Thursday, September 8, 2011

Future Babble

I read this work just after reading his 'The Science of Fear' (also published as 'Risk').  Many of the ideas and most of the methodologies have been carried over from this earlier work.  For that I reason I've given this book 4 rather than 5 stars but it is a brilliant piece of work which cuts across ideological frontiers to offer some honest analysis of what futurism generally gets right...just about nothing.  Which ties it closely to the earlier 'The Science of Fear'. 

At the end of the book he offers a bit of a rationale for prediction but warns against reading too closely or discounting variables which could change the outcome.  Mostly, he argues against arrogance and certainty in favour of humility and uncertainty.  In a word predictions are at best: provision.  They may offer direction, suggestions, and ideas worth mulling.  But they can not and should not offer certainty. 

A very useful book in the face of all the futurist books out there...from psychics to environmental armageddon to the rise of China and the fall of America. 

Very with statistics, psychology, neuroscience, general science, political science, sociology, cultural anthropology, current events, and the history of predictions (this was really interesting and made the book worthwhile on its own....but much more made it worth reading as well).

Highly Recommended

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