17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Diderot on Information Overload

As long as the centuries continue to unfold, the number of books will grow continually, and one can predict that a time will come when it will be almost as difficult to learn anything from books as from the direct study of the whole universe. It will be almost as convenient to search for some bit of truth concealed in nature as it will be to find it hidden away in an immense multitude of bound volumes. When that time comes, a project, until then neglected because the need for it was not felt,...
Folksonomies: information overload
Folksonomies: information overload
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Economic Forecasting VS Science Fiction Predictions

There are two ways to predict the progress of technology. One way is economic forecasting, the other way is science fiction. Economic forecasting makes predictions by extrapolating curves of growth from the past into the future. Science fiction makes a wild guess and leaves the judgment of its plausibility to the reader. Economic forecasting is useful for predicting the future up to about ten years ahead. Beyond ten years it rapidly becomes meaningless. Beyond ten years the quantitative chang...
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21 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 Climate Forecasts vs Projections

"Projections are essential for giving us information on long-term trends, but the timescale is beyond what many policy makers (and the public) consider to be relevant to their decision-making processes. Climate forecasts seek to address this issue by providing information on a shorter term (decadal) that can be used directly to inform policy," he said. "As climate forecasts improve, they will become more and more important in providing reliable information on what is likely to happen to the c...
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Forecasts are short-term predictions intended to inform policymakers because projections, which predict the long-term trend, are beyond political scope.

21 JUN 2014 by ideonexus

 The Rate of Change of a Rate of Change

In scientific thought we adopt the simplest theory which will explain all the facts under consideration and enable us to predict new facts of the same kind. The catch in this criterion lies in the word 'simplest'. It is really an aesthetic canon such as we find implicit in our criticisms of poetry or painting. The layman finds such a law as dx/dt = K(d^2x/dy^2) much less simple than 'it oozes', of which it is the mathematical statement. The physicist reverses this judgment, and his statement ...
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21 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Common Sense Does Not Predict

Common sense ... has the very curious property of being more correct retrospectively than prospectively. It seems to me that one of the principal criteria to be applied to successful science is that its results are almost always obvious retrospectively; unfortunately, they seldom are prospectively. Common sense provides a kind of ultimate validation after science has completed its work; it seldom anticipates what science is going to discover.
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Science predicts, common sense comes along afterwards.