Seeing into the Future

A Short History of Prediction

Martin van Creveld

Seeing into the Future

Martin van Creveld

Distributed for Reaktion Books

288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $24.00 ISBN: 9781789142297 Will Publish June 2020 For sale in North and South America only
The ability to predict the future is essential to modern life. Planning for population growth or changes in weather patterns or forecasting demand for products and managing inventories would be impossible without it. But how have people through the ages gone about making predictions? What were their underlying assumptions, and what methods did they use? Have increased computer power and the newest algorithms improved our success in anticipating the future, or are we still only as good (or as bad) as our ancestors bent over their auguries? From the ancients watching the flight of birds to the murky activities of Google and Facebook today, Seeing into the Future provides vital insight into the past, present, and—of course—future of prediction.
Contents
Part I: A Mysterious Journey 1 A Villain of a Magician 2 In the Name of the Lord 3 Oracles, Pythias and Sibyls 4 A Dream to Remember 5 Consulting the Dead Part II: Be Sober and Reasonable 6 Searching the Heavens 7 Clear and Manifest 8 On Birds, Livers and Sacrifices 9 The Magic of Numbers 10 Decoding the Bible Part III: Enter Modernity 11 From Patterns to Cycles 12 With Hegel on the Brain 13 Ask, and You’ll Be Answered 14 The Most Powerful Tools 15 War Games Here, War Games There Part IV: The Lord of the Universe 16 Looking Backward 17 Why is Prediction So Difficult? 18 Is Our Game Improving? 19 A World Without Uncertainty? References Further Reading Acknowledgements
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