Vail Daily column: Forecasting future foretells failure
Only six days in and already 2015 is full of twists and turns and all sorts of surprises that no one could have possibly imagined.
OK, I suppose a few east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon Line could have foreseen the Ohio State victory over Alabama, but for the most part, “Twenty-Fifteen” (just writing it like that makes me think of the World Championships) is shaping up to be, well, to be just like every other year in recorded history.
What makes us think we can predict anything with certainty, much less the future?
(See what I did there with those words, and the way they … oh, never mind)
Sure, there are those of the supernatural-believing kind who are convinced they “know” what will happen in the days yet to pass, but like all charlatans, from Mayan stone carvers to evangelical threat-makers to astrology fruitcakes, none can ever predict any action other than through the convenient use of hindsight.
And no, I’m not referring to the correct prognostications of football games, elections, Academy Award winners or knowing who’s calling before looking at your phone screen.
History has proven time and time again that no matter what some say, random events are exactly that — random — and unless those events have an indirect or direct cause (basically the Butterfly Effect), they will have no fewer random outcomes than chimps throwing darts on a wall of infinite possibilities.
Those things that we do “know” ahead of time are the result of good guesses based upon available data and past experiences, nothing more, except for the occasional “luck” of extreme coincidence, like winning the lottery or running into an old girlfriend with your wife at a bar.
Some people even get paid to predict the future, and they’re called, believe it or not, “futurists” in intellectual circles, but the rest of us call them stockbrokers and weathermen.
So having cleared that up, what are the biggest predictions for 2015?
Hell, I don’t have any idea, but I do know a candidate will announce her intentions to run for president, but whether the name is Clinton remains unknown.
President Obama will be accused, through one right-wing website or another, of inciting a race war, a civil war, promoting Marxism, funding the Muslim Brotherhood, secretly supporting ISIS, shredding the Constitution, giving amnesty to illegals, using death panels against seniors, being an emperor, exposing white people to Ebola and playing golf.
Only the last one will be probably be true.
And that’s about it, other than the painfully obvious, such as either the Dallas Cowboys or Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl, Lindsey Vonn will win a downhill race and Mikaela Shiffrin will win a slalom.
Some things are just no-brainers.
One percent of the nation — comprised of conspiracy theorists, those wishing to be elected and the media — will constantly overreact to every little unanticipated surprise over the next 12 months for their own selfish little reasons, leaving the remaining 99 percent to do what we have always done.
Adapt, and then move on.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.