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Abstract

Although the above quote is clearly a truism it does sum up the forecaster’s dilemma quite succinctly. Forecasting is a risky, uncertain and inexact science because the future itself is risky and uncertain, and in the world of computing and IT previous visions of the future have, generally speaking, fallen off target. Even the early IT visionaries and enthusiasts, such as Alan Turing in the UK and John Eckhart in the USA, did not forecast the future use of computers either on the massive commercial scale we have today or in terms of their versatility of use. There are those, of course, who make a living out of forecasting the future but even Naisbitt and Aburdine in their book, Megatrends 2000, could not have foreseen the Gulf War in 1991 when they wrote bullishly, ‘there will be no energy crisis to impede the 1990s’, global boom’. Would their comments have been so forthright at the start of the conflict?

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Copyright information

© R. Feenan and T.J. Dixon 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Dixon

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