Tagged: prediction

Improve mental models not metaphorical balls - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Nov 02, 2020

Writing in the magazine Foreign Affairs Scoblic & Tetlock highlight that the US spends over a trillion dollars a year on national security but is continually being surprised by events. This they put down to taking the wrong approach in thinking about the future. The tendency (not just in the US) is to extrapolate from (and so … Read More

Science in the 20’s – part 2 - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Feb 02, 2020

  Will the 2020’s be a case of, to borrow the words of the illustrious Martian botanist Mark Watney,  “sciencing the sh*t” out of the big problems facing us? In some cases yes. In some cases no, because it isn’t science that is missing. In many other cases, maybe. If we can improve the system. Read More

Science in the ’20s – part 1 - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jan 15, 2020

  Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes justifiably, most times not. Looking ahead ten … Read More

The science of prediction - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 04, 2017

It’s coming up to that time of year when predictions start popping out like buskers playing Christmas jingles. We all know a litany of bad predictions: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876 “I think there is … Read More

Tomorrow really never comes - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 10, 2017

In Zeno’s philosophical paradox Achilles can never overtake the tortoise. Similarly, it sometimes seems that future technologies never arrive. Grace Ballenger and Aaron Mak writing in Slate highlight the “Goldilocks” zone of technological predictions – the next big thing is neither too close to be here by Christmas, nor too far away to become purely fictional. The … Read More

After the Singularity - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Nov 13, 2016

SingularityU’s summit happens in Christchurch this coming week. It’s purpose is to see how to “… thrive in an exponentially changing world” I’m not a fan of SingularityU. They seem overly enamoured with exponential change, rather than taking a more considered approach to looking towards the future. However, as an event to highlight emerging technological trends it is … Read More

The next 90 years - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jun 26, 2016

In my previous post I noted that the last 90 years saw a tremendous amount of change. Are the next 90 going to be as, or more, turbulent? Or as “golden”? Given that no one in 1926 could predict what the world in 2016 would be like, what’s the point now of looking ahead? One reason is … Read More

Algorithmic organisms? - Ariadne

Robert Hickson May 21, 2016

Here’s a really absurd mis-reading of biology from a Professor of History in a Huffington Post interview: The whole of biology since Darwin can be summarized in three words: “Organisms are algorithms.” I wasn’t aware that we were living in the Matrix. This is the type of talk you most commonly hear from Silicon Valley folk talking or writing about technological progress and what … Read More