Understanding the past to predict the future.
There are millions of patterns in nature. Science has found order in disorder: The Chaos Theory. It says that sensible strange attractors between natural concepts create arranged fractals.
It is in our nature as humans to believe that we’re the exception to every rule. And in a superficial sense anyone who thinks that might be right. After all, we're the only species in the known universe with the ability of complex thought, but that doesn't cut it.
Yes. There are individuals. We’re all a perfect combination of particular influences that makes us, us. But, if you look back in history, you might start noticing that we as a species are prone to repetition.
Our behavior throughout the years has started to develop a “system”. Ambition has been the key to achieve the extraordinary. We are beings naturally drawn into competition. That might be why we developed a government that is essentially a popularity contest. The winner is not always the best, but the most charismatic, memorable and influential.
Considering this dictator and US candidate, Mark Twain was onto something when he said:
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Which brings me to my main point, could we use the past and present to predict the future?
First of all, we’re not talking about psychic crystal balls, we’re talking about data. That’s why we’re not discussing what has already happened, rather what might (likely) happen.
To predict there has to be a “proof of principle”, an existent example of the possibility being real. The laws of physics must also be taken into account. If not, any lunatic saying that the end of days is sometime next week after lunch would have merit.
Different disciplines must be considered when making a prediction, like astrophysics and evolutionary biology. For example, projections about our solar system acknowledge the second law of thermodynamics, stating the relation of less energy available to work and time.
You don’t need to be a physicist or historian to make sense out of all this, you just need to observe. Things at some point, will stop existing. Even though it’s a dark fact to accept, it’s just the natural order of what we know as life. For example, if stars die, is it really far fetched that the exact star that keeps us alive (The Sun) at some point, will die?
Hold on, don’t start saying goodbye to your loved ones just yet. We still have a few million years left, but it’s important to start living with awareness. We don't know what will happen soon, but contemplating possibilities makes us open to solutions for the inevitable.
To anticipate the future, we must rationalize the present. We need to think about what’s happening now to find hidden connections in our patterns. We should start questioning if the solutions we create today won't be a problem tomorrow.
It is our responsibility as designers, creators and doers. Consume more than aesthetics, start reading and creating with conscience, surround yourself with other experts and explore different areas of your discipline.
Remember, we are inventing the future.
Article by K.