Science

The Realpolitik of Forecasting

Everybody makes forecasts. The high end engages writers, think-tanks, governments and business organisations making predictions on such weighty matters as the future of humanity, climate change, earthquakes, tomorrow’s weather, the economy, election outcomes, urban development, job prospects, and the costs and benefits of one or another grand project. At the low end perhaps as much effort is expended on fortune telling, gambling strategies and athletic events involving human, equine, canine or other competitors. With this vast range, forecasts take many forms, use many different methods, and serve many agendas. In the form of dystopias they can provide powerful warnings, as…

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