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Vocapedia > Time > Future

 

 

 

Luann

by Greg Evans

Gocomics

January 19, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Monte Wolverton

Cagle

17 May 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Koterba

Omaha World Herald

NE

18 August 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

future        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/22/
coronavirus-will-reshape-our-cities-we-just-dont-know-how-yet

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/may/06/
no-death-and-an-enhanced-life-is-the-future-transhuman

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/25/
mohsin-hamid-danger-nostalgia-brighter-future

 

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/mar/19/
dystopian-films-blade-runner-insurgent-future-grim

 

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/mar/16/
robot-dogs-foldable-tablets-mongoose-bloggers-sci-fi-visions-media-future

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2014/jan/10/
future-social-housing-crisis-peabody-young-architects

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2013/mar/03/aerotropolis-london-kasarda-rowan-moore

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/feb/27/who-owns-future-lanier-review

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/brain-flapping/2012/dec/30/science-future-2013

 

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2003/oct/28/sciencenews.energy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

future        USA

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/
opinion/online-college-coronavirus.html

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2020/05/19/
858068115/what-is-the-future-of-cities

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/08/
852222980/one-way-sidewalks-and-parking-lot-dining-rooms-is-this-the-future

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/
health/coronavirus-pandemic-curve-scenarios.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/05/20/
529146185/in-googles-vision-of-the-future-computing-is-immersive

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/01/02/
506545442/adopting-a-sci-fi-way-of-thinking-about-the-future

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/24/
technology/personaltech/iphone-6s-hands-free-siri-is-an-omen-of-the-future.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/27/upshot/
how-the-future-looked-in-1964-the-picturephone.html

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/
what-do-we-owe-the-future/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/
books/review/book-review-future-babble-by-dan-gardner.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alternative future        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/22/
environment-pandemic-side-effects-earth-day-coronavirus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vision of the future        USA

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/05/20/
529146185/in-googles-vision-of-the-future-computing-is-immersive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is The Future Of Cities?        2020        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2020/05/19/
858068115/what-is-the-future-of-cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

imagine a brighter future        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/25/
mohsin-hamid-danger-nostalgia-brighter-future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > Imagining the future:

early 20th century US patents - in pictures        UK

 

Historical patents

from the turn of the last century

show how aspiring inventors predicted

that humans would fly.

 

The imaginative designs,

from the US Patent and Trademark office,

between 1871 and 1933,

show elaborate blueprints

for everything from human wings,

an oscillating bathtub,

to a harness support

for a greyhound-riding monkey

 

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/gallery/2015/may/14/
imagining-the-future-turn-of-the-century-us-patents-in-pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1964 New York World's Fair

a vision of the future / what the future looked like in 1964        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/20/nyregion/
worlds-fair-1964-memories.html

 

 

 

 

the home of tomorrow / the home of the future        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/20/
technology/building-toward-the-home-of-tomorrow.html

 

 

 

 

dystopian future        USA

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/oct/09/
is-blade-runner-2049-a-sexist-film-or-a-fair-depiction-of-a-dystopic-future

 

 

 

 

dystopian future        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/
movies/elysium-sends-matt-damon-into-a-dystopian-future.html

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/
seeking-online-refuge-from-spying-eyes/

 

 

 

 

envision the future        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/11/
martin-luther-king-nikkolas-smith

 

 

 

 

in the future        USA

http://www.npr.org/2016/09/24/
495186758/as-our-jobs-are-automated-some-say-well-need-a-guaranteed-basic-income

 

 

 

 

 for the foreseeable future        USA

http://www.npr.org/2017/03/24/
521395060/ryan-trump-meet-as-more-republicans-defect-from-health-care-bill

 

 

 

 

foresight        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/
opinion/sunday/why-the-future-is-always-on-your-mind.html

 

 

 

 

in the near future > robotics        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/zurichfuturology/story/0,,1920335,00.html

 

 

 

 

in the runup to N        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/dec/25/
mini-tablets-apple-google-amazon 

 

 

 

 

be on the verge of N        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/feb/02/
inequality-for-all-us-economy-robert-reich 

 

 

 

 

agenda        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/us/
politics/the-first-year-of-the-second-term-is-key-for-obama.html

 

 

 

 

postpone        USA

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/23/
820227941/olympics-official-says-he-would-mortgage-the-farm-that-games-will-be-postponed

 

 

 

 

prospects

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/
opinion/friedman-daring-to-fail.html

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/07/
hope-prison-lifer-exhausting-sentence 

 

 

 

 

Out of this World        UK        2011

 

Sci-fi is so much a part

of the pop culture landscape

that it's easy to forget

how our vision of the future was formed.

