Seeing the future
Thursday, May 01, 2008
I'm not a big believer of future predictions, although I have partaken in the typical forecasting exercise. I also did some research on technology foresighting, but nothing prepared me for a bit of insight I got yesterday.
Seeing the future is not always good, and can even be useless.
What I mean is that a person with the ability to see the future would know things that could change the present. So I was thinking that if I could see ahead, I would only want to see the bad things the future holds for me (or anyone). It would be useless to know that I have a happy future. In other words, why would I want to change a good life?
Also, knowing that something bad will happen is irrelevant; the knowledge should have a 1-to-1 mappings with knowing the decision that leads to bad futures in the first place. For example, if I knew that in 10 days I will eat a bad tuna sandwich, I would like know the point in time when I made the decision to pick the tuna instead of the ham. Of course, this is not an easy problem to solve, as we have seen or read in countless time travelers' accounts: they either change the present too little or too much.