Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why a Remarkably Prescient Group of Forecasts were so Accurate

The following is an excerpt, from an 800 page
(I think that's the count) book, that retired UC
Davis Professor Kenneth Watt has graciously
allowed me to post. This is a long document, so
I am putting most of it on another blog page,
but the outline is here, please read the rest.

Justina (Mary Christine Erikson)

Chapter 3. why a Remarkably Prescient Group of
Forecasts were so Accurate

Brief Outline

There is an extremely revealing way we can determine which are
useful and which are potentially catastrophic approaches to
thinking about the future. We can assemble a set of forecasts that
have proved remarkably prescient, and another set which have
been proved remarkably inaccurate, and identify the differences in
the methods that were used in the two sets of cases. This chapter
deals with a set of five remarkably accurate forecasts.

The subjects abut which accurate predictions were made include
war, air war, the overall character of society, and the future
production of fossil fuels. Only one of the five made extensive use
of mathematical models. The key to success in all cases was that
their conceptual models of reality were strongly influenced by real
world data, not abstract reasoning based on untested assumptions.
That is, realistic, accurate forecasters are concrete random
thinkers, not abstract sequential thinkers (de Bono, 1977). Their
worldview is driven by exhaustive research on facts and causal
pathways, not belief.

[For the rest of this document, please click this link

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