2012

The evaluation of our 2012 predictions’ sample underlines notably a widespread conventional view of national security, novel issues being ignored; a relative inability to assess timing whilst our understanding of issues fares relatively well; the existence of major biases, notably regarding China, Russia, and the U.S; the difficulty of prediction for novel issues and old issues in new context.

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This post will present the experiment – assessing a sample of open source predictions for the year 2012 – address the methodological problems encountered while creating the evaluation itself, and underline the lessons learned. The second part (forthcoming) will discuss results.

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A database of open source 2012 predictions, and graph on selected issues.

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The Economist shows the lead in a courageous yet hardly ever done exercise: going back to our own foresight and assess, in the light of the present, what was right and what was wrong. It provides us with an example of how such lessons learned could be endeavoured, underlines questions that should be asked and key challenges for anticipation, and exemplifies how biases can derail foresight.

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Last week’s summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of the modern nation-state) knows a rising dissatisfaction of its population as authorities cannot anymore deliver security. The last phenomenon driving Everstatan governing bodies’ rising inefficiency in ensuring their mission is an outdated worldview that leads to misunderstanding and disconnect, which is first upheld by ideological stakes. (The reader can click on each picture to see a larger version in a new tab – a navigating map of posts is available to ease reading). The knowledge institutions and related people, which are guardians of norms and thus have ideological stakes in upholding an outdated worldview, are also motivated by material stakes in seeing norms respected, upheld and continuing. Indeed, their institutional  survival depends on the … Continue reading 2012 EVT: Material Stakes in an Outdated Worldview (The Chronicles of Everstate)

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Last week’s summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of the modern nation-state) knows a rising dissatisfaction of its population. The increasing incapacity of the political authorities to deliver the security citizens seek increases the risks to the legitimacy of the whole system. The first two phenomena driving Everstatan political authorities’ incapacity to deliver security are a deepening budget deficit and an increasing need for liquidity, and a related creeping appropriation of resources while the strength of central public power weakens to the profit of various elite groups. The first of this group is the lenders’ nexus. The second type of elite groups is developing strongholds focused on those resources needed by Everstate and is exemplified by an extreme form … Continue reading 2012 EVT: Ideological Stakes in an Outdated Worldview (The Chronicles of Everstate)

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Last week’s summary: In 2012 EVT, the deepening chronic budget deficit and the rising need for liquidity of Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of the modern nation-state) give an increasing power to the lenders elite group, allowing for new forms of appropriation of public power. Everstate sinks into a vicious circle. (The reader can click on each picture to see a larger version in a new tab). On the difficulty of cooperating with elite groups The second phenomenon driving Everstatan political authorities’ incapacity to deliver security is a related creeping new appropriation of public resources and a weakening of the strength of central public power to the profit of various elite groups, the first of which was the lenders’ nexus. As many … Continue reading 2012 EVT: the Power of Novstate (The Chronicles of Everstate)

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Last week’s summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of the modern nation-state) sees a mounting discontent of its population because it has become insecure considering the impact of the new still misunderstood conditions. Three related phenomena drive Everstatan political authorities’ incapacity to deliver security. First, Everstate faces a changing set of resources implying an income that is relatively too low while costs and expenditures resulting from accumulated threats and pressures rise inexorably. Added to an Inability to understand the situation and a use of past recipe, this leads to both a chronic and deepening budget deficit and an increasing demand for liquidity. Individually, citizens face the same challenge, which heightens the need for liquidity.  (The reader can click … Continue reading 2012 EVT: Public Resources and Lenders (The Chronicles of Everstate)

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Last week’s summary: In 2012 EVT, in Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of the modern nation-state), people seek security as they increasingly feel the negative impact of various pressures and threats on their life. Henceforth they turn to their political authorities and even start trying to compel them to provide this security. Through those actions, Everstatans start to remember that, as part of the nation, they are also rulers of Everstate. Yet, the situation is growing worse because the tasks of governance have grown more complex while the governing system and the polity are not yet adapted to the new conditions. (The reader can click on each picture to see a larger version in a new tab). Deepening budget … Continue reading 2012 EVT: Budget Deficit and Liquidity (The Chronicles of Everstate)

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Last week’s summary: In 2012 EVT, in Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of the modern nation-state), the population’s discontent increases – and is bound to continue to do so – as a result of various pressures and threats, most of them inevitable, imperfectly identified, and not understood. Indeed, Everstatans feel both directly and indirectly the impact of those pressures, which affect their sense of security and thus generate discontent. (The reader can click on each picture to see a larger version in a new tab). Everstatans seek security Everstatans continue to seek a security that is appearing as increasingly distant and elusive. They turn to their political authorities, expecting them to deliver this security. Indeed, Everstatans believe that their … Continue reading 2012 EVT: Seeking Security (The Chronicles of Everstate)

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