What is the one skill you need in order to predict the future?
Published by Jordan Skole on 2/26/2022
Telling the future is pretty easy! Well, some futures at least.
Let's say I have my arm outstretched and am holding an apple.
I tell you I am going to open my hand.
What do you think is going to happen to the apple?
You'd be wise to tell me that you think the apple would fall towards the ground.
We could make the thought experiment even more certain. Let's say that I have already dropped an apple from my third floor balcony. It is halfway to the floor.
Imagine that we are able to pause time so that I can ask you what will happen to the apple in the next 1/4 of a second.
I could probably even ask you to pinpoint in 3-dimensional space where you expect the apple to be after 1/4 second has passed.
Given enough time, and enough information about the apple's journey from my hand to the halfway point you would be able to do a pretty darn good job.
Some futures are hard to predict, but some futures are easy to predict. Can you predict the future? I don't even know what that means.
But we can easily predict some futures.
Things that we can measure are called objective truths
The things we can objectively measure are called objective truths.
In the classical definition, which is standard throughout the physical sciences, measurement is the determination or estimation of ratios of quantities. Quantity and measurement are mutually defined: quantitative attributes are those possible to measure, at least in principle. The classical concept of quantity can be traced back to John Wallis and Isaac Newton, and was foreshadowed in Euclid's Elements.
As Niel Degrasse Tyson puts it, objective truths are true whether we believe them or not.
The qualities of objective truths are key to the ability to predict the future. Because an objective truth is defined by our ability to quantify it, it stands to reason that if we have measured a thing previously, regardless of our intents or desires, that measurement is durable.
Meaning that since measurement and quantifiability by it's very nature will repeatedly produce the same results independant of the person performing the measurement, we can say with near perfect certainty the next measurement will produce results nearly identical to previous measurements.
It is the ability to reproduce an outcome for a given set of inputs (the deterministic quality of measurement) that makes it objective in the first place!
At work we often refer to this as tier 1 data, raw data, or primary source data.
The things that we hold to be true, despite our inability to measure them are our personal truths.
Okay so there