Thursday, December 19, 2013


Before and after the fact, each and all of us are subjected
to the opinions of “experts,” “authorities,” “mavens,”
“esteemed academicians.” and other assorted know-it-alls
on virtually every topic under our proverbial sun.

As we head into another next year, and following several of
them in which the know-it-alls have been particularly
wrong or considerably off-the-mark, I want to take the
opportunity to restate (perhaps to some) a painful observation:
to wit, virtually all the “confident” conclusions about the
future, and especially by the know-it-alls, are nothing more
than guessing.


That does not mean that some of the guesses won’t be correct.
Some of them will be. And a few folks will have, in any given
year, a higher percentage of “good” guesses compared with
their  “bad” guesses.

But they will be only guesses.

Of course, there are some subjects where certain actions will
almost always produce certain results. If you smoke lots of
cigarettes every day or drink lots of alcohol every day, you will
very, very likely eventually get very, very sick. If you jump off
a 30-storey building, you almost certainly will not survive. And
so on. But I am not speaking of these kinds of circumstances.

I am speaking of the countless other kinds of circumstances we
face every day in the economy, politics, international affairs,
the stock market, professional and amateur sports events, the
weather, buying clothes, and the like.

Just before the new year, and without any kind of partisan tilt,
I wanted to restate this simple fact of life:

No matter how many credentials, college degrees, testimonials,
past histories, and other qualifications, it’s all guesswork about
the future.

As I get older, I am also coming to the conclusion that most
observations about the past, incredible as it might seem, are also
guesswork. History seems to change with every retelling.

Rather than be disheartened, disillusioned or disappointed by
this, I think the incessant and inevitable guessing potentially
enables each of us to enjoy life more in the present, especially
knowing that it is our own guesses that might mean the most to
each of us.

Happy Next Year to everyone!

Copyright (c) 2013 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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