Are you a futurist? I think you are. You can actually predict the future with incredible accuracy. I’ll explain. Let’s talk about driving, and how astounding I think it is that you don’t crash every time you get behind the wheel.
The reason you don’t crash every time
Moment by moment, you continually predict the trajectory of your car with mathematical precision.
If you see that traffic has stopped up ahead, your brain calculates when and how severely to push the brakes in order to stop in time. All the while, it makes constant adjustments, like, uh oh, the car up ahead is decelerating quicker than anticipated; I need to push the breaks 50% harder in order to stop quickly enough. But I can’t push 100% harder because I’ll stop too quickly and might get rear-ended…
You can only make these calculations by comparing your current state with what you project your future state to be in 1, 5, 15 seconds.
You’re a futurist!
And you’re probably a heck of a lot better at it than you think. In fact, you’re only alive right now because you’re such a natural at predicting the future.
How much time do you spend driving? Let’s do the math. If you’re the average driver in the USA: 1 hour per day driving back and forth from work * 5 days a week * 52 weeks a year = 260 hrs = You spend 10.8 days every year driving.
And how many years does it take to produce a single crash? If you’re in the USA, it’s 17.9 years.
Therefore, during that time, you’ll spend 10.8 * 17.9 = 193.32 days driving.
You will only crash once every 193 days’ worth of continually creating fleeting, moment-by-moment predictions into your immediate future.
Is this not incredible?! Such accuracy at predicting the future!
But Ersan, you’re talking about short-term prediction. It’s not rocket science.
You’re right. And longer-term prediction is harder to do. Lets extend the time frame out and see what happens.
30 seconds from now
Hard to predict? No. You’ll probably be doing the same thing you are now.
1 hour from now
Some less certainty, but still… If it’s currently 10 minutes from your bed time, you can know with reasonable certainty that in 1 hour you’ll be asleep. If you’re almost to work, in 1 hour you’ll be at work.
2 weeks from now
You’ll probably be working in the same job.
10 years from now
Getting difficult. But some circumstances create clarification. Like, if you’re currently a meth addict, your future is suddenly easier to predict. If your oldest child is 8 years old, you’re a loving parent, and you have the financial means to pay for college, you can say with reasonable certainty that your child will be leaving to college in 10 years.
Now let’s make things exponentially more complicated
Can you predict the future of not one child, but of all humanity?
Daunting, huh. So many variables involved. Mindblowing.
But once in awhile a smart person detects a pattern with such incredible momentum that it can be relied upon to make predictions years into the future.
Like Moore’s Law. Just amazing. I shake my head in disbelief every time I think about it. The part that amazes me is not that he found the pattern, but that such a pattern can exist and be observed. How many variables lined up just right to make that pattern observable? Ugh. I need a drink.
If a prediction on the scale of Moore’s Law can be so confoundingly reliable…. imagine what other patterns are out there, as yet undetected. The professional futurist finds these patterns and describes them to humanity.
You can do it, too. Just focus your telescope a little further out. You’re a natural at this whole predicting thing, after all.