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35 - What Should No Scholar Ever Do?

Predicting the Future

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2022

Johan Fourie
Affiliation:
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
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Summary

Predicting the future is a perilous exercise. But that has not stopped us trying. Hunter-gatherers carefully studied their natural environment to predict food availability. The earliest farmers developed sophisticated ways to predict rain. In the eighth century BCE the oracle of Delphi attracted to her temple those who wanted to know the future. Others have searched for clues to future events in bones, marbles, cards and crystal balls. For a quick fix, just page to the horoscope section in your daily newspaper.

It makes sense to want to know the future. Knowledge is power. And power is money. Entrepreneurs must predict the future demands of their customers, the behaviour of their competitors, and the cost of their inputs. In more volatile environments, prediction is more difficult, which increases risk and requires higher reward. That is why it is so difficult to attract investment in unstable times.

Type
Chapter
Information
Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom
Lessons from 100,000 Years of Human History
, pp. 217 - 225
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • What Should No Scholar Ever Do?
  • Johan Fourie, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Book: Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom
  • Online publication: 30 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009228503.036
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • What Should No Scholar Ever Do?
  • Johan Fourie, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Book: Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom
  • Online publication: 30 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009228503.036
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • What Should No Scholar Ever Do?
  • Johan Fourie, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Book: Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom
  • Online publication: 30 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009228503.036
Available formats
×