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Predictions - 10 Years Later, Preface

This book is about seeing the world dynamically, as if everything in it behaved like a living organism, growing, competing, maturing, becoming weak by old age, and dying. Birth implies death, and whatever you may be preoccupied with—business, success, misfortune, emotional relation-ships, personal development, or artistic achievement—is characterized by a life cycle displaying well-defined phases of beginning, growth, de-cline, and end. The growth potential and the duration of the process may vary from case to case. Some phenomena last for a lifetime whereas oth-ers come and go like fads. But independently of the timeframe things come into and out of existence according to the same pattern, which is revelatory and sometimes even reassuring.

The book is also about being able to see more clearly further into the future and make predictions, as well as to obtain a better understanding of the past. You will be surprised to find out that it is possible to see around corners! Fundamental natural laws such as competition and sur-vival of the fittest can reveal unique insights into what the future has in store for us. But also into what the past may hide. After all, the past is not immune to the passage of time. Russia’s past (Lenin, Stalin, com-munism, etc.) changed from heroic to shameful in a matter of a few years. And then, there are questions about the past we never asked be-fore because we assumed there could be no answers. In Chapter Two we answer the question how many explorers attempted to discover America before Columbus.

Futurology embraces a large cross-section of individuals ranging from scientists to psychic mediums. They all claim to have ways and means for making predictions. However, proof for correct predictions is rarely demonstrated. Scientifically minded forecasters try to make their approach credible via an exercise, which consists of ignoring some of the recent data while making their prediction and then using these data to verify the prediction. But this practice fails to convince astute minds. Skeptics doubt the effectiveness of forgetting having seen the final outcome. The only really valid test for a prediction is the test of time. You make your prediction and then you wait the time necessary for the truth to come out. Track record cannot be disputed.

The predictions made in this book enjoy the test of time. An older version of the book was published in 1992 by Simon & Schuster under the title Predictions - Society’s Telltale Signature Reveals the Past and Forecasts the Future. In today’s edition those predictions are confronted with recent data. In every chapter new sections have been introduced under the heading Ten Years Later reviewing what happened during the last ten years and comparing it to the original predictions. There are many success stories, where prediction and reality have gone hand in hand. But there are also some intricate disagreements.

The success stories reinforce our confidence in the original forecasts and the method used. The disagreements are useful in a different way. Predictions that came out wrong are not necessarily failures. It is the reader’s prerogative to interpret them simply as unsuccessful forecasts and appropriately distrust further projections of the trends in question. But I have found it rewarding to dig deeper into the reasons that may cause deviations from directions dictated by fundamental natural laws. In many cases the insights obtained this way teach us more than accurate forecasts would have.

Among the new material that has been added in this edition are discussions on some issues that have become topical only recently, such as the coming of hydrogen (Chapter Seven) and the war on terrorism (Chapter Nine). I am not doing this to become fashionable. The new material either answers questions previously raised, or constitutes a natural evolution of the trends all ready established.

Theodore Modis
April 2002

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