I just registered with the internet-course on Trendspotting that I will be attending this spring as a student at Mälardalens högskola. My very first assignment was to read and reflect on an excerpt from an article in The Futurist.
The article triggered me to think of perception and what we can really know about the World. So, to help myself, I drew a little cartoon to highlight some things that came to mind.
So the picture has a timeline from left to right, and a dashed line indicating the present – here and now. It is through direct observation that we can inform ourselves about the actual state of the World in real time. The state of things beyond the reach of our own senses can only be made available to us through indirect observation, either by communicating with other observers and accepting their reports as true facts, or more commonly by analyzing several incoming reports and forming a personal view or opinion on the state of the World “beyond our horizons”.
As time passes, we accumulate evidence of the World, as it was according to reporters, and our knowing increases to a point where we either cannot obtain more input or we are satisfied with what we have. As time goes by, memories fade, new reports are added and previous conclusions are challenged. What used to be facts now seem less trustworthy and our sense of “knowing (it all)” is replaced by reasonable doubt.
And, of course, we cannot really know anything absolute about the future. All we can hope to do is make credible predictions to underpin our planning, our hopes and aspirations. The Trendspotting course is about methods for said. Stay tuned!