RandomnessVenture Capital

No predictions for 2008

By December 21, 2007 No Comments

Samuel Brittan has a prominent article in the FT today entitled It is time to jettison the forecasts – and who am I to argue with that?

This chimes with Taleb‘s view of the world as expressed in Fooled by Randomness and more recently The Black Swan.  In a nutshell the idea is that events are far more random than we think they are.  In fact we are pre-programmed to see order where there is chaos.

The upshot of this is that predictions are pointless, and Taleb claims that analysis of the accuracy of economists predictions bears this out.  When you look at it, the things that catch them out are events that are extremely unlikely but have a huge impact.

So it seems that there is an emerging consensus that making predictions is a dangerous business and on that basis I will keep quiet on the subject of what I think will happen next year.  Much safer that way, and my last prediction is starting to look a bit dodgy.
There will be more on this subject next year, looking at how Taleb’s Black Swans tie in with Gladwell’s Tipping Points, but for now let me wish you all a Happy Christmas.  Thanks for reading, and a big thank you to everyone who commented.  See you all in the New Year.