The Hidden Paradox of Predictability

The Hidden Paradox of Predictability

The weather forecast hasn't been very accurate in our region this year. Warnings of heavy snow storms were mostly false warnings. The response to the warnings was peoples started to store food supplies, fill tanks with fuel for heating homes and cancellation of some scheduled activities. The perceived risk acted as an external force for people to plan.

This is the irony. The unpredictable weather forecast led to the predictable behavior of people to snowy weather. This isn't the whole story. We live in an open system and we change the environment. By doing so, we increase the unpredictability of the weather forecast at the same time we depend on this unpredictability to determine our deterministic future plans!

We may heat limestone in a closed vessel. The volatile produced gas, carbon dioxide, has no way to escape. However; if we use an open vessel this gas may escape, release into the atmosphere, leading to the warming up of the atmosphere and make the weather more unpredictable. We still depend on weather forecasts to make plans for the future.

We interact socially. Like attracts like and we find people forming clusters of people that are bonded by a shared hobby. A cluster of fans supporting a soccer team in opposition of another cluster of fans who support another team is an example. The two clusters may be closed and information circulates among the cluster members. We may predict the behavior because of the closeness of the two clusters. Freedom and free will are confined because the shared denominator among the clusters' members is the support for their favorite teams. But football is a game and so is life. The rules of the game change, the players change, the tactics change, the coaches change, the referees change, the playing grounds change and the weather at playing times change. A soccer match may start in a sunny weather and only to be later interrupted by thunder and rain. How the players adapt will decide to a great extent the result of the match. The closed clusters of supporters can't change the result of the match. It is more what happens at the varying playing ground. It is the creativity of finding new ways to deal with changes and the individual creativity that decide more than anything else the result of the game.

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We are like the waters in our bodies that may exist in solid, liquid or gas phases over a short range of conditions. We warm up the environment to warm us and produce more volatiles. As these volatiles escape they cause further warming up of the environment and making it more unpredictable. Yet; we still draw definite plans from the increasingly less predictable weather.

We prison ourselves in determinism. And we are the cause of making the environment (natural environment and work environment alike) less predictable. Back to the soccer example, one team scores a goal that the referee disallows. Tempers boil up, warming and warning heat up, volatility increases and arguments scale up in rejection for the referee's decision. The ball didn't cross the line and the referee shouldn't have crossed the line. New ideas emerge. Why not use video recording? Suddenly the rules of the game change.

May be in future matches we have self-tracking balls such as the self-tracking keys developed for cars. No matter what it is from the chaos that new ordering ideas shall emerge. We take our system to new levels of order that emerges from the chaos we induced.

Do I plan? Yes, but only to change the rules of planning.


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#16
I am not surprised at all to read your fluency and flow of ideas dear Tausif Mundrawala on the smell sense and what a great read it is!. So, you have to excel and you are up to the challenge.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#14
WOW! This response is a buzz on its own and a valuable one too CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit, who contributed a buzz on "Freezing Your Mind". The freezing mind is the abstract ice instrumentt to generate music. You keep my soul warm dear Manjit even in the freezing ice.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #14

#13
#12 My hive colour for paradox, complexity, creativity, innovation and emergence is violet - a metaphor for ultra violet. Feedback itself is not a paradox but a leadership trait, so this hive colour is blue, and if anything you have reminded me that I have been skipping my own system here ! Why violet is important to me is because the power and ability of abstraction is not something everyone learns to see - at the level of abstraction we are no longer watching football but thinking how we change it. Now when it comes to scientific method and logic and reasoning, my colour for that is magenta (the magenta mind I like the sound of that), which is now separate from culture (yellow like sun). Of course just basic communication skills are GRAY, but it is gray which is at the foundation of learning. It is the two end-point colours of the spectrum which are the road less traveled - the Infra-Red of entrepreneurial mindset, financial mind and mathematical thinking and of course the Ultra-Violet. It is however ultra-violet which is my starting point for thinking about creative thinking and magenta my starting point for thinking about critical thinking. Where RED features is as an economics of predictability which is a totally different beast to the economics of possibility. Ironically predictability is red but possibility is violet - but that is the paradox for me here (without diminishing my other colour hives) - 1. Possibility found through predictability [RED] 2. Predictability found through possibility [VIOLET]

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Thank you dear CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit for sharing this buzz in the Violet Learning Hive. Tis is a wonderful way to respond to my question addressed to you in my previous comment.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#10
You are a unique thinker dear CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit. Yes, fortunes swing and how many times the result of a game changed in the added extra time? Coaches plan and misfortunes happen like a defender scoring in his own net or a forward missing an empty goal. I love the way you put it "The chief paradox I am dealing with now is realizing that at the mass scale people are generally uncomfortable with feedback, even good feedback". I am asking myself now responding to your feedback "A mi comfortable"? May be not as much as I wanted. Why/ Because what if I misunderstood your comment? What if my response is shallow? Sometimes, the greater the comment is; paradoxicaly, the greater the discomfort is. I wonder what color you would give this paradox, Manjit!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#9
With all honesty I tried to remember the name of the Fermi's Paradox and it just elapsed my memory. Thank you for reminding me of it. There is a lovely reference to youR question and it is startling. http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html I shall be back with my personal view once I finish my pondering on your great comment dear

