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Bias, mistakes, errors

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Futurism Needs More Women. In the future, everyone’s going to have a robot assistant.

Futurism Needs More Women

That’s the story, at least. And as part of that long-running narrative, Facebook just launched its virtual assistant. They’re calling it Moneypenny—the secretary from the James Bond Films. Which means the symbol of our march forward, once again, ends up being a nod back. In this case, Moneypenny is a send-up to an age when Bond’s womanizing was a symbol of manliness and many women were, no matter what they wanted to be doing, secretaries.

Why can’t people imagine a future without falling into the sexist past? Both the World Future Society and the Association of Professional Futurists are headed by women right now. Somehow, I’ve become a person who reports on futurists. It turns out that what makes someone a futurist, and what makes something futurism, isn’t well defined. Cultural Contradictions of Scanning in an Evidence-based Policy Envir… Apophenia. Apophenia /æpɵˈfiːniə/ is the experience of perceiving patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.


The term is attributed to Klaus Conrad[1] by Peter Brugger,[2] who defined it as the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness", but it has come to represent the human tendency to seek patterns in random information in general, such as with gambling and paranormal phenomena.[3] Meanings and forms[edit] In 2008, Michael Shermer coined the word "patternicity", defining it as "the tendency to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise".[6][7] In The Believing Brain (2011), Shermer says that we have "the tendency to infuse patterns with meaning, intention, and agency", which Shermer calls "agenticity".[8] Statistics[edit] Pareidolia[edit] Pareidolia is a type of apophenia involving the perception of images or sounds in random stimuli, for example, hearing a ringing phone while taking a shower.

Gambling[edit] Examples[edit] Neil Postman - technology is no substitute for human values.


Bias. Normality hypnosis. The Nine Kinds of Bad Futurists (NOT an exhaustive list) — Idea Sushi. “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever”.

The Nine Kinds of Bad Futurists (NOT an exhaustive list) — Idea Sushi

George Orwell I’m not that taken with futurists. It’s not that I dislike all of them, not at all. I admire some futurists greatly, and others I see as consummate professionals. In fact, I even call some of them friends. So I decided to list the different kinds of bad futurist, as a somewhat handy field guide for the futurist-spotter. I’ve put the bad futurists into nine categories, but you should remember that there is a great deal of overlap between these categories. So, to the list, then. The Obfuscator/ObscurantistThe Shock-JockThe Mindless Optimist/PessimistThe Pseudo-AcademicThe TrendsterThe NeologizerThe Cookie-CutterThe ProselytizerThe Mystic Which one you find most annoying is completely up to you, but all of them are pretty bad. Our first type, the obfuscator, who might also be called the obscurantist, is not interested in telling you anything worthwhile about the future. Errones, infectious biases that corrupt thinking.

I know it isn’t always obvious in some of my blogs what they have to do with the future.

Errones, infectious biases that corrupt thinking

This one is about error tendencies, but of course making an error now affects the future, so they are relevant and in any case, there is even a future for error tendencies. A lot of the things I will talk about are getting worse, so there is a significant futures trend here too. Much of the future is determined by happenings filtered through human nature so anything that affects human nature strongly should be an important consideration in futurology. Enough justification for my human nature thinkings. On with the show. Hormones are chemicals that tend to push the behavior of an organic process in a particular direction, including feelings and consequentially analysis. In much the same way, many other forces can influence our thinking or perception and hence analysis of external stimuli such as physical facts or statistics. Error-forcing agents Errones Consensus Authority Vested interest.

Cognitive biases in futurist thinking. Hedgehog and fox finger puppetsby Linda Brown (Etsy shop owner) “No serious futurist deals in predictions”.

cognitive biases in futurist thinking

These are the famous words of Alvin Toffler in his seminal book Future Shock from 1971. Instead, future studies usually describe a number of plausible futures pointing at different directions for the world or society. Never predicting, just analyzing uncertainty and complexity. However, the topics of these scenarios for the future are constructed from ‘contemporary’ thinking. The availability bias explains that people have the idea that whatever is recalled easily must be very common. The anchoring bias is also what makes it difficult not to be influenced too much by current affairs. The confirmation bias states that people tend to confirm their beliefs. We also observe here the confidence bias, which works on top of the confirmation bias. The narrative fallacy points at the basis human tendency of telling stories. Futurists needs these introspective moments.

10 Big Mistakes People Make in Thinking About the Future. Photo Credit: Frank Peters Being a working futurist means that I think a lot about how people think about the future.

10 Big Mistakes People Make in Thinking About the Future

It also means spending a lot of time with people who are also thinking about their own futures. Typically, this involves a dialogue between three distinct groups.