The Prophesy's Principal Practical Principles, or 7PPPP, are the basic rules that every successful futurologist should adhere to. Only by following these rules can we be sure that our predictions have much chance for success. They are as follows:
1. Knowledge edit
We need knowledge before we can utilize it in the writing of our prophesies. This is because, as change accelerates in our world, the body of information that any one person can garner is apparently increasingly limited compared the amount of information necessary to know what we are doing. Of course, we cannot obtain singularity at this point; we can only hope to understand all the fundamental concepts—the forces underlying change. Doing so will enable us to better face the future and at the same time not overburden ourselves with the breadth and depth of information available. However, this comes at a compromise. While with a basic knowledge on most issues we can make a good prediction, it is by no means accurate, especially since the more knowledge we obtain, the more accurate our predictions are likely to become. However, we cannot expect to ever know everything, and as we increase our knowledge the additional facts that we learn help us less and less in determining the future because of the uncertainties involved in what the future may hold as compared to what the present already holds.
Over the years I have been amassing a body of knowledge which now provides me with an abundance of information with which to investigate in understanding the past, finding the present, and predicting the future. My knowledge is by no means complete, and therefore the predictions that follow are not set in stone nor necessarily accurate.
2. Wisdom edit
Wisdom is the ability to understand how all this knowledge will come together, and what options the future will hold for various factions. Instances of compromise, strategy, tricks, and traps are all part of the bigger category of wisdom. With it, we can maneuver around difficulties, ideological, political, economic, and social; with it, we can better understand how others will try to maneuver; with it, we can begin to appreciate the need for brilliant ideas. Yet wisdom is not something easy to achieve; it needs a combination of practice in the real world as well as an innate ability to empathize with others, that is, to understand how others are thinking and feeling, and thereby being able to face their challenges and compromise. That said, wisdom is crucial to the process of predicting the future because so much of history has shown us that wisdom is instrumental in much of what has ever happened in human history. They say that the mind is the greatest treasure of mankind. Wisdom is partly one's mind, and partly everyone else's mind—truly a spectacular force to be reckoned with.
I have been placing myself in others' shoes, so to speak, in order to understand how various points of view may be held toward what I predict will occur. Of course, who is to say that wisdom is true? ...And in any case, all too often "wisdom" as a weapon is generally laughed out of the arena, only to stab back swiftly.
3. Pragmatism edit
These two concepts tie together to form a pragmatic worldview that is fundamentally important to the understanding of the forces running the world of our future. The predictions one can make can only be pragmatic to a point as the other concepts' limitations come into play, yet still can be considered much more reliable than if this rule were not followed. Indeed, the stress on diversity that I present here contradicts the stress on megascale engineering and "wishful thinking" that many other futurologist-wannabes have considered—and which I consider to be less than likely.
In the realm of politics, in the 1880's it had already become obvious that foreign affairs (and domestic policy as well) were determined by practical politics, also called realpolitik (German) as opposed to ideological conflicts. Bismarck understood the need to be pragmatic in the world of his time; subsequently, when the kaiser removed him from his position, Germany quickly sank into the horror World War One. This is just one example in which pragmatism should be valued by futurologists.
4. Ingenuity edit
Ingenuity has proven to be one of the greatest wonders that mankind has in its possession. Ever since the beginning of history, time and eras have been marked by the changes in technology and ideology—things that few other people could have expected, yet have nevertheless taken place. Of course, many of them are hard to predict, since they are accidents—for example, TNT, nylon, and glue have all made significant contributions to the future world of their time, which is also the present of ours. However, with a bit of ingenuity we can create much more realistic predictions of the future, especially since one of the few constants we know of is that there will continue to be new inventions, innovations, and discoveries in the years to come, and probably for all time.
As you read through this text, you might note that some ideas are very unusual. Indeed, I have taken the liberty to introduce new, sometimes drastic ideas, both overly pessimistic and optimistic. I feel that I can do this because so much of the past was in fact determined by new creations invented during what was then their "future".
5. Neutrality edit
Bias is inherent in every futurologist's drafts. However, it is not hard to pinpoint. To clear articles and edit out bias, I have proofread my work from the perspective of an opponent or the general public. In doing so, I have detected some cases of obvious unfair writing that onewould disagree with or would not like to see written, and have taken steps to remove them. Yet for the general public, bias would seem at firsthand to be something positive, as it is so pervasive. For example:
- Example: "All Islamists are terrorist fundamentalists"—not true for the vast majority of Islamists, and definitely will result in animosity from more people than just those Islamists being targeted.
- Example: "In the future, people must be futurewise or they shall be left behind"—while this may be true, it does not reflect the beliefs of the majority of the population, who are psychologically more prone to being conservative than radical.
How much does one accurately know about on one's topics? Most people would not realize it, but bias has such an extensive influence on the perception of the world around us that we may fall into the trap of accepting this bias as a total truth. Therefore, we need to enforce our neutrality on the issues in order to see more clearly into the future.
6. Justification edit
In any prediction, there should be a good reason for its occurrence. Therefore, any claims that I have presented have been justified appropriately.
- Example: "We all gonna die."—why? If you are going to make statements that are unlikely to occur (and you should know what they are), then you should also take the time to explain why you think so. Don't just put this up with the intention of stirring up animosity.
- Example: "An asteroid will hit the earth and lots of people will die."—this may be possible, and therefore qualifies as a Point of Divergence that then leads to its own scenario. However, you should justify the claim through reasoning.
I will try to justify each of my claims at every point. Of course, I cannot expect nor meet every counterargument; herein lies the greatest flaw in my prediction. Yet, that is something we need to understand in everything that we come across.
7. Limitation edit
Given the uncertainty in any prediction, everything is limited; almost nothing presented in this text can be taken as definite. Instead, I have replaced these words with less absolutist terms.
- Example: "We cannot know the future."—true, but then exactly what is the future? We can know some things to a reasonable extent.
- Example: "Wikipedia gives all the information on all topics that you may want to know."—Wikipedia is HUGE, but as the contributors are not screened before-hand, the reliability of the source is of great controversy in schools.
I have taken care to present the limitations of my arguments so that they may seem to contradict the very claims that I am trying to make, and would seem detrimental to my main points. However, only by doing so can I ensure that everything is well-founded and therefore not easily criticized.
As I have already repeatedly mentioned, there are many limitations to what we know and what we can predict; therefore, there will be many events that I cannot foresee that may have significant influences on the future. As we go further into the future, however, these predictions can become more and more accurate for any particular event.