Evidence-based forecast

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

3 December 2012

 

Cold winter ahead? That’s what folks were wondering.

 

It’s late autumn and the Indians on a remote reservation in South Dakota asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.

 

The chief had received a modern education but he had never been made privy to the old secrets of his tribe. So, when he looked at the sky, he just couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like.

 

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter could well be cold.  They should all collect firewood in order to be prepared for the worst.

 

However, the chief was not happy that he had no evidence to back up his hunch. So he picked up the phone, called the National Weather Service, and asked: ‘Is the coming winter going to be cold?’

 

‘It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,’ replied the meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

 

So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared for the worst.

 

A week later he called the National Weather Service again. ‘Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?’

 

‘Yes,’ replied once more the man at the National Weather Service. ‘It sure is going to be a very cold winter.’

 

The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could lay their hands on.

 

Two weeks later the he rang the National Weather Service again. ‘Are you absolutely sure that this winter is going to be very cold?’ he asked.

 

‘I’m absolutely sure of it,’ the man replied. ‘In fact, it’s looking more and more like it’s going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.’

 

‘How can you be so sure?’ the chief asked.

 

‘Because the Indians are collecting a shitload of firewood,’ said the weatherman.

 

——–

 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)

2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)

4. Capitalism in practice  (4 July 2012) 

5.Ladder  (21 June 2012)

 6. A tale of two cities (1)  (6 June 2012)

 7. A tale of two cities (2)  (7 June 2012)

 8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

———-

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