tend to be about ninety-eight percent of the time A few adults chuckled at that lameness. I remember thinking, hoping, that I would never turn into the kind of person who though weather jokes were funny.
Siobhan Vivian (The Last Boy and Girl in the World)
History cannot be explained deterministically and it cannot be predicted because it is chaotic. So many forces are at work and their interactions are so complex that extremely small variations in the strength of the forces and the way they interact produce huge differences in outcomes. Not only that, but history is what is called a ‘level two’ chaotic system. Chaotic systems come in two shapes. Level one chaos is chaos that does not react to predictions about it. The weather, for example, is a level one chaotic system. Though it is influenced by myriad factors, we can build computer models that take more and more of them into consideration, and produce better and better weather forecasts. Level two chaos is chaos that reacts to predictions about it, and therefore can never be predicted accurately. Markets, for example, are a level two chaotic system. What will happen if we develop a computer program that forecasts with 100 per cent accuracy the price of oil tomorrow? The price of oil will immediately react to the forecast, which would consequently fail to materialise. If the current price of oil is $90 a barrel, and the infallible computer program predicts that tomorrow it will be $100, traders will rush to buy oil so that they can profit from the predicted price rise. As a result, the price will shoot up to $100 a barrel today rather than tomorrow. Then what will happen tomorrow? Nobody knows.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The skies we slept under were too uncertain for forecasts. They came and went on the moody gusts of the Atlantic, bringing half a dozen weathers in an afternoon and playing all four movements of a wind symphony, allegro, andante, scherzo and adagio on the broken backs of white waves.
Niall Williams (Four Letters of Love)
He had met this sort of white man before, earnest and believing what came out of their mouths. The veracity of their words was another matter, but at least they believed them. The southern white man was spat from the loins of the devil and there was no way to forecast his next evil act.
Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad)
What is surprising is not the magnitude of our forecast errors, but our absence of awareness of it. This is all the more worrisome when we engage in deadly conflicts: wars are fundamentally unpredictable (and we do not know it). Owing to this misunderstanding of the causal chains between policy and actions, we can easily trigger Black Swans thanks to aggressive ignorance-like a child playing with a chemistry kit.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
The brighter the sunlight, the worse it affects them," said Einstein. "So we got to pay more attention to the weather forecast," said DogNut. "Cloudy with a chance of zombies.
Charlie Higson (The Fear (The Enemy #3))
Overcast does not always forecast rain neither does difficulty always forecast failure.
Kevin A. McKoy
I nee to reason for a plague, ... As far as I know no comets or eclipses have been forecast, and our sins are not great enough for God to be concerned with us.
Gabriel García Márquez (Of Love and Other Demons)
But I think certain death and dismemberment is in my forecast, followed by light rain of guts and flayed skin.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
The forecast was cloudy with extended periods of consciousness, followed by a stitch in my side and a sense of impending doom swelling to a symphony of demolition
Edward Morris (Blood of Eden)
If there is a mutual distrust between the weather forecaster and the public, the public may not listen when they need to most.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don't)
The Americans have perfected weather forecasts: a model presents a model of the Earth, a map, and jabs at it with her pointer – here and here, this is going to happen. Voodoo.
Péter Zilahy (The Last Window-Giraffe: A Picture Dictionary for the over Fives)
The reaction of one man could be forecast by no known mathematics; the reaction of a billion is something else again. Hari
Isaac Asimov (Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2))
If we lived the plans we do more as bets than as forecasts, we would be less anxious and more prepared for the unexpected.
Luigina Sgarro
Tabini was at least canny enough in the differences between atevi and human to know that, gut level, he might think he understood - but chances were very good that he wouldn't, couldn't, and never would, unaided by the paidhi, come up with the right forecast of human behavior because he didn't come with the right hardwiring. Average people didn't analyze what they thought: they thought they thought, and half of it was gut reaction.
C.J. Cherryh (Invader (Foreigner, #2))
Relationship Time to Aloneness." Having a companion fixes you in time and that of the present, but when the quality of aloneness settles down, past, present and future all flow together. A memory, a present event, and a forecast all equally present.
John Steinbeck
But no one can prepare for the worst. The worst doesn't only dash hopes; it tears through everything in ways that are almost meant to hurt, to punish, to shame. Despite my most sobering forecasts, life can still play the cruelest card and scuttle everything—and just when I thought we were sailing past the shoals.
André Aciman (Enigma Variations)
Who needs theory when you have so much information? But this is categorically the wrong attitude to take toward forecasting, especially in a field like economics where the data is so noisy.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don't)
Did they launch the last space shuttle yet?” – Sundown “I don’t follow.” – Ren “I’m just thinking maybe we should evacuate the whole planet. I’ve heard the moon is kind of nice this time of year.” – Sundown “Focus your ADD, Jess.” – Ren “I gotcha, brother. What you’re forecasting is six more plagues coming out of the northwest at maximum velocity with a mild chance of survival. Followed by the world getting swallowed whole in a vat of evil.” – Sundown
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
In those years before mobile phones, email and Skype, travelers depended on the rudimentary communications system known as the postcard. Other methods--the long-distance phone call, the telegram--were marked "For Emergency Use Only." So my parents waved me off into the unknown, and their news bulletins about me would have been restricted to "Yes, he's arrived safely,"and "Last time we heard he was in Oregon," and "We expect him back in a few weeks." I'm not saying this was necessarily better, let alone more character-forming; just that in my case it probably helped not to have my parents a button's touch away, spilling out anxieties and long-range weather forecasts, warning me against floods, epidemics and psychos who preyed on backpackers.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
The computer focuses ruthlessly on things that can be represented in numbers. In so doing, it seduces people into thinking that other aspects of knowledge are either unreal or unimportant. The computer treats reason as an instrument for achieving things, not for contemplating things. It narrows dramatically what we know and intended by reason.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
Every milestone in the history of the company, even when forecast with heaps of hoopla, was ultimately played out according to some secret timeline of geologic tedium, so that it was drained of all interest and drama well before it took place and afterward went all but unnoticed.
Thomas Ligotti (My Work is Not Yet Done: Three Tales of Corporate Horror)
You have to include inflation in your annual revenue and expense forecasts. You have to treat inflation as an annual fee your business pays into the economy. If inflation is 2% for example, that means the economy is charging your business a 2% annual fee and so you gotta make sure your income and total assets grow at minimum 2% annually just to keep up.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr, CEO of Mayflower-Plymouth (Business Essentials)
Economics is a discipline for quiet times. The profession, it turns out, … has no grip on understanding how the abnormal grows out of the normal and what happens next, its practitioners like weather forecasters who don’t understand storms. —Will Hutton, journalist The Observer, London
Mark Buchanan (Forecast: What Physics, Meteorology, and the Natural Sciences Can Teach Us About Economics)
Oh, really? Do you wake up heaving from bloody dreams that promise destruction like some crazy street guy forecasting the Apocalypse? Did you slam a door in your dad’s face hours before he died? Does everyone, cops included, think you’re a pestering loon ’cause ‘accident’ doesn’t sit right with you, nor the many other freakouts, like the car that keeps showing up on your street, with someone sitting in it, doing like, nothing? No? Oh no? Didn’t think so. Life sucks for everyone. Jump or deal with it.
Courtney Vail (Kings & Queens (Kings & Queens, #1))
on the TV. Kristen is saying, The fourth-quarter forecast isn’t looking good. Matt is laughing attractively and saying, Now, I don’t understand that kind of thing at all, but I’ll tell you what I do know about: apple-bobbing.
Naomi Alderman (The Power)
...Taking chances. Risking a little to gain a lot, fully aware that the word 'promise' defies definition. Outcomes cannot be predicted. There are too many variables. Sometimes you have to close your eyes to forecast the weather.
Ellen Hopkins (Triangles)
She would become, through the years, a woman who expected the worst, to relieve herself of the anxiety of hope. She would become a woman of calm, fatalistic principles, anticipating her life with the equanimity of a weather forecaster.
Joyce Carol Oates (The Falls)
It is evident, therefore, that one of the most fundamental problems of psychology is that of investigating the laws of mental growth. When these laws are known, the door of the future will in a measure be opened; determination of the child's present status will enable us to forecast what manner of adult he will become.
Lewis M. Terman
The story of the Utah prairie dog is the story of the range of our compassion. If we can extend our idea of community to include the lowliest of creatures, call them 'the untouchables', then we will indeed be closer to a path of peace and tolerance. if we cannot accommodate 'the other', the shadow we will see on our own home ground will be the forecast of our own species' extended winter of the soul.
Terry Tempest Williams
Once in a while, however, the future turns out to be very different from the past. It’s at these times that accurate forecasts would be of great value. It’s also at these times that forecasts are least likely to be correct. Some forecasters may turn out to be correct at these pivotal moments, suggesting that it’s possible to correctly
Howard Marks (The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor (Columbia Business School Publishing))
In all probability, the man who found the horoscope would also catch Nut and Nutcracker. They had to believe all the more strongly in the astrologer’s new forecast since none of his predictions had ever come true. Sooner or later, his prognoses had to be right, given that the king, who could never be wrong, had made him his Grand Augur.
