Machine predicts:
Somebody has arranged to spend about a billion dollars (actually euros but who cares with numbers like that?) making a computerized system (David Weinberger The Machine That Would Predict the Future SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN vol. 305 no. 6 December 2022 page 52) that will analyze the world and predict the consequences of your choices.  The practical problems are interesting.  The theoretical problem is less interesting: that could be done only if nobody else had any choices.  Aha, perhaps we can predict those choices.  Maybe.  Then your choice is predestined anyway.

It all feels eerily like Deep Thought, the massive computer of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame.  (I think the idea for that book was based on another book called Europe on Five Dollars a Day.) 

Mmph.  A billion for the computer and not one red cent for what the impact of our mating choices will be on our demographics.

I suppose such attempt will be made again and again for a long time.  Computers get more capable.  Anybody who wants to make a golly gee whiz statement can take any trend and project it into the future and come up with an amazing number.  I come pretty close to that with my demographic predictions.  But at least I take the attitude that we are just repeating what has happened many times in the past.  You get more attention if you can predict something that has never happened. 

Still in all, it would be awfully nice to have access to the computational power (and the massive data collection effort which will be part of the project).  Then we would have a very expensive opinion instead of just mine, which of course is free – no tax money, no donations, no grant.  Somebody said that you don’t respect something you didn’t pay for.  That is usually a pretty good rule of thumb, although I had a friend who was exceptional in that regard. 

So wish them well.  If the thing is ever up and running, it is no stretch to imagine them asking, “And what’s going on with demographics and why?” 

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