 

A new exhibition

brings together some otherworldly materials

from the British Library archive to show you.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2011/apr/02/
science-fiction

 

 

 

 

How the world of 1950 looked in 1925: infographic        UK        2012

 

Airships above you,

cars below ground;

clean pedestrianised streets,

beautiful elegant high-rise living…

 

how exotic the far-off year of 1950

must have seemed to readers

of Popular Science Monthly in 1925,

when the infographic below was published.

 

Rediscovered by the wonderful Retronaut

(Slogan: "the past is a foreign country.

This is your passport")

it probably says more about 1925

than it does about 1950.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/mar/13/future-cities-graphic-1925

 

 

 

 

expect

https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2012/dec/30/
science-future-2013 

 

 

 

 

expectations

 

 

 

 

gird for N        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/us/
politics/for-obama-no-clear-path-to-avoid-a-debt-ceiling-fight.html

 

 

 

 

brace for N

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/02/
britain-storms-wind-rain

 

 

 

 

brace for N       USA

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nation/jan-june14/
newswrap_01-21.html

 

 

 

 

goal        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/us/
politics/president-obama-inauguration.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bode ill for N        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/world/middleeast/
in-homs-syria-sectarian-battles-stir-fears-of-civil-war.html

 

 

 

 

 It doesn't bode well for N        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2010/dec/13/
jack-and-the-beanstalk-review 
 

 

 

 

 

forecast

 

 

 

 

forecast        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/dec/07/
scottish-snow-chaos-forecasters-blamed

 

 

 

 

forecaster        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/gallery/2012/dec/02/
winter-weather-snow-uk-in-pictures 

 

 

 

 

foretell        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/10/
technology/beats-talks-may-foretell-apple-shift.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/
opinion/30kristof.html

 

 

 

 

foretold        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/
opinion/sunday/egan-at-home-when-the-earth-moves.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

foresee        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/mar/27/
did-art-foresee-first-world-war

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/dec/22/
letter-from-a-century-ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

foresee        USA

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/02/
opinion/sunday/coronavirus-prediction-laurie-garrett.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/12/
711931714/high-school-musical-explores-themes-from-the-college-admissions-scandal

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/02/24/
why-didnt-the-us-foresee-the-arab-revolts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for the foreseable future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

foreshadow        USA

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/15/
571199907/how-tv-foreshadowed-the-metoo-movement

 

 

 

 

foreboding        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/20/greece-foreboding-violence-flares-streets

 

 

 

 

fortuneteller        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/06/
nyregion/he-went-to-the-fortuneteller-now-his-fortune-is-gone.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/
opinion/sunday/childless-by-choice.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in the future

 

 

 

 

civilisations of the future        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2006/jul/08/
art.sciencefictionfantasyandhorror 

 

 

 

 

outlook

 

 

 

 

in / for the years to come

 

 

 

 

in a month's time

 

 

 

 

in eight years' time

 

 

 

 

in the coming year        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/
opinion/judges-needed-for-federal-courts.html

 

 

 

 

in the coming days

 

 

 

 

in coming weeks        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/world/asia/20japan.html

 

 

 

 

in coming decades / in the coming decades        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/13/
global-food-crisis-heatwaves-crops 

 

 

 

 

forthcoming        UK / USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/
opinion/can-obama-save-turkey-from-a-syrian-quagmire.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/jan/13/basement-jaxx-sci-fi-movie

 

 

 

 

upcoming        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/06/
522883947/federal-judge-blocks-1-of-8-upcoming-executions-in-arkansas

 

 

 

 

countdown

 

 

 

 

72 hours to go        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/us/politics/
with-72-hours-to-go-romney-sweeps-through-four-events-in-three-states.html

 

 

 

 

soon        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/
business/media/nick-daloisio-17-sells-summly-app-to-yahoo.html

 

 

 

 

next

 

 

 

 

the next four years        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/
opinion/brooks-the-next-four-years.html

 

 

 

 

in the next half hour

 

 

 

 

what's next        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/us/22poll.html

 

 

 

 

as early as this weekend

 

 

 

 

as soon as this weekend

 

 

 

 

in as little as ten months

 

 

 

 

over the next few months

 

 

 

 

over the course of the next few days

 

 

 

 

over the next year        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/
technology/companies/29soft.html

 

 

 

 

be set for N

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/may/02/
facebook-ipo-mark-zuckerberg-roadshow 

 

 

 

 

for the long haul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

during the run-up to...