E.T.A. Hoffmann (Nutcracker and Mouse King and The Tale of the Nutcracker)
But forecasters often resist considering these out-of-sample problems. When we expand our sample to include events further apart from us in time and space, it often means that we will encounter cases in which the relationships we are studying did not hold up as well as we are accustomed to. The model will seem to be less powerful. It will look less impressive in a PowerPoint presentation (or a journal article or a blog post). We will be forced to acknowledge that we know less about the world than we thought we did. Our personal and professional incentives almost always discourage us from doing this.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't)
Good thoughts yield good things. The future, no matter how dark it seems, can always change, as long as the thoughts change.
R.A. Montgomery (Forecast from Stonehenge)
Interviews were invented to make journalism less passive. Instead of waiting for something to happen, journalists ask someone what should or could happen.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (N for Nigger: Aphorisms for Grown Children and Childish Grown-ups)
the foxiest forecasters—just bright people with wide-ranging interests and reading habits but no particular relevant background
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
What a well-designed forecasting system can do is sort out which statistics are relatively more susceptible to luck; batting average, for instance, is more erratic than home runs.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't)
The recipe for success in business is this: increase profits and forecasts by reducing expenses through labor elimination and restructure.
($) (For the (Soon) Unemployed: You Against Them)
The litmus test for whether you are a competent forecaster is if more information makes your predictions better.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't)
Forecasts are difficult to make—particularly those about the future.
Burton G. Malkiel (A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing)
My own forecast? How about stressful with a hundred percent chance of freaking out.
Jenny B. Jones (In Between (Katie Parker Productions, #1))
the purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money)
ONE of the most distinctive features of the human mind is to forecast better things. “We look before and after And pine for what is not.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Herland Trilogy: Moving the Mountain, Herland, With Her in Ourland)
Few of these forecasts came true. On the other hand, nobody foresaw the Internet.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
When thinking about room for error in a forecast it is tempting to think that potential outcomes range from you being just right enough to you being very, very right.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money)
Sometimes I wish there were a weather report for your life. Tomorrow’s forecast is for routine high school shenanigans in the morning, but with dramatic parental betrayal by late afternoon, ending with wild emotional despair by nightfall. Details after the next commercial break.
Nicola Yoon (Instructions for Dancing)
It is wrong to blame anyone for failing to forecast accurately in an unpredictable world. However, it seems fair to blame professionals for believing they can succeed in an impossible task. Claims
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
The average expert was a horrific forecaster. Their areas of specialty, years of experience, academic degrees, and even (for some) access to classified information made no difference. They were bad at short-term forecasting, bad at long-term forecasting, and bad at forecasting in every domain. When experts declared that some future event was impossible or nearly impossible, it nonetheless occurred 15 percent of the time. When they declared a sure thing, it failed to transpire more than one-quarter of the time.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
But the forecasters and media types were clever - they never used vague words like "maybe." No, they stuck with convenient terms for which no one could be held accountable, like "probability of precipitation.
Haruki Murakami (Killing Commendatore)
By 2060, India’s economy is projected to be larger than China’s because of its greater population growth. India is forecast to produce about one-quarter of world GDP from 2040 through the rest of this century.
Jeremy J. Siegel (Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long-Term Investment Strategies)
Grief is less like a predictable sequence and more like an amorphous blob of uncertainty. You can’t forecast your way out of grief, because there’s no way to determine when the next wave is coming. This may seem disheartening at first, but when you recognize that there is no structure for grief, you can stop trying to pinpoint exactly where you are on your journey. If there’s no road map, it’s impossible to be lost.
Shelby Forsythia (Your Grief, Your Way: A Year of Practical Guidance and Comfort After Loss)
Like the weather or bonds between lovers, transformations can never be predicted. All energy transmutes one day or another, in one way or another. Either in its form or composition, or in its position or disposition.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Our findings highlight the critical need for health monitoring and identification of new, potentially zoonotic pathogens in wildlife populations, as a forecast measure for EIDs.” That sounds reasonable: Let’s keep an eye on wild creatures. As we besiege them, as we corner them, as we exterminate them and eat them, we’re getting their diseases.
David Quammen (Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic)
Extrapolations are useful, particularly in that form of soothsaying called forecasting trends. But in looking at the figures or charts made from them, it is necessary to remember one thing constantly: The trend-to-now may be a fact, but the future trend represents no more than an educated guess. Implicit in it is "everything else being equal" and "present trends continuing." And somehow everything else refuses to remain equal, else life would be dull indeed.
Darrell Huff (How to Lie with Statistics)
History, while it should be scientific in its method, should pursue a practical object. That is, it should not merely gratify the reader's curiosity about the past, but modify his view of the present and his forecast of the future.
John Robert Seeley (The Expansion of England: Two Courses of Lectures (Cambridge Library Collection - British and Irish History, 19th Century))
Notice that the story [of technical progress accelerating indefinitely] is not testable; we just have to wait around and see. If the predicted year of true AI's coming is false, too, another one can be forecast, a few decades into the future. AI in this sense is unfalsifiable and thus--according to the accepted rules of the scientific method--unscientific.
Erik J. Larson (The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do)
In an existence like mine forecasts could not be made: I never know what could happen to me in the next half hour, I can't imagine a life all made up of minimal alternatives, carefully circumscribed, on which bets can be made: either this or that.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Chaos theory throws it right out the window. It says that you can never predict certain phenomena at all. You can never predict the weather more than a few days away. All the money that has been spent on long-range forecasting—about half a billion dollars in the last few decades—is money wasted. It’s a fool’s errand. It’s as pointless as trying to turn lead into gold. We look back at the alchemists and laugh at what they were trying to do, but future generations will laugh at us the same way. We’ve tried the impossible—and spent a lot of money doing it. Because in fact there are great categories of phenomena that are inherently unpredictable.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
What’s exceptional about our blue marble is not that we had water. It’s that we held on to it, and that we still do. While the ancient oceans of Venus and Mars vaporized into space, Earth kept its life-giving water. Luckily for us, the forecast called for rain.
Cynthia Barnett (Rain: A Natural and Cultural History)
People never pay attention to weather reports; this, I believe, is a constant factor in man's psychological makeup, stemming probably from an ancient distrust of the shaman. You want them to be wrong. If they're right, then they're somehow superior, and this is even more uncomfortable than getting wet. "This Moment of the Storm
Roger Zelazny (The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth)
It was also not difficult to forecast that no matter how well endowed they were with material resources those countries where the Industrial Revolution arrived late would change proportionately more slowly. After all, the rich get richer and the poor get children.
John Brunner (The Shockwave Rider)
When we advance more confident claims and they fail to come to fruition, this constitutes much more powerful evidence against our hypothesis. We can't really blame anyone for losing faith when this occurs
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don't)
This should not come as a surprise: overly optimistic forecasts of the outcome of projects are found everywhere. Amos and I coined the term planning fallacy to describe plans and forecasts that are unrealistically close to best-case scenarios could be improved by consulting the statistics of similar cases Examples of the planning fallacy abound in the experiences of individuals, governments, and businesses.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
I do think that, of all the silly, irritating tomfoolishness by which we are plagued, this “weather-forecast” fraud is about the most aggravating.  It “forecasts” precisely what happened yesterday or a the day before, and precisely the opposite of what is going to happen to-day.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog))
When forecasting the outcomes of risky projects, executives too easily fall victim to the planning fallacy. In its grip, they make decisions based on delusional optimism rather than on a rational weighting of gains, losses, and probabilities. They overestimate benefits and underestimate costs. They spin scenarios of success while overlooking the potential for mistakes and miscalculations. As a result, they pursue initiatives that are unlikely to come in on budget or on time or to deliver the expected returns—or even to be completed. In this view, people often (but not always) take on risky projects because they are overly optimistic about the odds they face. I will return to this idea several times in this book—it probably contributes to an explanation of why people litigate, why they start wars, and why they open small businesses.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Force, not persuasion, not discussion, is the legitimate instrument for influencing and policing the hockey mind. Fighting in hockey is one of the most magnificent and eloquent displays of refinement in all of sports.
Brian D'Ambrosio (Warriors on the Ice: Hockey's Toughest Talk)
Like the weather or bonds between lovers, transformations cannot always be predicted. All energy transmutes one day or another, in one way or another. Either in its form or composition, or in its position or disposition.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
What to wear on a Minnesota farm? The older farmers I know wear brown polyester jumpsuits, like factory workers. The younger ones wear jeans, but the forecast was for ninety-five degrees with heavy humidity. The wardrobe of Quaker ladies in their middle years runs to denim skirts and hiking boots. This outfit had worked fine for me in England. But one of my jobs in Minnesota will be to climb onto the industrial cuisinart in the hay barn and mix fifty-pound bags of nutritional supplement and corn into blades as big as my body. Getting a skirt caught in that thing would be bad news for Betty Crocker.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Holmes laughed. "Watson insists that I am the dramatist in real life," said he. "Some touch of the artist wells up within me, and calls insistently for a well-staged performance. Surely our profession, Mr. Mac, would be a drab and sordid one if we did not sometimes set the scene so as to glorify our results. The blunt accusation, the brutal tap upon the shoulder - what can one make of such a denouement? But the quick inference, the subtle trap, the clever forecast of coming events, the triumphant vindication of bold theories - are these not the pride and the justification of our life's work? At the present moment you thrill with the glamour of the situation and the anticipation of the hunt. Where would be that thrill if I had been as definite as a timetable?
