March 05, 2009


Also via David, a very interesting and different type of post with thoughts on the coming century: Forward to the past.

Posted by Sarah at March 5, 2009 08:05 AM | TrackBack

This post ties in nicely with the part of Taleb's The Black Swan that I started to read this morning, "We Just Can't Predict." Our predictions tend to be linear extrapolations of the past: in short, more of the same. But as Yogi Berra said, "The future ain't what it used to be." Taleb commented,

He [Berra] seems to have been right: the gains in our ability to model (and predict) the world may be dwarfed by the increases in its complexity - implying a greater and greater role for the unexpected.
Posted by: Amritas at March 5, 2009 02:47 PM

Amritas -- It also reminded me of Michael Crichton's horse manure predictions.

Posted by: Sarah at March 5, 2009 02:59 PM

David, that's the classic example of linear extrapolation gone wrong. Thanks!

The Jetsons is another example. Everything on that show is just a futuristic version of 1962. It's as accurate as The Flintstones.

I forgot to ask: will the gulch be in space?

Gordon R. Dickson had a very interesting concept in the demise of ubanized society with the opening of space travel as the condensed masses of humanity formed ‘marching societies’ that were disrupting social order. Those would snowball into a human diaspora where self-contained ideas on religion, science or just how to lead one’s life would push to leave Earth and become splinters of humanity each seeking a different way forward. That is an extrapolation of the known problem of primitive society with few social structures reaching a maximum stable size at 120 to 150 people.

Sarah's 300 come to mind. Come on board. Destination: Sarah's Star!

Posted by: Amritas at March 5, 2009 03:39 PM

Oops, for some reason I thought David Foster wrote your comment, Sarah! I'm sorry!

Posted by: Amritas at March 5, 2009 11:11 PM