 

 

 

 

in the run-up to...

 

 

 

 

ahead        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/09/uk-flooding-week-of-storms-ahead

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/oct/20/cold-winter-frosts-harsh-weather

 

 

 

 

ahead of N        USA

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/05/
691368262/what-to-know-ahead-of-trumps-state-of-the-union-address

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/01/30/
581949552/confrontational-mood-grips-capitol-hill-ahead-of-trumps-speech

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/
technology/ahead-of-ipo-twitter-adds-photo-and-video-previews-to-timelines.html

 

 

 

 

in the years ahead        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/07/
opinion/when-wealth-disappears.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

harbinger        UK

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/
mark-serreze-impact-of-melt-may-extend-beyond-the-pole-1128198.html

 

 

 

 

harbinger        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/
opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-our-water-guzzling-food-factory.html

 

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/new-york-
prosecutors-charge-payday-lenders-with-usury/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/27/
books/ernest-callenbach-author-of-ecotopia-dies-at-83.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/us/
28climate.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/nyregion/
in-the-east-village-where-have-all-the-crusties-gone.html

 

 

 

 

portent        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/us/
politics/07assess.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/05/
opinion/05tue1.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

near        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/
books/review/the-elusive-president.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

loom        UK

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2015/may/07/
election-2015-live-final-votes-cast-as-battle-for-power-looms

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/may/19/
climate-change-meltdown-unlikely-research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

loom        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/03/
826082727/ventilator-shortages-loom-as-states-ponder-rules-for-rationing

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/
health/coronavirus-masks-reuse.html

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/04/
812162416/as-coronavirus-looms-many-nursing-homes-fall-short-on-infection-prevention

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/13/
693949313/as-brexit-deadline-looms-billboards-call-out-politicians-quick-and-easy-claims

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/30/
660721888/video-as-elections-loom-workers-in-trump-country-reckon-with-tariffs-fallout

 

http://www.npr.org/2017/10/05/
555714824/deadline-looms-for-thousands-of-dreamers

http://www.npr.org/2017/04/20/
524536237/maines-immigrants-boost-workforce-of-whitest-oldest-state-in-u-s

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/03/23/
521270804/big-changes-and-major-dilemmas-loom-in-next-phase-of-isis-war-in-syria

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/
crunch-time-for-the-2011-budget/2011/04/03/AFoonzVC_story.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/
science/earth/14hurricane.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

looming        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/us/
politics/president-obama-begins-work-on-second-term.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

deadline        USA

http://www.npr.org/2017/10/05/
555714824/deadline-looms-for-thousands-of-dreamers

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/
opinion/sunday/if-world-leaders-can-skip-deadlines-why-cant-i.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/us/
politics/president-obama-urges-last-minute-tax-deal.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/
education/with-no-contract-deal-by-deadline-in-chicago-teachers-will-strike.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/opinion/a-rare-payroll-tax-deal.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/us/
for-occupying-protesters-deadlines-and-decisions.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/15/world/middleeast/15iraq.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/business/13irs.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/12/opinion/12sat1.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/opinion/30tue1.html

 

 

 

 

impending        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/cardiff/2010/aug/01/
cefn-onn-primary-school-llanishen-green-flag-award

 

 

 

 

impending doom        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/jun/14/
spain-eurozone-impending-doom 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

astrologer        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2014/jan/18/
susan-miller-astrologer-interview 

 

 

 

 

astrologer        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/us/
15zodiac.html

 

 

 

 

horoscope        USA

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/horoscopes/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/us/
15zodiac.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

prognosis

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/jul/07/
michael-parkinson-reveals-prostate-cancer

 

 

 