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Volume II)
But do you know what happened during this period? Where do we begin ... 1.3 million Americans died while fighting nine major wars. Roughly 99.9% of all companies that were created went out of business. Four U.S. presidents were assassinated. 675,000 Americans died in a single year from a flu pandemic. 30 separate natural disasters killed at least 400 Americans each. 33 recessions lasted a cumulative 48 years. The number of forecasters who predicted any of those recessions rounds to zero. The stock market fell more than 10% from a recent high at least 102 times. Stocks lost a third of their value at least 12 times. Annual inflation exceeded 7% in 20 separate years. The words “economic pessimism” appeared in newspapers at least 29,000 times, according to Google.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
Easy issues are at the heart of what sociologist James Davison Hunter (119911) forecast as the emerging polarization of American politics. In Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America, which is often cited as the impetus for Pat Buchanan's fiery speech at the 1199z Republican National Convention and the dawn of polarized politics, he suggests that the emergence of new social issues, such as abortion, the death penalty, and gay rights, make polarization inevitable.
Marc J. Hetherington (Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics)
As Paul Saffo, a forecaster of large-scale change at Discern Analytics, observes wisely, 'Change is never linear. Our expectations are linear, but new technologies come in S curves, so we routinely overestimate short-term change and underestimate long-term change.' Never mistake a clear view for a short distance, he adds.
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran (Need, Speed, and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World's Most Wicked Problems)
guesstimate = better than a guess but not as guaranteed as an estimate... i.e. It's simply a calculated forecast based on probability, historical trends, observations, analytical research, politics, studies of human nature and good ol' common sense (the latter 2 of which usually cause a toxic sediment when mixed, LOL)...
A.A. Bell
Enron followed the unwise practice of paying bonuses based on forecasted profits, not actual cash flows, a system that posed a problem remarkably similar to the R&D issues Gluck and his colleagues had solved at Northern Electric years earlier. In short: You can forecast anything. Delivering actual results is a different story. The emphasis on forecasts also neutralized Enron’s so-called risk-management group, which became a shrinking violet in the face of ever more outrageous estimates.
Duff McDonald (The Firm)
The fact is, nobody has the faintest idea of what is going to happen next year, next week, or even tomorrow. If you hope to get anywhere as a speculator, you must get out of the habit of listening to forecasts. It is of the utmost importance that you never take economists, market advisers, or other financial oracles seriously.
Max Gunther (The Zurich Axioms)
A hallmark of interactions on the best teams is what psychologist Jonathan Baron termed “active open-mindedness.” The best forecasters view their own ideas as hypotheses in need of testing. Their aim is not to convince their teammates of their own expertise, but to encourage their teammates to help them falsify their own notions.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
As Nassim Taleb pointed out in The Black Swan, our tendency to construct and believe coherent narratives of the past makes it difficult for us to accept the limits of our forecasting ability. Everything makes sense in hindsight, a fact that financial pundits exploit every evening as they offer convincing accounts of the day’s events.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
We have here a forecast of the long history of American politics, the mobilization of lower-class energy by upper-class politicians, for their own purposes. This was not purely deception; it involved, in part, a genuine recognition of lower-class grievances, which helps to account for its effectiveness as a tactic over the centuries. As
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Hope is one of our central emotions, but we are often at a loss when asked to define it. Many of us confuse hope with optimism, a prevailing attitude that "things turn out for the best." But hope differs from optimism. Hope does not arise from being told to "Think Positively," or from hearing an overly rosy forecast. Hope, unlike optimism, is rooted in unalloyed reality. Although there is no uniform definition of hope, I found on that seemed to capture what my patients had taught me. Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see - in the mind's eye- a path to a better future. Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along that path. True hope has no room for delusion.
Jerome Groopman (The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness)
The ExxonMobil forecast numbers suggested that to make an impact on oil demand, the world’s governments would have to reach a unified conclusion that climate change presented an emergency on the scale of the Second World War—a threat so profound and disruptive as to require massive national investments and taxes designed to change the global energy mix.
Steve Coll (Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power)
Assuming that something ugly will stay ugly is an easy forecast to make. And it’s persuasive, because it doesn’t require imagining the world changing. But problems correct and people adapt. Threats incentivize solutions in equal magnitude. That’s a common plot of economic history that is too easily forgotten by pessimists who forecast in straight lines.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
A forecaster should almost never ignore data, especially when she is studying rare events like recessions or presidential elections, about which there isn’t very much data to begin with. Ignoring data is often a tip-off that the forecaster is overconfident, or is overfitting her model—that she is interested in showing off rather than trying to be accurate.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't)
slow decision making will expose us to damage before we obtain the answer from delayed investments in new solutions.
Jørgen Randers (2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years)
Joe Louis once said, “Every fighter has a plan until they get hit.
Thomas J. Dorsey (Point and Figure Charting: The Essential Application for Forecasting and Tracking Market Prices (Wiley Trading))
Visitors come and go. Daily I read tea leaves for signs of the approaching century: a raven perched on a cross a sword piercing a cloud --A Victorian Life
Clara Blackwood (Forecast (Essential Poets Series))
When you drill down and see the forces that are shaping nations, you can see that the menu from which they choose is limited.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
My full name used to be weird enough that nobody would ever call me it. Then that show had to become popular. Damn that show. It ruined a horrible name.
Larry Gent (To Money and a TV (The Benedict Forecasts, #2))
When in doubt, watch Die Hard.
Larry Gent (To Money and a TV (The Benedict Forecasts, #2))
... common sense is the one thing that will certainly be wrong.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
There was no American policy on Afghan politics at the time, only the de facto promotion of Pakistani goals as carried out by Pakistani intelligence. The CIA forecasted repeatedly during this period that postwar Afghanistan was going to be an awful mess; nobody could prevent that. Let the Pakistanis sort out the regional politics. This was their neighborhood.
Steve Coll (Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan & Bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001)
Psychologists have a phrase for this kind of habitual forecasting: “creating mental models.”26 Understanding how people build mental models has become one of the most important topics in cognitive psychology.27 All people rely on mental models to some degree. We all tell ourselves stories about how the world works, whether we realize we’re doing it or not. But
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive)
We need to incorporate the contagion of narratives into economic theory. Otherwise, we remain blind to a very real, very palpable, very important mechanism for economic change, as well as a crucial element for economic forecasting. If we do not understand the epidemics of popular narratives, we do not fully understand changes in the economy and in economic behavior.
Robert J. Shiller (Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events)
This way of thinking about risk caused many investors to increase their exposures beyond what would normally be seen as prudent. They looked at the recent volatility in their VAR calculations, and by and large expected it to continue moving forward. This is human nature and it was dumb because past volatility and past correlations aren’t reliable forecasts of future risks.
Ray Dalio (A Template for Understanding Big Debt Crises)
...and that's how the tournament started, the Million Dollar World Series of Monopoly... ...Jess and Pete thought alike -- like city boys, my father would have said, looking for the payoff in a situation rather than the pitfall. Rose and Ty and I played like farmers, looking for pitfalls, holes, drop-offs, something small that will tip the tractor, break it, eat into your time, your crop, the profits that already exist in your mind, and not only as a result of crop projections and long-range forecasts, but also as an ideal that has never been attained, but could be this year.
Jane Smiley (A Thousand Acres)
The terrible meaning of the Washington apparatus is that, even in the United States, that stage of the revolution of our times has been reached, “that decisive hour,” which Karl Marx acutely forecast a hundred years before: when “the process of dissolution going on within . . . the whole range of the old society” becomes so violent “that a small section of the ruling class . . . joins the revolutionary class.” This “small section,” says Marx, is “in particular,” the middle-class intellectuals. When this happens, it is very late in the night of history, and in the life of nations.
Whittaker Chambers (Witness (Cold War Classics))
Here is the irony: Europe dominated the world, but it failed to dominate itself. For five hundred years Europe tore itself apart in civil wars, and as a result there was never a European empire—there was instead a British empire, a Spanish empire, a French empire, a Portuguese empire, and so on.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
As CEO, you should have an opinion on absolutely everything. You should have an opinion on every forecast, every product plan, every presentation, and even every comment. Let people know what you think. If you like someone’s comment, give her the feedback. If you disagree, give her the feedback. Say what you think. Express yourself. This will have two critically important positive effects:   Feedback won’t be personal in your company. If the CEO constantly gives feedback, then everyone she interacts with will just get used to it. Nobody will think, “Gee, what did she really mean by that comment? Does she not like me?” Everybody will naturally focus on the issues, not an implicit random performance evaluation.   People will become comfortable discussing bad news. If people get comfortable talking about what each other are doing wrong, then it will be very easy to talk about what the company is doing wrong. High-quality company cultures get their cue from data networking routing protocols: Bad news travels fast and good news travels slowly. Low-quality company cultures take on the personality of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wiz: “Don’t nobody bring me no bad news.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
Since the President’s 2016 election, the economy has added over 6.7 million jobs—more than the combined populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Montana in 2018. Additionally, this total is 4.8 million more jobs than the Congressional Budget Office projected would have been created in its final forecast before the 2016 election. . . . Most notably, the unemployment rate for African Americans reached a new low of 5.4 percent, falling 2.6 percentage points since President Trump’s election.”12 For anyone with a brain, that is a big deal.
