View single post by AdamMcLean
 Posted: Wed Nov 11th, 2009 10:24 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 5th, 2007
Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom
Posts: 1249
I think people are missing my point.

Of course people try and predict the future !

People predict the future by using experience of how things happened in the past. Thus we  build up a body of data about how things have happened in the past and then estimate often using mathematical models to see if we can predict the outcome of some future event. This is verified over time using a scientific methodology. Thus weather forecasting, the application of statistical methods to predict share price movements, and so on. Such predictions work within a measurable margin of error.

This is not divination !

Divination is when one superstitiously uses some device, entirely unconnected with the phenomenon one is trying to predict, i.e. drawing a card, throwing dice, doing the I Ching yarrow twigs. One has to have a belief that this entirely unconnected thing is somehow divining the result of a lottery, a share price movement, and so on. Divinations do not work, nor do they give a measurable margin or error. If they did they would be used by people trying to create predictive statistical models.

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