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The concept of the future has been explored extensively in cultural production, including art movements and genres devoted entirely to its elucidation, such as the 20th century movement futurism.
If the causes are understood, projections of the influencing variables can be made and used in the forecast.
Judgmental forecasting methods incorporate intuitive judgments, opinions and probability estimates, as in the case of the Delphi method, scenario building, and simulations.
Future studies, or futurology, is the science, art and practice of postulating possible futures.
Modern practitioners stress the importance of alternative and plural futures, rather than one monolithic future, and the limitations of prediction and probability, versus the creation of possible and preferable futures.
Despite the development of cognitive instruments for the comprehension of future, the stochastic and chaotic nature of many natural and social processes has made precise forecasting of the future elusive.
Future studies or futurology is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them.
Prediction is similar to forecasting but is used more generally, for instance to also include baseless claims on the future.
Organized efforts to predict the future began with practices like astrology, haruspicy, and augury.
Statistically based forecasting employs time series with cross-sectional or longitudinal data.
Econometric forecasting methods use the assumption that it is possible to identify the underlying factors that might influence the variable that is being forecast.
These are all considered to be pseudoscience today, evolving from the human desire to know the future in advance.