Donald Trump Jr. (Liberal Privilege: Joe Biden And The Democrats' Defense Of The Indefensible)
In 2005 Rick Santorum, a senator from AccuWeather’s home state of Pennsylvania and a recipient of Myers family campaign contributions, introduced a bill that would have written this idea into law. The bill was a little vague, but it appeared to eliminate the National Weather Service’s website or any other means of communication with the public. It allowed the Weather Service to warn people about the weather just before it was about to kill them, but at no other time—and exactly how anyone would be any good at predicting extreme weather if he or she wasn’t predicting all the other weather was left unclear. Pause a moment to consider the audacity of that maneuver. A private company whose weather predictions were totally dependent on the billions of dollars spent by the U.S. taxpayer to gather the data necessary for those predictions, and on decades of intellectual weather work sponsored by the U.S. taxpayer, and on international data-sharing treaties made on behalf of the U.S. taxpayer, and on the very forecasts that the National Weather Service generated, was, in effect, trying to force the U.S. taxpayer to pay all over again for what the National Weather Service might be able to tell him or her for free.
Michael Lewis (The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy)
The most realistic distinction between the investor and the speculator is found in their attitude toward stock-market movements. The speculator’s primary interest lies in anticipating and profiting from market fluctuations. The investor’s primary interest lies in acquiring and holding suitable securities at suitable prices. Market movements are important to him in a practical sense, because they alternately create low price levels at which he would be wise to buy and high price levels at which he certainly should refrain from buying and probably would be wise to sell. It is far from certain that the typical investor should regularly hold off buying until low market levels appear, because this may involve a long wait, very likely the loss of income, and the possible missing of investment opportunities. On the whole it may be better for the investor to do his stock buying whenever he has money to put in stocks, except when the general market level is much higher than can be justified by well-established standards of value. If he wants to be shrewd he can look for the ever-present bargain opportunities in individual securities. Aside from forecasting the movements of the general market, much effort and ability are directed on Wall Street toward selecting stocks or industrial groups that in matter of price will “do better” than the rest over a fairly short period in the future. Logical as this endeavor may seem, we do not believe it is suited to the needs or temperament of the true investor—particularly since he would be competing with a large number of stock-market traders and first-class financial analysts who are trying to do the same thing. As in all other activities that emphasize price movements first and underlying values second, the work of many intelligent minds constantly engaged in this field tends to be self-neutralizing and self-defeating over the years. The investor with a portfolio of sound stocks should expect their prices to fluctuate and should neither be concerned by sizable declines nor become excited by sizable advances. He should always remember that market quotations are there for his convenience, either to be taken advantage of or to be ignored. He should never buy a stock because it has gone up or sell one because it has gone down. He would not be far wrong if this motto read more simply: “Never buy a stock immediately after a substantial rise or sell one immediately after a substantial drop.” An
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
today’s forecast is rain of course but you won’t open the curtains to check there are six mugs half drunk by your bed and a broken vein from your heart to your hip. ‘you are a part of the universe’ your mother says with another cup in her hands- ‘isn’t that worth getting out of bed for?’ the rain begins then and hell the forecast could be an alien invasion and you still wouldn’t peel the blinds back to see.
Beth McColl
Like the weather or bonds between lovers, transformations can never be predicted. All energy transmutes one day or another, in one way or another. Either in its form or composition. Or in its position or disposition.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Love is.... it's bringing an umbrella when rain is forecasted, but, like not for you. It's serenading someone off-key in the kitchen while they chop red peppers lenghtwise because they know you like them better that way. It's pulling the car in backward at night because your parner gets edgy when they have to back into morning traffic. It's buying moisturizer in bulk because one time they mentioned they liked the scent. It's noticing things.Seeing parts of them even they might not know exist because you've been studying them since the moment you first laid eyes on them. It's memorizing their phone number even if you have it programmed because God forbid you ever lost your contacts. It's reading their mood by the song blaring through their headphones. It's experiencing something so extraordinary you can't tell if it was just that mind-blowing or if it's only because they were there with you that you were so affected by it.
Erin Hahn (More Than Maybe)
We have all cherished our life purposes. We have forecast our futures as likely to lie in a certain direction and have dearly desired that it should be so. When hindrances have been put in our way and when we have met with strong opposition and rebuff, we have still clung to our hope. Only very slowly have we yielded and accepted the inevitable. To renounce it has been like tearing out our heart. Not till long years have passed have we realized that the Lord's plan was much wiser and grander that our own. Then suddenly we have awakened to discover that while we were desiring to do one thing, God was leading us to do another and that what we have counted secondary was primary, for His glory, and for the lasting satisfaction of our own heart.
F.B. Meyer
For a number of years, professors at Duke University conducted a survey in which the chief financial officers of large corporations estimated the returns of the Standard & Poor’s index over the following year. The Duke scholars collected 11,600 such forecasts and examined their accuracy. The conclusion was straightforward: financial officers of large corporations had no clue about the short-term future of the stock market; the correlation between their estimates and the true value was slightly less than zero!
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
I’m encouraging mine to go into professions that machines are currently bad at, and therefore seem unlikely to get automated in the near future. Recent forecasts for when various jobs will get taken over by machines identify several useful questions to ask about a career before deciding to educate oneself for it. 48 For example: • Does it require interacting with people and using social intelligence? • Does it involve creativity and coming up with clever solutions? • Does it require working in an unpredictable environment?
Max Tegmark (Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence)
Some readers are bound to want to take the techniques we’ve introduced here and try them on the problem of forecasting the future price of securities on the stock market (or currency exchange rates, and so on). Markets have very different statistical characteristics than natural phenomena such as weather patterns. Trying to use machine learning to beat markets, when you only have access to publicly available data, is a difficult endeavor, and you’re likely to waste your time and resources with nothing to show for it. Always remember that when it comes to markets, past performance is not a good predictor of future returns—looking in the rear-view mirror is a bad way to drive. Machine learning, on the other hand, is applicable to datasets where the past is a good predictor of the future.
François Chollet (Deep Learning with Python)
This highlights the single most important geopolitical fact in the world: the United States controls all of the oceans. No other power in history has been able to do this. And that control is not only the foundation of America’s security but also the foundation of its
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
Isn’t it complicated to be human, though?” she said. “Animals seem to give up their lives so naturally…And after all, I grew up, I married John, I had Debby. So knowing, being able to understand and forecast and even predict an approximate date, shouldn’t make any difference. I guess consciousness makes individuals of us, and as individuals we lose the old acceptance…” “The one thing,” Marian said in a voice that went suddenly small and tight, “the thing I can hardly bear sometimes is that I won’t ever see her grow up. She’ll have to do it without whatever I could have given her.” “Time, too, time and everything that one could do in it, and the chance of wasting or losing or never even realizing it. It’s so important to us because we see it so close. We’re individuals, we’re full of ourselves, and so we’re bad historians. We get crazy and anxious because all of sudden there’s so little time left to be loving and generous as we wish we’d always been and always intended to be…do you suppose I feel the shortness of time because I want to experience everything and feel everything that the race has ever felt? Because there’s so much to feel and I’m greedy?
Wallace Stegner (All the Little Live Things)
Unfortunately, the metaphor that dominates most of American Christianity doesn’t help us much; we usually envision the church as a corporation. The pastor is the CEO, there are committees and boards. Evangelism is the manufacturing process by which we make our product, and sales can be charted, compared, and forecast. Of course, this manufacturing process goes on in a growth economy so that any corporation-church whose annual sales figures aren’t up from last year’s is in trouble. Americans are quite single-minded in their captivity to the corporation metaphor. And it isn’t even biblical. —Hal Miller
Frank Viola (Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity)
Nobody in Faha could remember when it started. Rain there on the western seaboard was a condition of living. It came straight-down and sideways, frontwards, backwards and any other wards God could think of. It came in sweeps, in waves, sometimes in veils. It came dressed as drizzle, as mizzle, as mist, as showers, frequent and widespread, as a wet fog, as a damp day, a drop, a dripping, and an out-and-out downpour. It came the fine day, the bright day, and the day promised dry. It came at any time of the day and night, and in all seasons, regardless of calendar and forecast, until in Faha your clothes were rain and your skin was rain and your house was rain with a fireplace. It came off the grey vastness of an Atlantic that threw itself against the land like a lover once spurned and resolved not to be so again. It came accompanied by seagulls and smells of salt and seaweed. It came with cold air and curtained light. It came like a judgment, or, in benign version, like a blessing God had forgotten he had left on. It came for a handkerchief of blue sky, came on westerlies, sometimes—why not?—on easterlies, came in clouds that broke their backs on the mountains in Kerry and fell into Clare, making mud the ground and blind the air. It came disguised as hail, as sleet, but never as snow. It came softly sometimes, tenderly sometimes, its spears turned to kisses, in rain that pretended it was not rain, that had come down to be closer to the fields whose green it loved and fostered, until it drowned them.
