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.