Sunday, January 22, 2023

Prescience - art or science?

My previous post on this blog was in April 2009. It was something about a Kindle for newspapers and magazines. On April 3, 2010, Apple launched the iPad.

There have been a few other instances where I have been able to predict certain events and products, so I have been trying to understand why that happens. 

Is it a way of absorbing information and does one start seeing patterns in disparate fields? Does that make one speak metaphorically? 

Most importantly, is being prescient about certain things good or bad? Can it result in the design or a product that is ahead of its time? That may not be good if the market takes too long to catch on, or change its habits, and adapt to the new product. 

Timing is a tricky thing, whether it is timing the stock market or timing the birth of a product.

Does being prescient take away an ability to live with a sense of wonderment? Does a habit to seek patterns while reading something lead to over-thinking or scattered thinking? Does being prescient feed 'told-you-so' conversations? Does prescience pave the way for schadenfreude, especially under the cover of anonymity on the Internet? How does one avoid these traps?

The good news is prescience comes with guardrails. It does not work consistently. The word 'prescience' has the word 'science' within, but it is art. 

Prescience is probably the same as identifying patterns and extrapolating results. Prescience is probably how wisdom manifests.

Therein lie answers to the question of how one develops prescience. 

Absorb information from all possible sources and do it consistently for a long time, not because you are paid to do it or because you have to pass an exam. Read, watch, experience things and learn. Do it out of curiosity. Learn from history. With the passage of time, we might find ourselves becoming more and more prescient, and certainly getting older and wiser. Wisdom may be another way to describe prescience. That may explain why only elders are able to engage in 'told-you-so' behaviors with abandon. 

This was a warm-up blog post for future essays exploring and observing the world and life.