Niall Williams (This is Happiness)
One of Wilson’s addresses was clairvoyant. At the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, he told the audience, about his League of Nations, “I have it in my heart that if we do not do this great thing now, every woman ought to weep because of the child in her arms. If she has a boy at her breast, she may be sure that when he comes to manhood, this terrible task will have to be done once more.” Without his treaty, “I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation, there will be another world war.” Wilson made this forecast exactly two decades, to the month, before the outbreak of a second world war.
Michael R. Beschloss (Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times)
The fact that people tend to respond to costs and rewards is an essential element of forecasting. You can say with a high degree of confidence that if you drop a hundred-dollar bill on the street, someone will soon pick it up, whether you are in New York, Mexico City, or Moscow. This is not as trivial as it seems. It shows why the clever people who say that forecasting is impossible are wrong. Any forecast that accurately anticipates the impact of incentives on behavior is likely to be broadly correct. And the greater the anticipated change in costs and rewards, the less trivial the implied forecast is likely to be.
James Dale Davidson (The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age)
Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise: — 12. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? (2) Which of the two generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth? (4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is stronger? (6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment? 13. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Make then your forecasts, my lords Astrologers, with your slavish physicians, by means of those astrolabes with which you seek to discern the fantastic nine moving spheres; in these you finally imprison your own minds, so that you appear to me but as parrots in a cage, while I watch you dancing up and down, turning and hopping within those circles. We know that the Supreme Ruler cannot have a seat so narrow, so miserable a throne, so straight a tribunal, so scanty a court, so small and feeble a simulacrum that a phantasm can bring to birth, a dream shatter, a delusion restore, a chimera disperse, a calamity diminish, a misdeed abolish and a thought renew it again, so that indeed with a puff of air it were brimful and with a single gulp it were emptied. On the contrary we recognize a noble image, a marvellous conception, a supreme figure, an exalted shadow, an infinite representation of the represented infinity, a spectacle worthy of the excellence and supremacy of Him who transcendeth understanding, comprehension or grasp. Thus is the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of his kingdom made manifest; he is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds.
Giordano Bruno (On the Infinite, the Universe and the Worlds: Five Cosmological Dialogues (Collected Works of Giordano Bruno Book 2))
the United States has a single core policy in Eurasia—preventing any power from dominating Eurasia or part of it. If China weakens or fragments and the Europeans are weak and divided, the United States will have a fundamental interest: avoiding general war, by keeping the Russians focused on the Balts and Poles, unable to think globally.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
The main idea behind affective forecasting is that we have a bias when we predict future mood (affective) states in relation to positive or negative events. For example, a couple of years after winning a lottery, the winners were about as happy as they were before their win, despite the general affective forecast that they would be much happier if only they could win the lottery. This is also true of people who have suffered debilitating accidents. A few years after the accident, despite long-term effects such as paralysis, accident victims were about as happy as they were before this life-changing event—again, despite the general affective forecast that they would be much unhappier.
Timothy A. Pychyl (Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change)
America is in the earliest phase of its power. It is not fully civilized. America, like Europe in the sixteenth century, is still barbaric (a description, not a moral judgment). Its culture is unformed. Its will is powerful. Its emotions drive it in different and contradictory directions. Cultures live in one of three states. The first state is barbarism. Barbarians believe that the customs of their village are the laws of nature and that anyone who doesn’t live the way they live is beneath contempt and requiring redemption or destruction. The third state is decadence. Decadents cynically believe that nothing is better than anything else. If they hold anyone in contempt, it is those who believe in anything. Nothing is worth fighting for. Civilization is the second and most rare state. Civilized people are able to balance two contradictory thoughts in their minds. They believe that there are truths and that their cultures approximate those truths. At the same time, they hold open in their mind the possibility that they are in error. The combination of belief and skepticism is inherently unstable. Cultures pass through barbarism to civilization and then to decadence, as skepticism undermines self-certainty Civilized people fight selectively but effectively.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
This book aims to learn from that mistake. One of its goals is to ask whether Minsky’s demand for a theory that generates the possibility of great depressions is reasonable and, if so, how economists should respond. I believe it is quite reasonable. Many mainstream economists react by arguing that crises are impossible to forecast: if they were not, they would either already have happened or been forestalled by rational agents. That is certainly a satisfying doctrine, since few mainstream economists foresaw the crisis, or even the possibility of one. For the dominant school of neoclassical economics, depressions are a result of some external (or, as economists say, ‘exogenous’) shock, not of forces generated within the system.
Martin Wolf (The Shifts and the Shocks: What we've learned – and have still to learn – from the financial crisis)
Over the past 30 years, approximately 300 million people have moved into China’s middle class. And according to the OECD Development Centre, the forecast is for another 200 million people to move into the middle class by 2026. This means the Asia Pacific region, which in 2009 represented 18% of the world’s middle class, will reach 66 percent by 2030. Let’s repeat that. Over the next 15 years, Asia will go from 20 percent to 66 percent of the world’s middle class. At the same time, the developed markets of North America and Europe, which held a combined 54 percent of the global middle class in 2009, are forecast to drop to only 21 percent by 2030. Basically, follow the money. Asia’s middle class consumers are the future. Learn Mandarin.
Jeffrey Towson (The One Hour China Book (2017 Edition): Two Peking University Professors Explain All of China Business in Six Short Stories)
The National Academy of Sciences undertook its first major study of global warming in 1979. At that point, climate modeling was still in its infancy, and only a few groups, one led by Syukuro Manabe at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and another by James Hansen at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, had considered in any detail the effects of adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Still, the results of their work were alarming enough that President Jimmy Carter called on the academy to investigate. A nine-member panel was appointed. It was led by the distinguished meteorologist Jule Charney, of MIT, who, in the 1940s, had been the first meteorologist to demonstrate that numerical weather forecasting was feasible. The Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate, or the Charney panel, as it became known, met for five days at the National Academy of Sciences’ summer study center, in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Its conclusions were unequivocal. Panel members had looked for flaws in the modelers’work but had been unable to find any. “If carbon dioxide continues to increase, the study group finds no reason to doubt that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible,
Elizabeth Kolbert (Field Notes from a Catastrophe)
weather forecast that it was going to be rough and had taken a pill. Miss Abbott was tramping up and down the narrow lower deck, having, perhaps instinctively, hit upon that part of the ship which after the first few hours is deserted by almost everyone. In the plan shown to passengers it was called the promenade deck. It was Jemima who first noticed the break in the weather. A kind of thin warmth fell across the page of her book;
Ngaio Marsh (Singing in the Shrouds (Roderick Alleyn, #20))
Experts can sound pretty impressive, of course, especially when they bolster their claims by citing their years of training and experience in a field. Yet hundreds of studies have shown that, compared to predictions based on actuarial data, predictions based on an expert's years of training and personal experience are rarely better than chance. But when an expert is wrong, the centerpiece of his or her professional identity is threatened. Therefore, dissonance theory predicts that the more self-confident and famous experts are, the less likely they will be to admit mistakes. And that is just what Tetlock found. Experts reduced the dissonance caused by their failed forecasts by coming up with explanations of why they would have been right "if only" - if only that improbable calamity had not intervened; if only the timing of events had been different; if only blah-blah-blah.
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
The democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing when in conflict with another man's right of property... This is a world of compensations; and he would -be- no slave must consent to -have- no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it. All honor to Jefferson - to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression. Your obedient Servant, [Abraham Lincoln] April 6, 1859, in a letter to MA State Rep Henry L. Pierce Springfield, Ill.
Abraham Lincoln (Speeches and Writings 1859–1865)
I will always be the other woman. I disappear for a time like the moon in daylight, then rise at night all mother-of-pearl so that a man’s upturned face, watching, will have reflected on it the milk of longing. And though he may leave, memory will perfect me. One day the light may fall in a certain way on Penelope’s hair, and he will pause wildly… but when she turns, it will only be his wife, to whom white sheets simply mean laundry— even Nausikaä in her silly braids thought more washing linen than of him, preferring Odysseus clean and oiled to that briny, unkempt lion I would choose. Let Dido and her kind leap from cliffs for love. My men will moan and dream of me for years… desire and need become the same animal in the silken dark. To be the other woman is to be a season that is always about to end, when the air is flowered with jasmine and peach, and the weather day after day is flawless, and the forecast is hurricane.
