Monday, July 12, 2010

The near future and the far future

Here's a quote from Mr. Bill Gates that we should bear in mind as we practice situational awareness:
"We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.  Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction"

I think of this as the 'cone of uncertainty'. Risk attitudes change over time; the near future is always more ominous because we can see more clearly and imagine more vividly everything that can go wrong. On the other hand, the far future is the time of optimism: we can imagine everything going right and we discount any view to the contrary!

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