Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

216 × 138 mm
224 pages
15 Jun 2020
  • £17.00

  • This edition is not yet available

Seeing into the Future A Short History of Prediction Martin van Creveld

If there is anything that distinguishes us from animals, it is our ability to understand that such a thing as the future exists and our willingness to try and look into it.

But how have people through the ages gone about making predictions? What were their underlying assumptions, and what methods did they use? Have increased computer power and the newest algorithms improved our success in anticipating the future, or are we still only as good (or as bad) at it as our ancestors?

From the ancients watching the flight of birds to the murky activities of Google and Facebook today, Seeing into the Future gives us an insight into the past, present and future of prediction.

Martin van Creveld is Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and the author of many books including Conscience: A Biography (Reaktion, 2015), Wargames: From Gladiators to Gigabytes (2013) and The Privileged Sex (2013).

Part I: A Mysterious Journey
1 A Villain of a Magician
2 In the Name of the Lord
3 Oracles, Pythias and Sibyls
4 A Dream to Remember
5 Consulting the Dead

Part II: Be Sober and Reasonable
6 Searching the Heavens
7 Clear and Manifest
8 On Birds, Livers and Sacrifices
9 The Magic of Numbers
10 Decoding the Bible

Part III: Enter Modernity
11 From Patterns to Cycles
12 With Hegel on the Brain
13 Ask, and You’ll Be Answered
14 The Most Powerful Tools
15 War Games Here, War Games There

Part IV: The Lord of the Universe
16 Looking Backward
17 Why is Prediction So Difficult?
18 Is Our Game Improving?
19 A World Without Uncertainty?

Further Reading