Linda Pastan (The Imperfect Paradise)
We end up populating what we call the intelligentsia with people who are delusional, literally mentally deranged, simply because they never have to pay for the consequences of their actions, repeating moderniest slogans stripped of all depth...The principle of intervention, like that of healers, is first do not harm; even more we will argue, those who don't take risks should never be involved in decision making (p.10). Their three flaws 1) they think in statics not dynamics 2) they think in low, not high dimensions 3) they think in terms of actions, never interactions....The first flaw is they are incapable in thinking in second steps and unaware of the need of them...The second flaw is that they are also incapable of distinguishing between multidimensional problems and their single dimensional representations. The third flaw is they can't forecast the evolution of those one helps by attaching, or the magnification one gets from feedback. (p.9)
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Skin in the Game: The Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life)
Suppose someone says, “Unfortunately, the popularity of soccer, the world’s favorite pastime, is starting to decline.” You suspect he is wrong. How do you question the claim? Don’t even think of taking a personal shot like “You’re silly.” That only adds heat, not light. “I don’t think so” only expresses disagreement without delving into why you disagree. “What do you mean?” lowers the emotional temperature with a question but it’s much too vague. Zero in. You might say, “What do you mean by ‘pastime’?” or “What evidence is there that soccer’s popularity is declining? Over what time frame?” The answers to these precise questions won’t settle the matter, but they will reveal the thinking behind the conclusion so it can be probed and tested. Since Socrates, good teachers have practiced precision questioning, but still it’s often not used when it’s needed most. Imagine how events might have gone if the Kennedy team had engaged in precision questioning when planning the Bay of Pigs invasion: “So what happens if they’re attacked and the plan falls apart?” “They retreat into the Escambray Mountains, where they can meet up with other anti-Castro forces and plan guerrilla operations.” “How far is it from the proposed landing site in the Bay of Pigs to the Escambray Mountains?” “Eighty miles.” “And what’s the terrain?” “Mostly swamp and jungle.” “So the guerrillas have been attacked. The plan has fallen apart. They don’t have helicopters or tanks. But they have to cross eighty miles of swamp and jungle before they can begin to look for shelter in the mountains? Is that correct?” I suspect that this conversation would not have concluded “sounds good!” Questioning like that didn’t happen, so Kennedy’s first major decision as president was a fiasco. The lesson was learned, resulting in the robust but respectful debates of the Cuban missile crisis—which exemplified the spirit we encouraged among our forecasters.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
One of the difficulties I experienced in trying to learn about the biology of emotions was the definition of terms...How would [Prof. Richard Davidson], as an experimental psychologist, deconstruct [hope]? "I understand hope as an emotion made up of two parts: a cognitive part and an affective part. When we hope for something, we employ, to some degree, our cognition, marshalling information and data relevant to a desired future event. If...you are suffering with a serious illness and you hope for improvement, even for a cure, you have to generate a different vision of your condition in your mind. That picture is painted in part by assimilating information about the disease and its potential treatments. "But hope also involves what I would call affective forecasting--that is, the comforting, energizing, elevating feeling that you experience when you project in your mind a positive future. This requires the brain to generate a different affective, or feeling, state than the one you are currently in.
Jerome Groopman (The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness)
If a model did anything too obviously bizarre—flooded the Sahara or tripled interest rates—the programmers would revise the equations to bring the output back in line with expectation. In practice, econometric models proved dismally blind to what the future would bring, but many people who should have known better acted as though they believed in the results. Forecasts of economic growth or unemployment were put forward with an implied precision of two or three decimal places. Governments and financial institutions paid for such predictions and acted on them, perhaps out of necessity or for want of anything better. Presumably they knew that such variables as “consumer optimism” were not as nicely measurable as “humidity” and that the perfect differential equations had not yet been written for the movement of politics and fashion. But few realized how fragile was the very process of modeling flows on computers, even when the data was reasonably trustworthy and the laws were purely physical, as in weather forecasting.
James Gleick (Chaos: Making a New Science)
Computers were built in the late 1940s because mathematicians like John von Neumann thought that if you had a computer—a machine to handle a lot of variables simultaneously—you would be able to predict the weather. Weather would finally fall to human understanding. And men believed that dream for the next forty years. They believed that prediction was just a function of keeping track of things. If you knew enough, you could predict anything. That’s been a cherished scientific belief since Newton.” “And?” “Chaos theory throws it right out the window. It says that you can never predict certain phenomena at all. You can never predict the weather more than a few days away. All the money that has been spent on long-range forecasting—about half a billion dollars in the last few decades—is money wasted. It’s a fool’s errand. It’s as pointless as trying to turn lead into gold. We look back at the alchemists and laugh at what they were trying to do, but future generations will laugh at us the same way. We’ve tried the impossible—and spent a lot of money doing it. Because in fact there are great categories of phenomena that are inherently unpredictable.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
The world has enjoyed a notably long period marked by relative peace and security. Nevertheless, the forecasts of increasing fragile states, mounting conflicts born of natural resource scarcity, and the rising risk in the incidence of terrorism around the world all point to an increasingly politically volatile world, one that is worsened by economic uncertainty. The Horizon 2025: Creative Destruction in the Aid Industry report cautions that within the next decade more than 80 percent of the world’s population will live in fragile states, susceptible to civil wars that could spill into cross-border conflicts.4 The US National Intelligence Council has published a similarly dire forecast of more clashes in decades to come. While this study focuses largely on the prospect of natural resource conflicts, water especially, it underscores the political vulnerability of many economies. A 2016 report by the Institute for Economics and Peace concludes 2014 was the worst year for terrorism in a decade and a half, with attacks in ninety-three countries resulting in 32,765 people killed; 29,376 people died the year before, making 2013 the second worst year.5
Dambisa Moyo (Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth-and How to Fix It)
Once upon a time there was much talk of the apathy of the masses. Their silence was the crucial fact for an earlier generation. Today, however, the masses act not by deflection but by infection, tainting opinion polls and forecasts with their multifarious phantasies. Their abstention and their silence are no longer determining factors (that stage was still nihilistic); what counts now is their use of the cogs in the workings of uncertainty. Where the masses once sported with their voluntary servitude, they now sport with their involuntary incertitude. Unbeknownst to the experts who scrutinize them and the manipulators who believe they can influence them, they have grasped the fact that politics is virtually dead, and that they now have a new game to play, just as exciting as the ups and downs of the stock market. This game enables them to make audiences, charismas, levels of prestige and the market prices of images dance up and down with an intolerable facility. The masses had been deliberately demoralized and de-ideologized in order that they might become the live prey of probability theory, but now it is they who destabilize all images and play games with political truth.
Jean Baudrillard (The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena)
Nassim Taleb writes in his book Fooled By Randomness: In Pharaonic Egypt … scribes tracked the high-water mark of the Nile and used it as an estimate for a future worst-case scenario. The same can be seen in the Fukushima nuclear reactor, which experienced a catastrophic failure in 2011 when a tsunami struck. It had been built to withstand the worst past historical earthquake, with the builders not imagining much worse—and not thinking that the worst past event had to be a surprise, as it had no precedent. This is not a failure of analysis. It’s a failure of imagination. Realizing the future might not look anything like the past is a special kind of skill that is not generally looked highly upon by the financial forecasting community. At a 2017 dinner I attended in New York, Daniel Kahneman was asked how investors should respond when our forecasts are wrong. He said: Whenever we are surprised by something, even if we admit that we made a mistake, we say, ‘Oh I’ll never make that mistake again.’ But, in fact, what you should learn when you make a mistake because you did not anticipate something is that the world is difficult to anticipate. That’s the correct lesson to learn from surprises: that the world is surprising.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
Two decades after its first democratic election, South Africa ranks as the most unequal country on Earth.1 A host of policy tools could patch each of South Africa’s ills in piecemeal fashion, yet one force would unquestionably improve them all: economic growth.2 Diminished growth lowers living standards. With 5 percent annual growth, it takes just fourteen years to double a country’s GDP; with 3 percent growth, it takes twenty-four years. In general, emerging economies with a low asset base need to grow faster and accumulate a stock of assets more quickly than more developed economies in which basic living standards are already largely met. Meaningfully increasing per capita income is a critical way to lift people’s living standards and take them out of poverty, thereby truly changing the developmental trajectory of the country. South Africa has managed to push growth above a mere 3 percent only four times since the transition from apartheid, and it has remained all but stalled under 5 percent since 2008. And the forecast for growth in years to come hovers around a paltry 1 percent. Because South Africa’s population has been growing around 1.5 percent per year since 2008, the country’s per capita income has been stagnant over the period.
Dambisa Moyo (Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth-and How to Fix It)
Here are my simple rules for identifying market tops and bottoms: 1. Market tops are relatively easy to recognize. Buyers generally become overconfident and almost always believe “this time is different.” It’s usually not. 2. There’s always a surplus of relatively cheap debt capital to finance acquisitions and investments in a hot market. In some cases, lenders won’t even charge cash interest, and they often relax or suspend typical loan restrictions as well. Leverage levels escalate compared to historical averages, with borrowing sometimes reaching as high as ten times or more compared to equity. Buyers will start accepting overoptimistic accounting adjustments and financial forecasts to justify taking on high levels of debt. Unfortunately most of these forecasts tend not to materialize once the economy starts decelerating or declining. 3. Another indicator that a market is peaking is the number of people you know who start getting rich. The number of investors claiming outperformance grows with the market. Loose credit conditions and a rising tide can make it easy for individuals without any particular strategy or process to make money “accidentally.” But making money in strong markets can be short-lived. Smart investors perform well through a combination of self-discipline and sound risk assessment, even when market conditions reverse.
