If We Knew the Outcome of a War, There Would be No Need to Fight It

The determining cause of most wars in the past has been, and probably will be of all wars in the future, the uncertainty of the result; war is acknowledged to be a challenge to the Unknown, it is often spoken of as an appeal to the God of Battles. The province of science is to foretell; this is true of every department of science. And the time must come—how soon we do not know—when the real science of war, something quite different from the application of science to the means of war, will make it possible to foresee with certainty the issue of a projected war. That will mark the end of battles; for however strong the spirit of contention, no nation will spend its money in a fight in which it knows it must lose.


Quote from Sir Michael Foster Times Literary Supplement, 28 Nov 1902, 353-4.

Folksonomies: statistics war chaos theory

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29 APR 2013

 Predicting the Future

Memes about entropy, probability, statistics, Bayesian modeling, and generally predicting the future.