 

omen        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/24/technology/personaltech/
iphone-6s-hands-free-siri-is-an-omen-of-the-future.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/us/politics/
ohio-vote-on-collective-bargaining-is-parsed-for-2012-omens.html

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/
goldman-loss-offers-a-bad-omen-for-wall-street/

 

 

 

 

premonition        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/feb/22/
future-paranormality-richard-wiseman

 

 

 

 

premonition         USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/style/
a-dream-or-a-premonition-leads-to-a-new-beginning.html

 

 

 

 

prescient        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/04/arts/
mike-gray-china-syndrome-writer-dies-at-77.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

predict        UK / USA

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/02/
opinion/sunday/coronavirus-prediction-laurie-garrett.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/11/17/
668408122/facebook-increasingly-reliant-on-a-i-to-predict-suicide-risk

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/gallery/2012/dec/02/winter-weather-snow-uk-in-pictures

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/feb/22/future-paranormality-richard-wiseman

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/us/15zodiac.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

predict the future

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/26/
businesspro-us-risk-ratings-idUSTRE73P1C320110426

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

prediction

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/21/
education/doomsday-prophecy-prompts-rumors-of-violence-in-schools.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2012/nov/19/
latest-predictions-climate-change-shock-action

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/dec/29/
2012-news-predictions-open-thread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

prophecy        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/24/
opinion/krugman-when-prophecy-fails.html

 

 

 

 

prophesy        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/21/us/
21doomsday.html

 

 

 

 

doomsday        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/21/
education/doomsday-prophecy-prompts-rumors-of-violence-in-schools.html

 

 

 

 

the end of the world        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/us/
harold-camping-radio-entrepreneur-who-predicted-worlds-end-dies-at-92.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/21/us/
21doomsday.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

five years from now

 

 

 

 

Princess-to-be        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/15/
kate-middleton-goring-hotel-royal-wedding

 

 

 

 

much-anticipated

 

 

 

 

be eager to V

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/opinion/sunday/
beginning-of-the-end.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Plante

Tulsa World

Tulsa, OK

Cagle

18 August 2011

 

R: U.S. president Barack Obama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ahead

 

 

ahead

 

 

 

 

the year ahead        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jan/01/
2013-calendar-key-events-for-the-year-ahead

 

 

 

 

in the years ahead

 

 

 

 

lie ahead

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/apr/02/
new-director-general-bbc-staff

 

 

 

 

there's a bleak winter ahead

 

 

 

 

ahead of N        UK

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/
business/retailers-are-slashing-prices-ahead-of-holiday.html

 

 

 

 

ahead of his/her time        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/oct/15/
manchester-city-malcolm-allison-dies-83

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

away

 

 

an election nine days away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

next

 

 

in the next few years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real or Not,

World’s End Is Trouble for Schools

 

December 20, 2012

The New York Times

By MOTOKO RICH

 

Predictions of doomsday have come and gone repeatedly without coming true. But the latest prophecy, tethered to the Mayan calendar and forecasting that the world will self-destruct on Friday, has prompted many rumors of violence, with a particular focus on school shootings or bomb threats.

With students and parents already jittery after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., last week, rampant posts on Facebook and Twitter have fed the hysteria, and police departments across the country have been inundated with calls. Overwhelmed with the task of responding to threats and unconfirmed reports, districts in Bend, Ore., Stafford County, Va., Wake County, N.C., and Oak Creek, Wis., have sent out letters to parents trying to tamp down the panic.

In three counties in Michigan, Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac, administrators were spending so much time dealing with reports of planned violence that the superintendents decided to send 80,000 students on their winter holiday break two days early.

“We hate canceling school more than anything,” said Matt Wandrie, the superintendent of the Lapeer Community Schools, north of Detroit. “We’re not doing this because we think there’s an imminent threat to our students. We’re doing this because we’ve been doing nothing but policing.”

Mr. Wandrie said that students and parents were passing on rumors they had picked up online — “It was like ‘my niece’s neighbor’s daughter says there’s going to be gun violence at school on Friday,’ ” he said — and added that students were overheard in the hallways saying things like “Let’s go out with a bang on Friday.”

“If you’ve got students who are disenfranchised or unstable or members of a community who really believe this end of the world stuff,” he said, “whether I think it’s credible or not, as a fairly logical person and human being, I’m not going to take that risk.”

