Paul Saffo, “Embracing Uncertainty – the secret to effective forecasting”

Posted on Monday, January 14th, 02008 by Stewart Brand
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Paul Saffo

Rules of Forecasting

Reflecting on his 25 years as a forecaster, Paul Saffo pointed out that a forecaster’s job is not to predict outcomes, but to map the “cone of uncertainty” on a subject. Where are the edges of what might happen? (Uncertainty is cone-shaped because it expands as you project further into the future— next decade has more surprises in store than next week.)

Rule: Wild cards sensitize us to surprise, and they push the edges of the cone out further…

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary


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