Morpheus on… Predictions

It is said that “the past is another country” – but they might well add “the future is another galaxy.” I.e., we all know they exist, but have no idea what they are like.

The problem with prediction is that mistakes are EXPONENTIAL. That is to say, once theorised, the errors then MULTIPLY.

Thus you can be fairly precise looking a few years ahead – but the further you go, the more out of wack you become.

Like, the 1936 film of HG Wells’ “The Shape Of Things To Come” begins reasonably accurately; WW2 (in Europe) kicks off in 1940, as opposed to late 1939.

However from that point on, it falls apart. The war continues to the SIXTIES, with giant bombers featuring several PROPS on each wing – in the mid-Thirties, the JET engine and RADAR were still on the drawing board.

And while “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) had Arthur C Clarke on board, it featured human hibernation and a giant space station, with a gravity wheel – neither of which have happened, 14 years later.

He never foresaw the US government’s disenchantment with space research, once they had beaten Russia to the Moon.

Plus little details like “BBC 12” – Auntie only has four channels today – and thanks largely to Lockerbie, Pan-Am went belly-up in 1991.

So be satisfied with the PRESENT – the future is utterly incalculable.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cy Quick on September 14, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    The writer in a late 1950s special edition of Everybodys magazine in UK, when I was about to leave school and had no clue what to do with my life, said that Automation would soon be a problem because robotic machines would do the work and we humans would be bored to distraction. So the politicians’ problem and duty was to invent lots of leisure activities for the proletariat aka peasants. Oh really?

    Now, in 2015, as I listen to Tony Paul doing his Radio Caroline breakfast show from LA which I have visited three times from UK by jet, Virgin or BA, on my state pension (with supplementary benefit paying my rent) I would like to know why the politicians are still nagging young fellow citizens to find (non-existent) jobs. And I am still angry that the US quit settlement of Selene. Now THAT would have created some great jobs.

  2. Posted by Alfie on September 16, 2015 at 3:17 am

    I feel I should point out, with the upcoming release of Star Wars VII, that it is actually the PAST that is another Galaxy – as in “Long ago in a Galaxy far away”.

    I would also like modestly to refer your other reader to one of my early efforts in the same general area here – if that’s OK with you.


  3. Posted by Vincent on September 17, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Alfie… My pleasure – and I had already corrected the typo, before I read your request!

  4. Posted by Vincent on September 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Cy… NO! I LIKE this! You’re absolutely RIGHT.

    I have always said that as automation progresses, governments should move over to a system where benefit is a RIGHT – and gear a part of education towards LEISURE.

    But instead, the UK government has just pretended full employment under the present system is possible and made getting benefit ever harder to obtain by the young.

    And when the disenfranchised kids go on the rampage, they feign SURPRISE.


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