Stephen A. Schwarzman (What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence)
Charming ladies, as I doubt not you know, the understanding of mortals consisteth not only in having in memory things past and taking cognizance of things present; but in knowing, by means of the one and the other of these, to forecast things future is reputed by men of mark to consist the greatest wisdom. To-morrow, as you know, it will be fifteen days since we departed Florence, to take some diversion for the preservation of our health and of our lives, eschewing the woes and dolours and miseries which, since this pestilential season began, are continually to be seen about our city. This, to my judgment, we have well and honourably done; for that, an I have known to see aright, albeit merry stories and belike incentive to concupiscence have been told here and we have continually eaten and drunken well and danced and sung and made music, all things apt to incite weak minds to things less seemly, I have noted no act, no word, in fine nothing blameworthy, either on your part or on that of us men; nay, meseemeth I have seen and felt here a continual decency, an unbroken concord and a constant fraternal familiarity; the which, at once for your honour and service and for mine own, is, certes, most pleasing to me. Lest, however, for overlong usance aught should grow thereof that might issue in tediousness, and that none may avail to cavil at our overlong tarriance,
Giovanni Boccaccio (The Decameron and Collected Works of Giovanni Boccaccio (Illustrated) (Delphi Series Nine Book 2))
Complex operations, in which agencies assume complementary roles and operate in close proximity-often with similar missions but conflicting mandates-accentuate these tensions. The tensions are evident in the processes of analyzing complex environments, planning for complex interventions, and implementing complex operations. Many reports and analyses forecast that these complex operations are precisely those that will demand our attention most in the indefinite future. As essayist Barton and O'Connell note, our intelligence and understanding of the root cause of conflict, multiplicity of motivations and grievances, and disposition of actors is often inadequate. Moreover, the problems that complex operations are intended and implemented to address are convoluted, and often inscrutable. They exhibit many if not all the characteristics of "wicked problems," as enumerated by Rittel and Webber in 1973: they defy definitive formulations; any proposed solution or intervention causes the problem to mutate, so there is no second chance at a solution; every situation is unique; each wicked problem can be considered a symptom of another problem. As a result, policy objectives are often compound and ambiguous. The requirements of stability, for example, in Afghanistan today, may conflict with the requirements for democratic governance. Efforts to establish an equitable social contract may well exacerbate inter-communal tensions that can lead to violence. The rule of law, as we understand it, may displace indigenous conflict management and stabilization systems. The law of unintended consequences may indeed be the only law of the land. The complexity of the challenges we face in the current global environment would suggest the obvious benefit of joint analysis - bringing to bear on any given problem the analytic tools of military, diplomatic and development analysts. Instead, efforts to analyze jointly are most often an afterthought, initiated long after a problem has escalated to a level of urgency that negates much of the utility of deliberate planning.
Michael Miklaucic (Commanding Heights: Strategic Lessons from Complex Operations)
The night before I leave for college, there is a Perseids meteor shower in the forecast. It’s supposed to be a good one. Peter and I are going out to the lake to watch. Kitty doesn’t say so, but she wants to come too; she’s dying to. Her whole body is rigid with wanting and not being able to ask. Any other time I would say yes. When I say good-bye, her lips twist in disappointment for just a second, but she hides it well. How hard it must be to be the youngest sometimes, to be the one left behind. In the car I feel sick with guilt for being so possessive about my time with Peter. It’s just that there’s so little time left now…I’m a terrible big sister. Margot would have brought her. “What are you thinking about?” Peter asks me. “Oh, nothing,” I say. I’m too ashamed to say out loud that I should have invited Kitty along. When I come home for fall break, we’ll do something the three of us. Peter and I will take her to the midnight show at the drive-in, and she’ll go in her pajamas and I’ll set up the backseat with a blanket for when she falls asleep. But tonight I want it to be just Peter and me, just this once. There’s no use lingering in the guilt and ruining the night, when I’ve already done the selfish deed. And if I am truly honest with myself, I would do it again. That’s how covetous I am of every last moment I have left with Peter. I want his eyes only on me; I want to talk only to him, to be just him and me for this little while longer. One day she’ll understand. One day she’ll love a boy and want to keep him all to herself and not share his attention with anyone else. “We should have let Kitty come,” I burst out suddenly. “I know,” he says. “I feel bad too. Do you think she’s mad?” “Sad, probably.” But neither of us suggests turning the car around and going back to get her. We are silent, and then we are both laughing, sheepish and also relieved. Assuredly, Peter says, “We’ll bring her next time.” “Next time,” I echo. I reach over and grab his hand, and lock my fingers around his, and he locks back, and I am comforted in knowing that tonight he feels the exact same way, and there is no distance between us.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
A good family farm produces more, in net terms, than the farm family consumes. The good farmer has secured enough land to grow crops and support his or her livestock. The extra production beyond the farm family’s own consumption can be sold and traded for other goods and services—TVs, clothes, books. Some countries are like good family farms, with more bio-capacity than what it takes, in net terms, to provide for their inhabitants. Compare this with a weekend hobby farm, with honeybees, a rabbit, and an apple tree, where most resources have to be bought from elsewhere. Presently 80% of the world population lives in countries that are like hobby farms. They consume more, in net terms, than what the ecosystems of their country can regenerate. The rest is imported or derives from unsustainable overuse of local fields and forests.
Jørgen Randers (2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years)
There are many who predict that China is the next challenger to the United States, not Russia. I don’t agree with that view for three reasons. First, when you look at a map of China closely, you see that it is really a very isolated country physically. With Siberia in the north, the Himalayas and jungles to the south, and most of China’s population in the eastern part of the country, the Chinese aren’t going to easily expand. Second, China has not been a major naval power for centuries, and building a navy requires a long time not only to build ships but to create well-trained and experienced sailors. Third, there is a deeper reason for not worrying about China. China is inherently unstable. Whenever it opens its borders to the outside world, the coastal region becomes prosperous, but the vast majority of Chinese in the interior remain impoverished.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)
If I know the classical psychological theories well enough to pass my comps and can reformulate them in ways that can impress peer reviewers from the most prestigious journals, but have not the practical wisdom of love, I am only an intrusive muzak soothing the ego while missing the heart. And if I can read tea leaves, throw the bones and manipulate spirits so as to understand the mysteries of the universe and forecast the future with scientific precision, and if I have achieved a renaissance education in both the exoteric and esoteric sciences that would rival Faust and know the equation to convert the mass of mountains into psychic energy and back again, but have not love, I do not even exist. If I gain freedom from all my attachments and maintain constant alpha waves in my consciousness, showing perfect equanimity in all situations, ignoring every personal need and compulsively martyring myself for the glory of God, but this is not done freely from love, I have accomplished nothing. Love is great-hearted and unselfish; love is not emotionally reactive, it does not seek to draw attention to itself. Love does not accuse or compare. It does not seek to serve itself at the expense of others. Love does not take pleasure in other peeople's sufferings, but rejoices when the truth is revealed and meaningful life restored. Love always bears reality as it is, extending mercy to all people in every situation. Love is faithful in all things, is constantly hopeful and meets whatever comes with immovable forbearance and steadfastness. Love never quits. By contrast, prophecies give way before the infinite possibilities of eternity, and inspiration is as fleeting as a breath. To the writing and reading of many books and learning more and more, there is no end, and yet whatever is known is never sufficient to live the Truth who is revealed to the world only in loving relationship. When I was a beginning therapist, I thought a lot and anxiously tried to fix people in order to lower my own anxiety. As I matured, my mind quieted and I stopped being so concerned with labels and techniques and began to realize that, in the mystery of attentive presence to others, the guest becomes the host in the presence of God. In the hospitality of genuine encounter with the other, we come face to face with the mystery of God who is between us as both the One offered One who offers. When all the theorizing and methodological squabbles have been addressed, there will still only be three things that are essential to pastoral counseling: faith, hope, and love. When we abide in these, we each remain as well, without comprehending how, for the source and raison d'etre of all is Love.
Stephen Muse (When Hearts Become Flame: An Eastern Orthodox Approach to the Dia-Logos of Pastoral Counseling)
At a private lunch when I recently asked one of the world’s highest-ranking international diplomats what, among all the possible scenarios for Pakistan, was the most positive vision she held, everyone around the table laughed nervously. This diplomat was surprisingly honest. She admitted that she had not one positive vision for Pakistan. She was candid about a view that leaders widely hold but seldom acknowledge: humanity is on a slippery slope of resource depletion. It is unlikely leaders can do anything about it. Hence, their job is to make sure their people will lose last. This means securing for their people enough resources from the globe’s diminishing resource pie to ensure that their nation will float even if others sink. From this vantage point, money shields a population from losing first. Leaders beholden to this view therefore embrace even more vigorously GDP growth as their key objective; the financial advantage will allow their constituency to stay just a bit further ahead of the others in the resource race to 2052.
