Twitlog: Possibility vs Prediction

Kristin: Sarah (@sciencesarah) and I (@kristinalford) have both talked about how we’ve been using Twitter to share ideas and connect with interesting people. Lately I’ve realised I am re-tweeting interesting links, which prompt conversations or further ideas for me. So writing a ‘twitlog’ allows us to follow through an original tweet with some further thoughts. This first twitlog follows a stream of thoughts about possibility.


@frankspencer then let me know that the reason for posting his original tweet was in response to people challenging his self-identification as a futurist. For them, ‘futurist’ was a label only to be bestowed by someone else. While this works for people who want gurus, it doesn’t work for me. For Frank and I, it is one of our job titles earned through postgraduate studies in strategic foresight. We talked about what it is a futurist does, and the importance of methods that allow for possibility, rather than a narrow focus on trends analysis and prediction.

This idea was reinforced by another blog post I read by Stuart Candy (@futuryst). The key paragraph of his blog for me was a comment about a new book by David Eagleman called Why I Am A Possibilian. Stuart wrote:

And I learned today (via a blog entry at Amazon) that this is a theme which (David) Eagleman — a neuroscientist — intends to take up in his next book, Why I Am A Possibilian. The notion of Possibilism (Possibilitarianism?) seems to me to provide an amusing and much-needed counter-meme to the narrow faux certainty of Singularitarianism, and I shall look forward to the follow up with great interest.

The notion of Possiblism provides a much-needed counter meme to the narrow certainty of the Singularity. Nice.

Finally @trib made the comment that ‘possiblism’ was how he was orientating his life after the experience of being at TED2009 (perhaps under the influence of Ben Xander and The Art of Possibility at TED2008?). As a an outlook on life, or a methods for futures inquiry, I prefer the possibility of possibility.


  1. […] Kristen Alford of the foresight and communications consultancy Bridge8. In a blog post she entitled “Possibility vs. Prediction,”Β she noted the conversation that we had in which we talked about the role of the Futurist being one […]

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