There is little we can predict, particularly where complex systems are involved. However, in the face of impossible uncertainty, some of us claim, often quite vigorously, to know the future – if we do this then this will happen.
The world seems to put a premium on answers. Some, like politicians, business leaders, consultants and journalists are handsomely rewarded for their answers to or their opinions on the unknowable.
Sadly, the odds are often stiffly against being right. Often, the most honest rational answer is “I don’t know”.
But how often do we say “I don’t know”? Why don’t we say it more often? And, why isn’t it more frequently praised or rewarded? It is after all sometimes the most honest and useful answer.