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The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Forecasting Armageddon has become trendy of late, with a great deal of attention being given to an interpretation of the Mayan Calendar suggesting that Mother Earth is destined for doom in December of 2012.
Commercial institutions, proud of their achievements, do not see that healthy living systems - clean air and water, healthy soil, stable climates - are integral to a functioning economy. As our living systems deteriorate, traditional forecasting and business economics become the equivalent of house rules on a sinking cruise ship.
There are domains in which expertise is not possible. Stock picking is a good example. And in long-term political strategic forecasting, it's been shown that experts are just not better than a dice-throwing monkey.
Forecasting our futures is built into our psyches because we will soon have to manage that future. We have no choice. No matter how often we fail, we can never stop trying.
We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.
Future forecasting is all about testing strategies - it's like a wind tunnel.
A forecasting game is a kind of simulation, a kind of scenario, a kind of teleconference, a kind of artifact from the future - and more - that enlists the participants as 'first-person forecasters.'
Whenever you try to pick market tops and bottoms, you are making a prediction. Guessing what stock is going to outperform the market is forecasting, as is selling a stock for no apparent reason. Indeed, nearly all capital decisions made by most people are unconscious predictions.
And this is one way to do technology forecasting; get a sense of where technology is, and then anticipate the next upturn.
The reason why China forecasting has such a poor track record is that Westerners constantly invoke the model and experience of the West to explain China, and it is a false prophet. Until we start trying to understand China on its own terms, rather than as a Western-style nation in the making, we will continue to get it wrong.
Never forget this simple truism: Forecasting is marketing, plain and simple.
It is important for investors to understand what they do and don't know. Learn to recognize that you cannot possibly know what is going to happen in the future, and any investment plan that is dependent on accurately forecasting where markets will be next year is doomed to failure.
The funds from the sale were put into research and general teaching budgets at the university. Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates, Inc., is now a growing enterprise with many model and other econometric facilities.
Lawrence R. Klein
Now it will take a long time to scale biofuels, but I'm the only one in the world forecasting oil dropping in price to $35 a barrel by 2030. I'll put it on the record: Oil will not be able to compete with cellulosic biofuels. If you do it from food, the food will get so expensive you can't make fuel out of it.
Computer modelling for weather forecasting, and indeed for climate forecasting, has reached its limits.
Forecasting is simply not a strength of the species; we are much better with tools and narrative storytelling.
The Fifties and Sixties were years of unreal optimism about weather forecasting. Newspapers and magazines were filled with hope for weather science, not just for prediction but for modification and control. Two technologies were maturing together: the digital computer and the space satellite.
I came up with a 'forecasting cell,' which is basically a mixed intention cell or chord that is a complete hybrid of a consonance and a dissonance, and what that does when you are improvising is lead you to where you are supposed to go.
I think the association of economics with forecasting is unfortunate and is down to the fact that one great way to get an investment bank's name on business television is to hire a guy called a Chief Economist who will go and prognosticate.
Using a forecasting company is like going to a fortune-teller. If you believe the company and the color does not sell, who do you blame? The forecasters? No, you blame yourself.
I never understand why 'economist makes forecast' is ever a headline. Whether the economist in question is from the International Monetary Fund, a City forecasting group or the Treasury - a forecast is still not news.
Part of my advantage is that my strength is economic forecasting, but that only works in free markets, when markets are smarter than people. That's how I started. I watched the stock market, how equities reacted to change in levels of economic activity, and I could understand how price signals worked and how to forecast them.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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