Written on September 17, 2003; the top in November 2005.
”With random precision, rode on the steel breeze
Come on you raver, you seer of visions”
(Pink Floyd, “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”, the “Wish You Were Here” album)
• Essential points when debating the concept of Prediction.
Prediction is not a science, nor is it an art; Prediction is philosophy.
Prediction as a science leads to the absurd expectation of absolute certainty. The Fundamental Formula of Gambling (FFG) demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that absolute certainty is absolute absurdity. One must never expect prediction with 100% accuracy. There is NO 100% guarantee that there will be a tomorrow for you and I; the probability is very high that there will be a tomorrow for you and I, provided that neither one is very ill today.
Prediction as an art leads to mysticism. There is the irrational belief that some humans possess special qualities to foresee the future. There are humans who predict the outcome of highly random phenomena based on gut feeling only. Some gamblers fall in that category. They seem to be lucky all the time. It's an illusion. Everybody is lucky AND unlucky as determined by the laws of probability theory.
Only sophisticated data analysis combined with sophisticated mathematical systems and software leads to a better prediction rate. It's what this website is about, in addition to philosophy. Prediction as philosophy relies on the reality that everything is random. Randomness defines the interaction of all forces in the Universe. There are various degrees of randomness based on various probabilities and degrees of certainty.
• Well, the fairness percentage is virtually the same, regardless of the issue. Roughly, the human fairness percentage is set to 9 out of 10. You know how much humans are divided on issues such as religion, abortion, capital punishment, war... Regardless, the percentage of those expressing a fairness opinion is 9 out of 10. Let's take a current world affairs topic, 2003. The US administration of George W. Bush conducts a very active campaign to start war against Iraq's president Saddam Hussein. We know that a large majority of people worldwide opposes the idea of such a war. Some will be surprised to discover that a 9 out of 10 fairness percentage definitely want brutal dictators be removed from power by any means. Unfortunately, there is no Constitution of the United Nations. If it had been, then it would have provided for enforcement of the 9 out of 10 fairness percentage on a global scale.
I know, because I lived under a less brutal dictator, the one who had the “honor” of being Saddam Hussein's role model: Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania. I don't think Ceausescu killed people physically, like Saddam has done. But Nicolae Ceausescu certainly smothered creativity and human development. Assuredly, a 9 out of 10 fairness percentage definitely wanted the Ceausescu dictator be removed from power by any means. I talked with friends—friends always meant very trustful people. The matter was extremely dangerous. We dreamed of other people performing the removal task. Hopefully, a crazy guy will do it for us all ..., we hoped.
Saddam Hussein should seriously consider running the hell out of those palaces, before being executed. I don't believe he'll get the chance of being killed in the act of war. He'll be executed by his own before the real war starts. It would be brutal justice, as brutal as his power has been. The place of his remains would be kept strictly secret, for 9 out of 10 of his own would want to desecrate the place. Humans always resort to desecration as the last resort of righting wrongs.
It sounded like prediction (never, ever say prophecy — it hasn't got a foundation). At the time of the writing, there was nothing similar on the Internet. I saw referrers to my Web page. I checked the search keywords and the links they were leading to. Then, simply by random...precision, I heard a short sentence on public television, the "Nightly Business Report", September 16, 2003: "A Web site already predicted the fall of Saddam Hussein." Since my website was the first to make such a prediction, there is still a high probability it is the only one. Wanna bet? (Said Muhhamad Ali, the greatest champion who ever was: "It ain't bragging if you back it.")
Prediction of events in history is similar to predicting weather events. Some patterns repeat shortly, some patterns repeat after a long time, some patterns may never repeat, some patterns are expected to repeat but we do not know if or when they will repeat; and some patterns are not patterns at all! By comparison, gambling prediction is easier. If you miss some bets, you can increase the bets at later times to recover lost bets and even make a profit. Prediction losses cannot be recovered in weather forecasting, for example. Predicting perfect weather can never recover losses from previous events, such as hurricanes or earthquakes, even if perfect weather comes true.
Cynicism is the easiest gambling system in predicting history events. Simply put it: "History repeats itself.” The flipside of cynicism is cynicism. Simply put it: "History never repeats itself.”
I believe I am a person of reason, because I consciously conduct my life to be a person of reason. As Socrates put it, the Truth is above anything and anybody. The future is always a mixture of patterns from the past and new patterns. As simple as that. The mixture of patterns represents the shortest distance between Fear and Survival. Or, least cynically, the future represents the randomly shortest response of human FearSurvival system based on patterns of the past.
In March 2003, the United States and other nations started war operations against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. In May 2003, Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq came to an end. Saddam Hussein was toppled. Saddam Hussein's baby-dictator sons were killed in July 2003. (It was exactly the day I was beating the casinos in Atlantic City.) At the time of this writing, Saddam Hussein appears to be alive and at large. He will be killed, not judged. Any judgment would be much worse, because at least a dozen lives would be lost as a result. Saddam's lost life is not worth a single extra life lost.
