Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: The future is invented, not predicted.

  1. #1

    The future is invented, not predicted.

    Hey everyone, I'm new to this, but from what I've read so far you're a very knowlegable group so I thought I'd pick your brain a bit. I'm doing a debate for school on whether the future is predicted or invented and actually think its a pretty good topic when it comes to planning. Just wondered if anyone wanted to share their insights and experiences. Cheers.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I don't think those things are contradictory: the future can be both predicted (within certain parameters) and invented (within certain parameters).

    Example: My oldest child has a lot of "issues". When he was 3 years old, I realized that I needed to do something significant while his brain was still growing (until the age of about 6) or I could predict dire consequences for his future (and mine, as his caretaker). It turns out the brain is more maleable than is generally believed, especially in children, and my window of opportunity for intervention was greater than that -- but I believe I was completely right to intercede early. Anyway, having predicted a dire future that I did not desire, I set about inventing a future more to my liking.

    Predicting the future is about accurately observing "trends" (for lack of a better word) which you may or may not have the power to alter. Inventing the future is about using those predictions plus another skill set that I suppose you could call "planning" in order to alter those trends. Often, it is a matter of vectors (again, for lack of a better word): you may not be able to end a certain path but you can cause it to turn left or right so to speak. Other times, you can simply create something from scratch but that takes a higher order of skill, commitment, energy, etc. because it is very much like giving birth to a child: it must be concieved, gestated, and born and it takes a lot out of you, taking over your life and your being to a significant degree.

    Accurately predicting where things will most likely end up "on their own" is usually a necessary first step to inventing an alternative future of your own choosing. Prediction is insight. Invention is an act of will. They are not mutually exclusive.

  3. #3
    Member KEViNO's avatar
    Sep 2002


    90 to 95% of everything (and increasingly so with larger numbers - people, nations, vehicles, dollars, viruses, votes), can be predicted. So much of anything is so predictable, that each day that we hardly notice things, actions and events that go off as planned (or unplanned). What ~does~ get noticed is the odd (or disastrous), event which happens unpredictably. All businesses, societies, organizations and households are utterly dependant on predictability.

    More thoughts here @ MASSIVE Change


+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. What will the future look like?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 38
    Last post: 02 Dec 2016, 4:06 PM
  2. The Future
    Student Lounge
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 26 Mar 2012, 5:08 PM
  3. Future planner? (was: for the future)
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 03 Jul 2006, 11:35 AM
  4. Replies: 20
    Last post: 26 Aug 2005, 10:11 AM
  5. Replies: 25
    Last post: 31 Jul 2005, 10:48 PM