Similar rumors prompted about 50 parents to call the police department in Oak Creek, the town in Wisconsin where a gunman shot and killed six people at a Sikh temple in August.

Chief John Edwards said his department investigated every call but found that they seemed to be repeating a version of the same rumor that had gone viral online. He said that there was “no credible evidence” of a real threat.

On Wednesday morning, Chief Edwards visited Oak Creek High School to talk to faculty and students over the public address system, advising them that police officers stationed on campus would practice a “zero tolerance” policy for anyone making a threat. “So if anyone makes comments about violence, you will be arrested,” he said. “There will be no warnings.”

Randy Bridges, the superintendent of the Stafford County Public Schools in Virginia, posted a letter to parents on the district’s Web site telling parents that the rumors of violence accompanying the end of the world were “reportedly unfounded and national in scope.”

“I ask that each of you help stop the rumors spreading throughout our community by refusing to share these rumors with others,” Mr. Bridges wrote. He offered links to a source on “How to Talk to Kids about the World Ending in 2012 Rumors” and NASA’s Web site, which promises that Friday “won’t be the end of the world as we know.”

Officials said that previous prognostications of the end of the world, including a prediction of what was called the rapture in May 2011, have not generated the same kind of frenzy in schools.

“I’ve been an officer 19 years, and never have I seen the climate in our area the way it is right now,” said Sgt. Scott Theede of the Grand Blanc Township Police Department in Michigan. “I believe students and parents and everybody are a little bit more on edge as a direct result of what happened last week.”

Contributing to the worry in Grand Blanc was an incident on Wednesday, when a 15-year-old high school student sent a text message to his mother that he had heard shots at school and was hiding in a closet. After the mother called 911, the police responded and found that the boy was playing what he called “a joke.”

The police are considering pressing criminal charges against the boy. But Chief Steven Solomon said that what most surprised him after the police had investigated the call on Wednesday was that students seemed more occupied with their cellphones than with their lessons. “Twitter was lit up,” he said, “and there were so many texts flowing freely among parents, friends and family members during the school day.”

Real or Not, World’s End Is Trouble for Schools,
NYT,
20.12.2012,
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/21/
education/doomsday-prophecy-prompts-rumors-of-violence-in-schools.html

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing Irene as Harbinger

of a Change in Climate

 

August 27, 2011

The New York Times

By JUSTIN GILLIS

 

The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?

The short answer from scientists is that they are still trying to figure it out. But many of them do believe that hurricanes will get more intense as the planet warms, and they see large hurricanes like Irene as a harbinger.

While the number of the most intense storms has clearly been rising since the 1970s, researchers have come to differing conclusions about whether that increase can be attributed to human activities.

“On a longer time scale, I think — but not all of my colleagues agree — that the evidence for a connection between Atlantic hurricanes and global climate change is fairly compelling,” said Kerry Emanuel, an expert on the issue at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Among those who disagree is Thomas R. Knutson, a federal researcher at the government’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J. The rising trend of recent decades occurred over too short a period to be sure it was not a consequence of natural variability, he said, and statistics from earlier years are not reliable enough to draw firm conclusions about any long-term trend in hurricane intensities.

“Everyone sort of agrees on this short-term trend, but then the agreement starts to break down when you go back longer-term,” Mr. Knutson said. He argues, essentially, that Dr. Emanuel’s conclusion is premature, though he adds that evidence for a human impact on hurricanes could eventually be established.

While scientists from both camps tend to think hurricanes are likely to intensify, they do not have great confidence in their ability to project the magnitude of that increase.

One climate-change projection, prepared by Mr. Knutson’s group, is that the annual number of the most intense storms will double over the course of the 21st century. But what proportion of those would actually hit land is another murky issue. Scientists say climate change could alter steering currents or other traits of the atmosphere that influence hurricane behavior.

Storms are one of nature’s ways of moving heat around, and high temperatures at the ocean surface tend to feed hurricanes and make them stronger. That appears to be a prime factor in explaining the power of Hurricane Irene, since temperatures in the Atlantic are well above their long-term average for this time of year.

The ocean has been getting warmer for decades, and most climate scientists say it is because greenhouse gases are trapping extra heat. Rising sea-surface temperatures are factored into both Mr. Knutson’s and Dr. Emanuel’s analyses, but they disagree on the effect that warming in remote areas of the tropics will have on Atlantic hurricanes.

