SNS: Special Letter: A Consumer’s Guide: Forecasting Futurism

SNS: Special Letter: A Consumer’s Guide: Forecasting Futurism


Volume 15, Issue 6    
Week of February 6, 2012

In This Issue


Special Letter: A Consumer’s Guide: Forecasting Futurism In The Age of Information Glut

  • When Too Much Information Invites Darkness
  • Information Explodes
  • Corralling Cats
  • Grasping for Knowledge
  • Risk and Bias in Futurism and Forecasting
  • Risk, Redefined
  • Forecasting and Futurism for One
  • Into the Future
  • Other Works of Note
  • About Thad McIlroy


Publisher’s Note: In this week’s Special Letter, well-known publishing expert Thad McIlroy attacks the question of one’s choices regarding prediction when faced with more data than can be absorbed by one person. It’s an important question: do regular folks (i.e., smart people who do something else for a living) just give up on knowing what’s coming next, or (no joke intended) do they just buy SNS?

Here I have to make a few differentiating comments, given the subject of this week’s discussion. First, these are Thad’s comments and ideas, and not my own. While I consider this piece to be an excellent work on the question, and while I agree with almost all of his comments here, there are some places where I would have said things differently.

Regardless, it is undeniable that the logarithmic increase in available data makes the development of information, knowledge, and wisdom all the more difficult today than yesterday. And it’s even more important, as Thad clearly lays out, that risk (and its arbitrage) matters more each day for this reason.

I’ll make a few more comments about the business of predicting at the end of this piece. Suffice it to say, I think Thad has done the best job I’ve seen in years in describing the tightrope I’ve come to know so intimately since we started in 1995, and he’s done a magnificent job in describing many of the working parts that go into forecasting and predicting. – mra.

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