Been reading Phillip Tetlock’s book “Superforecasters” since predicting
what will happen is something we often like to do in science. As Charles
Kettering once said about his interest in the future ‘because the rest of
his life’ will be spent there.
Forecasting is hard work and can be learned. People who do it well,
Tetlock opines, have a strong interest in information, a willingness to
adjust to new data, an ability to synthesize a view from various
perspectives, like a ‘dragonfly’s eye.’ They also pay attention to their
prediction compared to the actual result to learn from.
A rough process outline includes
1.’unpacking’ the question into components
2.distinguish between the known and unknown, while not leaving
3.assess the question from an objective ‘outside viewpoint’
4.put the problem into a comparative perspective, which downplays its
uniqueness and treats it as a special case
5.explore others’ predictions for similarities and differences
6.pay attention to broader predictions from wider sources [wisdom
7.synthesize the information and compare to actual, learning what
can be done to improve
The singularity where technological intelligence overtakes human abilities
is predicted to be in 2030 [Vinge ] and 2045 [Kurzweil ].
Interesting competitions in forecasting provide events for evolving