Air temperatures are also rising because of greenhouse gases, scientists say. That causes land ice to melt, one of several factors leading to a rise in sea level. That increase, in turn, is making coastlines more vulnerable to damage from the storm surges that can accompany powerful hurricanes.

Overall damage from hurricanes has skyrocketed in recent decades, but most experts agree that is mainly due to excessive development along vulnerable coastlines.

In a statement five years ago, Dr. Emanuel, Mr. Knutson and eight colleagues called this “the main hurricane problem facing the United States,” and they pleaded for a reassessment of policies that subsidize coastal development — a reassessment that has not happened.

“We are optimistic that continued research will eventually resolve much of the current controversy over the effect of climate change on hurricanes,” they wrote at the time. “But the more urgent problem of our lemming-like march to the sea requires immediate and sustained attention.”

Seeing Irene as Harbinger of a Change in Climate,
NYT,
27.8.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/us/28climate.html

 

 

 

 

 

Why Experts Get the Future Wrong

 

March 25, 2011

The New York Times

By KATHRYN SCHULZ

 

FUTURE BABBLE
Why Expert Predictions Are Next to Worthless,
and You Can Do Better
By Dan Gardner
305 pp. Dutton. $26.95.

 

What does the future hold? To answer that question, human beings have looked to stars and to dreams; to cards, dice and the Delphic oracle; to animal entrails, Alan Green­span, mathematical models, the palms of our hands. As the number and variety of these soothsaying techniques suggest, we have a deep, probably intrinsic desire to know the future. Unfortunately for us, the future is deeply, intrinsically unknowable.

This is the problem Dan Gardner tackles in “Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Are Next to Worthless, and You Can Do Better.” Gardner, a Canadian journalist and author of “The Science of Fear,” takes as his starting point the work of Philip Tetlock, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Beginning in the 1980s, Tetlock examined 27,451 forecasts by 284 academics, pundits and other prognosticators. The study was complex, but the conclusion can be summarized simply: the experts bombed. Not only were they worse than statistical models, they could barely eke out a tie with the proverbial dart-throwing chimps.

The most generous conclusion Tetlock could draw was that some experts were less awful than others. Isaiah Berlin once quoted the Greek poet Archilochus to distinguish between two types of thinkers: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Berlin admired both ways of thinking, but Tetlock borrowed the metaphor to account for why some experts fared better. The least accurate forecasters, he found, were hedgehogs: “thinkers who ‘know one big thing,’ aggressively extend the explanatory reach of that one big thing into new domains” and “display bristly impatience with those who ‘do not get it,’ ” he wrote. Better experts “look like foxes: thinkers who know many small things,” “are skeptical of grand schemes” and are “diffident about their own forecasting prowess.”

To his credit, Gardner is a fox. His book, though, is somewhat hedgehoggy. It knows one big thing: that the future cannot be foretold, period, and that those who try to predict it are deluding themselves and the rest of us. In defense of that theory, Gardner dips into the science of unpredictability and the psychology of certainty. And he provides case studies of failed prophets — a kind of hedgehog highlight reel, in which the environmental scientist Paul Ehrlich, the historian Arnold Toynbee and the social critic James Howard Kunst­ler come in for a particularly hard time.

This schadenfreude-fest can be good fun. Gardner leaves plenty of prognosticators squirming on history’s thumbtack, like the British journalist H. N. Norman, who argued, in early 1914, that “there will be no more wars among the six Great Powers.” And throughout this terrain, Gardner is an able tour guide. That’s a common analogy in reviews, but I mean it here as literally as a figurative claim can be. Like the guy who leads 200 people a day around London, Gardner is knowledge­able about the major attractions, cheerfully conversational, deliberately inoffensive and fond of jokes pitched at the chuckle range.

How you feel about his book will therefore depend on two things. The first is how much you like being led around to information, as opposed to getting lost, finding your bearings and working up a sweat. The second is whether you’ve already been to this destination. Here Gardner faces a challenge, and not just because Tetlock’s own book, “Expert Political Judgment,” is outstanding. Many recent works explore similar ground, so if you’re in Gardner’s target audience, you’ve most likely encountered much of his material. Are you familiar with hindsight bias or groupthink? Can you define “cognitive dissonance” or “heuristic”? Ever heard of Stanley Milgram’s fake electric shock experiments? If so — well, the future may not be predictable, but this book will be.