Jørgen Randers (2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years)
Many models are constructed to account for regularly observed phenomena. By design, their direct implications are consistent with reality. But others are built up from first principles, using the profession’s preferred building blocks. They may be mathematically elegant and match up well with the prevailing modeling conventions of the day. However, this does not make them necessarily more useful, especially when their conclusions have a tenuous relationship with reality. Macroeconomists have been particularly prone to this problem. In recent decades they have put considerable effort into developing macro models that require sophisticated mathematical tools, populated by fully rational, infinitely lived individuals solving complicated dynamic optimization problems under uncertainty. These are models that are “microfounded,” in the profession’s parlance: The macro-level implications are derived from the behavior of individuals, rather than simply postulated. This is a good thing, in principle. For example, aggregate saving behavior derives from the optimization problem in which a representative consumer maximizes his consumption while adhering to a lifetime (intertemporal) budget constraint.† Keynesian models, by contrast, take a shortcut, assuming a fixed relationship between saving and national income. However, these models shed limited light on the classical questions of macroeconomics: Why are there economic booms and recessions? What generates unemployment? What roles can fiscal and monetary policy play in stabilizing the economy? In trying to render their models tractable, economists neglected many important aspects of the real world. In particular, they assumed away imperfections and frictions in markets for labor, capital, and goods. The ups and downs of the economy were ascribed to exogenous and vague “shocks” to technology and consumer preferences. The unemployed weren’t looking for jobs they couldn’t find; they represented a worker’s optimal trade-off between leisure and labor. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these models were poor forecasters of major macroeconomic variables such as inflation and growth.8 As long as the economy hummed along at a steady clip and unemployment was low, these shortcomings were not particularly evident. But their failures become more apparent and costly in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008–9. These newfangled models simply could not explain the magnitude and duration of the recession that followed. They needed, at the very least, to incorporate more realism about financial-market imperfections. Traditional Keynesian models, despite their lack of microfoundations, could explain how economies can get stuck with high unemployment and seemed more relevant than ever. Yet the advocates of the new models were reluctant to give up on them—not because these models did a better job of tracking reality, but because they were what models were supposed to look like. Their modeling strategy trumped the realism of conclusions. Economists’ attachment to particular modeling conventions—rational, forward-looking individuals, well-functioning markets, and so on—often leads them to overlook obvious conflicts with the world around them.
Dani Rodrik (Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science)
In the EPJ results, there were two statistically distinguishable groups of experts. The first failed to do better than random guessing, and in their longer-range forecasts even managed to lose to the chimp. The second group beat the chimp, though not by a wide margin, and they still had plenty of reason to be humble. Indeed, they only barely beat simple algorithms like “always predict no change” or “predict the recent rate of change.” Still, however modest their foresight was, they had some. So why did one group do better than the other? It wasn’t whether they had PhDs or access to classified information. Nor was it what they thought—whether they were liberals or conservatives, optimists or pessimists. The critical factor was how they thought. One group tended to organize their thinking around Big Ideas, although they didn’t agree on which Big Ideas were true or false. Some were environmental doomsters (“We’re running out of everything”); others were cornucopian boomsters (“We can find cost-effective substitutes for everything”). Some were socialists (who favored state control of the commanding heights of the economy); others were free-market fundamentalists (who wanted to minimize regulation). As ideologically diverse as they were, they were united by the fact that their thinking was so ideological. They sought to squeeze complex problems into the preferred cause-effect templates and treated what did not fit as irrelevant distractions. Allergic to wishy-washy answers, they kept pushing their analyses to the limit (and then some), using terms like “furthermore” and “moreover” while piling up reasons why they were right and others wrong. As a result, they were unusually confident and likelier to declare things “impossible” or “certain.” Committed to their conclusions, they were reluctant to change their minds even when their predictions clearly failed. They would tell us, “Just wait.” The other group consisted of more pragmatic experts who drew on many analytical tools, with the choice of tool hinging on the particular problem they faced. These experts gathered as much information from as many sources as they could. When thinking, they often shifted mental gears, sprinkling their speech with transition markers such as “however,” “but,” “although,” and “on the other hand.” They talked about possibilities and probabilities, not certainties. And while no one likes to say “I was wrong,” these experts more readily admitted it and changed their minds. Decades ago, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote a much-acclaimed but rarely read essay that compared the styles of thinking of great authors through the ages. To organize his observations, he drew on a scrap of 2,500-year-old Greek poetry attributed to the warrior-poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” No one will ever know whether Archilochus was on the side of the fox or the hedgehog but Berlin favored foxes. I felt no need to take sides. I just liked the metaphor because it captured something deep in my data. I dubbed the Big Idea experts “hedgehogs” and the more eclectic experts “foxes.” Foxes beat hedgehogs. And the foxes didn’t just win by acting like chickens, playing it safe with 60% and 70% forecasts where hedgehogs boldly went with 90% and 100%. Foxes beat hedgehogs on both calibration and resolution. Foxes had real foresight. Hedgehogs didn’t.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first. Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past while effect in the future, but future and past are entwined. On the terrace of the Bundesterrasse is a striking view: the river Aare below and the Bernese Alps above. A man stands there just now, absently emptying his pockets and weeping. Without reason, his friends have abandoned him. No one calls any more, no one meets him for supper or beer at the tavern, no one invites him to their home. For twenty years he has been the ideal friend to his friends, generous, interested, soft-spoken, affectionate. What could have happened? A week from this moment on the terrace, the same man begins acting the goat, insulting everyone, wearing smelly clothes, stingy with money, allowing no one to come to his apartment on Laupenstrasse. Which was cause and which effect, which future and which past? In Zürich, strict laws have recently been approved by the Council. Pistols may not be sold to the public. Banks and trading houses must be audited. All visitors, whether entering Zürich by boat on the river Limmat or by rail on the Selnau line, must be searched for contraband. The civil military is doubled. One month after the crackdown, Zürich is ripped by the worst crimes in its history. In daylight, people are murdered in the Weinplatz, paintings are stolen from the Kunsthaus, liquor is drunk in the pews of the Münsterhof. Are these criminal acts not misplaced in time? Or perhaps the new laws were action rather than reaction? A young woman sits near a fountain in the Botanischer Garten. She comes here every Sunday to smell the white double violets, the musk rose, the matted pink gillyflowers. Suddenly, her heart soars, she blushes, she paces anxiously, she becomes happy for no reason. Days later, she meets a young man and is smitten with love. Are the two events not connected? But by what bizarre connection, by what twist in time, by what reversed logic? In this acausal world, scientists are helpless. Their predictions become postdictions. Their equations become justifications, their logic, illogic. Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting. Scientists are buffoons, not because they are rational but because the cosmos is irrational. Or perhaps it is not because the cosmos is irrational but because they are rational. Who can say which, in an acausal world? In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective. Most people have learned how to live in the moment. The argument goes that if the past has uncertain effect on the present, there is no need to dwell on the past. And if the present has little effect on the future, present actions need not be weighed for their consequence. Rather, each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own. Families comfort a dying uncle not because of a likely inheritance, but because he is loved at that moment. Employees are hired not because of their résumés, but because of their good sense in interviews. Clerks trampled by their bosses fight back at each insult, with no fear for their future. It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.
Alan Lightman (Einstein's Dreams)
Psychologically, the United States is a bizarre mixture of overconfidence and insecurity. Interestingly, this is the precise description of the adolescent mind, and that is exactly the American condition in the twenty-first century. The world’s leading power is having an extended adolescent identity crisis, complete with incredible new strength and irrational mood swings. Historically, the United States is an extraordinarily young and therefore immature society. So at this time we should expect nothing less from America than bravado and despair. How else should an adolescent feel about itself and its place in the world? But if we think of the United States as an adolescent, early in its overall history, then we also know that, regardless of its self-image, adulthood lies ahead. Adults tend to be more stable and more powerful than adolescents. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that America is in the earliest phase of its power. It is not fully civilized. America, like Europe in the sixteenth century, is still barbaric (a description, not a moral judgment). Its culture is unformed. Its will is powerful. Its emotions drive it in different and contradictory directions. Cultures live in one of three states. The first state is barbarism. Barbarians believe that the customs of their village are the laws of nature and that anyone who doesn’t live the way they live is beneath contempt and requiring redemption or destruction. The third state is decadence. Decadents cynically believe that nothing is better than anything else. If they hold anyone in contempt, it is those who believe in anything. Nothing is worth fighting for. Civilization is the second and most rare state. Civilized people are able to balance two contradictory thoughts in their minds. They believe that there are truths and that their cultures approximate those truths. At the same time, they hold open in their mind the possibility that they are in error. The combination of belief and skepticism is inherently unstable. Cultures pass through barbarism to civilization and then to decadence, as skepticism undermines self-certainty Civilized people fight selectively but effectively. Obviously all cultures contain people who are barbaric, civilized, or decadent, but each culture is dominated at different times by one principle.
George Friedman (The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century)