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #10

The chief paradox I am dealing with now is realizing that at the mass scale people are generally uncomfortable with feedback, even good feedback - there is something in the human condition which switches us into certainty mode. In tribal settings like a football match, the irony is that the masses buy a soccer ticket for the uncertainty. It is like we give ourselves permission to suffer for our team but go back to form as soon as we have left the stadium. We bite our nails, time stops still when our team is winning and there are just minutes left, whereas the uncertainty of the supporter whose team is losing speeds up their perception of time, they notice every delay in the game, shout invective if the opposing team appears to be time wasting. I was fascinated by the mechanics of the recent match between Barcelona and PSG where the temperature of the ground was elevated to fever pitch by the last few minutes of the game where Barcelona clawed back 3 goals to win 6-1 and thus over-turn a 0-4 deficit from the first leg. It was the look on the PSG players which did freeze as the crowd started to heat up collectively with what were essentially the Barcelona tribe clasping hands, praying for the miracle and confused PSG fans who must have sensed that something was unravelling in a weird way - all of this under awesome creation of uncertainty, that the fans paid for. The Barcelona fans went into delirium when in the 5th minute of injury time their team scored the winning goal - and the PSG fans waited for the team to arrive back home and the heat generated by the game led some supporters to damage the players cars. Yet a simple weather report will see the same people paradoxically run for safety - stockpiling against the threat of bad weather disrupting their life - even though it is perfectly sunny outside and they have a nagging sense that the weather people can get prediction wrong.

David B. Grinberg

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #9

Nice buzz, as always, Ali. My favorite probability models related to -- you guessed it -- space. My favorite is The Drake Equation which posits the number active advanced intelligence civilizations within our own Milky Way Galaxy (a range from a low of 1,000 to a high of 100,000,000. The antithesis of this model would be Fermi's Paradox (which can be disputed/argued per "Ancient Astronaut Theory" and UFO reporting starting from the dawn of human civilization to the present). YOUR thoughts?

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#7
Great thoughts dear Sara Jacobovici. I appreciate your differences with me. Yes, local supporters can be of help. Yet; I have watched matches in which the supporters got so furious with the performance of their team and chanted for the opponent. What is assumed to be an asset turned into a liability. Despairing audience may turn their team into a bunch of runners. As for the prediction Almanac- it is an astonishing example and I wonder if predictability gets better, same or less. It is a striking example of trying to predict the future. In trying to predict, sometimes we increase unpredictability. Is the a behavior of complex systems? I need to think more. Thank you Sara for provoking my mind with your astute feedback.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

4 years ago #7

Your buzzes push at my mind to expand and make connections. Thank you Ali Anani. You write: "But football is a game and so is life." It fascinates me how we look to sports and games to understand ourselves and our world. Brilliant economists design games and Einstein was quoted as saying, "God does not play dice with the universe." Now that we can simulate the image of 2 black holes (before they merge), it looks like "bowling" may be the game of the universe. https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LA/image/ligo20160211d You write very powerfully: "We prison ourselves in determinism." Although your statement reminds me of what can happen when we take our need to predict to its negative side of the spectrum, it also reminded me of this: "The original Farmer's Almanac founded in 1792, Old Farmer's Almanac is a reference book that contains weather forecasts, tide tables, planting charts, astronomical data, recipes, and articles on a number of topics, including gardening, sports, astronomy, and farming. The Almanac also features anecdotes and a section that predicts trends in fashion, food, home dΓ©cor, technology, and living for the coming year. Released the first Tuesday in the September that precedes the year printed on its cover, The Old Farmer's Almanac has been published continuously since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in North America." And finally, you write: "The closed clusters of supporters can't change the result of the match." As a sports fan with a firm belief in hometown advantage, I beg to differ with you ;-) Thanks for another provocative post Dr. Ali.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
Thank you for making such profound reflection

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
Wonderfully expressed . You are eloquent and I agree with you. Your mentioning of making assumptions is correct ad relevant. Sadly, mostly our assumptions turn to be wrong.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#1
You remind me Harvey Lloyd of the weather forecast that about 20 years ago predicted the weather in Brazil would be unusually frosting. It turned out to be and the price of brazilian coffee beans shot up. I fully concur with your lines "...Or am i a part of a much larger environment whereby i have to learn to be successful within"? Yes, I believe this is the better choice and you put your view firmly on ground with your sound explanations. I feel like saying we progressively live in a world of decreasing predictability.

Liesbeth Leysen, MSc. beBee Global Brand Ambassador

inspiring Ali Anani with much playroom for personal reflection, thank you for your creation!

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

4 years ago #2

Oftentimes, we cast off realities and carry on with our own ways; we sometimes take predictions to heart and come up with our own shuddering assumptions and stay behind with still hopes. Presumably, betwixt sheer conjectures and true happenings we miss matters of priorities with our vain miscalculations.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #1

Two questions or one concept comes to mind in reading your post this morning. Do i make my environment; Or am i a part of a much larger environment whereby i have to learn to be successful within? How you answer the question determines your reliance of predictions. I have always thought that the latter was the question we needed to affirm. By assuming this answer we realize that we are all adrift inside a ever changing environment where we all experience the unpredictability together. I like predictions weather and others. But reliance on any prediction is Russian roulette. Our ability to understand the biases in predictions gives us the foresight to read the unfolding events into our own evolving predictions. Our weather here has become a off Broadway production. They seem to sell you the weather with great actors. Its great for the milk and egg industry locally. One mention of snow and the local groceries have a field day of sales.

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