Changing Predictions And Predicting Changes

At the start of a New Year, it’s traditional to try to predict the future. I’m not going to do that.

Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. ~ Niels Bohr

I find it hard enough to understand the present, more less predict the future. It seems to me that the present has a way of sneaking up on us while we’re still living in the past.

In fact, predicting the future can often become counter-productive:

… beliefs about the future are so rarely correct that they usually aren’t worth the extra rigidity they impose, and that the best strategy is simply to be aggressively open-minded. Instead of trying to point yourself in the right direction, admit you have no idea what the right direction is, and try instead to be super sensitive to the winds of change. ~ Paul Grahm

So rather than attempt — and fail — to predict the future, I’ll simply share with you a few of the guideposts I use in my quixotic quest to remain open minded about the future:


Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods. ~ Albert Einstein

Rationalizing, Not Rational

The human mind is a delusion generator, not a window to truth. ~ Scott Adams


Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Proverbs in Prose

The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. ~ Antisthenes

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. ~ Attributed to Mark Twain and probably inspired by Josh Billings


When experts are wrong, it’s often because they’re experts on an earlier version of the world. ~ Paul Grahm


You must accept the truth from whatever source it comes. ~ Moses Ben Maimon Maimonides

You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence. ~ Christopher Hitchens


It is not the writer’s task to answer questions but to question answers. ~ Edward Abbey


Take your work seriously, but never yourself. ~ Dame Margot Fonteyn

Wishing you and yours the very best New Year.

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

2 thoughts on “Changing Predictions And Predicting Changes”

  1. Happy New Year John,

    What I like about Apple (and to a lesser extent Google) is that they are motivated to make the future what they think it should be in the area of their expertise and leave the rest alone.

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