Competition is not its own criticism, of course, but Gardner struggles to distinguish himself. As a writer, he serves up a basically good meal with a grating of grating. Witness his fondness for overdetermined analogies. A video about the 2008 housing-market disaster “spread like a California wildfire in an abandoned housing development.” The 2003 invasion of Iraq “left failed predictions lying about the landscape like burnt-out tanks.”

More worrisome than the literary lapses are the intellectual ones. First, Gardner repeatedly fails to distinguish between different kinds of forecasters — e.g., Ehr­lich and the evangelist Hal Lindsey. “Since rational people don’t take seriously the prognostications of Mysterious Madam Zelda or any psychic, palm reader, astrologer or preacher who claims to know what lies ahead,” he writes, “they should be skeptical of expert predictions.”

Undoubtedly we should be skeptical, but not for that reason. Just because a policy analyst and Madam Zelda both mispredict the future doesn’t make their predictions equivalent. The analyst’s prediction is moored in theory and evidence; if all other variables could be controlled, Fact A could cause Forecast B. (Inflation today could increase unemployment tomorrow.) Of course, all other variables can’t be controlled, and so the analyst may be wrong. Religious and occult predictions, however, boast no causal logic whatsoever. (“You will meet a tall, dark stranger because . . . I see him in my crystal ball”?) Even when they’re right, they’re wrong.

To ignore this difference is to stray perilously close to anti-intellectualism. And Gardner, despite his better impulses, drifts that direction in other ways as well — for instance, by pitting “all the smart people” against “ordinary Americans.” Wait: Ordinary Americans aren’t smart? Smart people aren’t real Americans? Such distinctions aren’t just invidious. They also dodge the real issue, which is that expertise and intelligence are not intellectually or morally equivalent to charlatanism. Indeed, they often serve us exceptionally well.

More troubling still, Gardner perpetuates misunderstandings about the human mind. “We live in the Information Age,” he writes, “but our brains are Stone Age.” That is, we make mistakes because our minds are eons out of date, a jumbled mess of “kludges” ill-suited to modern life.

This idea is the Noble Savage of pop neuroscience: a catchy, culturally convenient notion that is flat wrong. It’s easy to tell Just So stories about why we are the way we are, but they can’t be proved, and they often collapse under even mild scrutiny. (So in the Stone Age, when our brains were perfectly calibrated for our environment, we never made mistakes?)

Gardner, for all his concern about prediction, has no qualms about retrodiction, even of the distant, unknowable past. He writes enthusiastically about how we are “hard-wired” for this or that trick — say, to crave certainty. Never mind that he himself seems quite comfortable with doubt. Even if the brain is in some sense hard-wired (and given what we know about plasticity, the analogy is questionable), those wires unfold to millions of miles and possess an estimated 1,000,000,000,000,000 connections. That’s some fuse box. And that’s why neuroscientists, like the foxes Gardner professes to admire, exercise caution in their claims about the brain.

What is most frustrating about all this iffy evolutionary psychology is that it represents Gardner’s only real effort to understand why we obsess about the future. True, back in the day, we needed to predict whether the rustling in the bushes was a predator or dinner. But “What happens next?” is a deep and wide question, one that extends far beyond Paleolithic perils. It is about suspense, curiosity, tension, desire, death. Gardner touches almost none of that.

I want to like this book, because I share Gardner’s values and am sympathetic to his project. And clearly, skepticism and intellectual humility need all the champions they can get. But while “Future Babble” pays appropriate homage to the mysteries of the future, it gives short shrift to both the science of the human mind and the richness of the human experience.


Kathryn Schulz is the author

of “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error.”

 

 

This article has been revised

to reflect the following correction:

 

Correction: March 25, 2011

 

An earlier version of this article misstated

Philip Tetlock’s current academic affiliation.

He is now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania,

not at the University of California, Berkeley,

where he previously held a position.

Why Experts Get the Future Wrong,
NYT,
25.3.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/
books/review/book-review-future-babble-by-dan-gardner.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia

 

time