I have no access whatsoever to even slightly secret information the U.S. government possesses. I made no secret that I did not vote for President George W. Bush (“If it ain't broke, don't fix it! The U.S. economy was sizzling before Dubya. Granted, I said thanx Dubya when I received a tax cut check from the IRS in 2001.) President George W. Bush is a very religious man. He would probably curse me like an inquisitor if he would ever visit my Web site. Yet, we follow the same policies when viciously attacked. Kick the tail ends of the bastards until they no longer stand to be a threat.
When bastards threaten you, they hate you and they don't respect you. First, never, ever show fear. If you show determination, and strength, and the will to fight, the bastards will still hate you. But, now, they will also respect you. You will steadily determine categorical changes in the behavior of the lowly bullies. That's a high-rate successful prediction!
I am an exemplification of that. If I had given up to fear or intimidation, my Web adventure would have succumbed early in 1998. I weathered three stormy years (1999-2001). Not only I survived, I also grew like an oak tree. The tree created fair weather for its own roots and its own leaves. Even the worst enemies respect an opponent's firmness and steadiness.
The change in Iraq will influence major changes in Syria and Iran—predictable in one-decade time. The United States can't afford the price of change via direct intervention, as in Iraq. The United States and other economic powers will influence the change covertly, at grass-roots level. The people will bring about major changes to their governance systems. That's a high-rate successful prediction.
Saudi Arabia will undergo essential changes in the same time frame. The United States conducts an interesting covert operation. Instead of influencing grass-roots movements, the United States acts covertly inside the palace of power. (It happened in Qatar, most probably.) Only powerful elements from inside the power bell can bring about peaceful changes to the Saudi society. That territory can cause more devastating effects than World War II. It's the oil, of course. And it's the place of the most important sites of Islam.
The North Korea situation will be changed for the better not by the United States, but by China. Communist China will play a role similar to Gorbachev's Soviet Union in dismantling communism in Eastern Europe. China has every bit of interest to get rid of the Kim suffocating regime in next-door Korea. The Chinese will apply the same rules of economic change. Then, the agent of change itself will be changed. The Soviet Union underwent the ultimate change: disappearance. The Chinese Communist Party is frightened by the idea. They probably know that the economic agent always beats the political agent.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was certainly hard-nosed when he set forth the Atlantic Charter. The United States was to assist Britain, but Britain was to renounce its Empire. FDR did not make a public prediction with regards the fall of the colonial system. My guess is he bet that the end of the empires would come in five-years' time after World War II. He wouldn't have been disappointed with the results.
How about the darling of the media—the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Every move the Israelis and the Palestinians make lead back to square one. Blood. One move towards peace. The result: Blood. Another move towards peace. The result: Blood. And so on, with no end game in sight. I wrote this message a couple of years ago: Peace in the Middle East: Israel the 51st State USA. That tiny area will have huge problems forever, it seems. Israel can't be a viable independent state. Israel would have not become reality if not for the United States desire to comfort the Jews for their humanly impossible suffering in the Holocaust. A Palestinian state is even less viable than an Israeli state. The Israelis are much better prepared in economic matters than any Arab nation. I advance this prediction once again. Israel is historically viable only as a state of the USA. Palestine is historically viable only as confederated with Jordan — an ally of the USA. There are more Jews living in the USA than in Israel. There are more Palestinians living in Jordan than in the territory occupied by Israel (the illusory free Palestinian state).
I can't and I don't want to predict the move of the Isabel hurricane of September 2003. The computer models show Pennsylvania in the path! I don't give a damn on that prediction. I bet you, the hurricane won't touch me. Too many hard-nosed trees, too many thick leaves...
(• September 19, 2003. The hurricane Isabel did some serious damage in parts of the United States. No serious effects in my hometown. Just a few hours of rainy, windy weather; no thunder or lightning. Unfortunately, the hurricane brought tragedy south-east of my place: Twenty-three people lost their lives. Somehow, the media take advantage of unusual weather events. Reporters, who are grownups, strap themselves in cables and ropes and face the wind. Everybody knows that the probability nears 100% that the hurricane will blow him or her away like leaves ...) That's a high-rate successful prediction.
“Hey you, don't help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight”
(Pink Floyd, “Hey You”, “The Wall” album)
Don't give in without a fight: That high-rate successful prediction is the recipe of human evolution, advancement, indeed.
Read Ion Saliu's first book in print: Probability Theory, Live!
~ Founded on valuable mathematical discoveries with a wide range of scientific applications; theory of probability is the true science of prediction.
Resources in Philosophy, Humans, Ideas, Truth, Prediction
See a comprehensive directory of the pages and materials on the subject of philosophy, humans, humanities, ideas, truth, Human_Computing_Beast.