Wednesday, April 30, 2003

In the pundit wars over post-mortems of how recent events were anticipated the discussion often centers around who was right in their prognostications and who was wrong. This isn't bad because it gives us a scorecard on the forecasting acumen of the voices that are prognosticating today. We learn who is credible and who is not. But we need to be cautious in taking the scorecards too seriously. I see the role of punditry as something more than pissing match over who is smarter or a better predictor of events. Sometimes the role is nothing more than to challenge conventional wisdom with as many alternatives as possible. History has a way of turning on unanticipated occurrances. By giving voice to a range of possible outcomes we are better prepared to handle the unanticipated realities. I would be very afraid of the day when most of the pundits really agreed about something.

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