February 20, 2013

February 20: Things That Had Never Happened Before

Patrick Marren
Partner

Every day something happens that has never happened before. So you should be creating scenarios to anticipate the truly novel.

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February 14, 2013

The Valley of the Shadow

Patrick Marren
Partner

WIll the great institutions of society learn how to live with transparency before transparency destroys them?

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January 18, 2013

400-Word Scenario #8*: Manti Te'o World

Patrick Marren
Partner

The Manti Te'o events of this past week have caused your scenario planning consultants to think bad thoughts about the future.

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January 14, 2013

400-Word Scenario #10: Fiscal Ramp to Prosperity

Patrick Marren
Partner

February 14, 2013 [Wolf News/MSDNC]: In a Valentine's Day miracle, Congress and the administration today reached a long-term deal on the debt ceiling, taxes, and fiscal reform.

A group of rogue bipartisan realists from perfectly safe seats - the Washington DC and Guam delegates and the observer team from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, spurred along by a contingent of visiting Marines and Seal Team members glowering down from Senate and House galleries, publicly wondering exactly what they have been risking their lives to preserve - have brokered a deal to end the budget logjam. 

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November 22, 2012

400-Word Scenario #9: Thanksgiving 2042

Patrick Marren
Partner

"Now let us all join hands and give thanks for all we have this day.

"First, for our gas generator that saved us when the power grid went down yet again last night. It costs four times as much as our fathers' power bill, but it's there when we need it and it keeps our electric fence going when the Others try to enter our yard. 

"Second, for our advanced weaponry and the Iron Dome that defends us from all enemies, domestic and...well, mostly domestic. Our new rooftop electromagnetic pulse gun stops the Others before they even reach the security perimeter moat. 

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October 25, 2012

Nate Silver and Data-Recency Bias

Patrick Marren
Partner

One more thought provoked by Nate Silver's thought-provoking The Signal and the Noise.

It's about the seductiveness of data and cool, overly precise models.

(In comparison, say, to scenario-based planning? Sorry, the scenario consultants in us always rear their ugly, pragmatic, self-promoting heads. We gotta work on that.)

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October 19, 2012

Why Scenario-Based Planning Beats Prediction

Patrick Marren
Partner

Scenario consultants have an advantage over single-point forecasters like Nate Silver: we're not restricted to single point forecasts. 

Don't get us wrong: Nate Silver is as good as it gets when it comes to single-point forecasts, and as honest about their limitations.  But that undeniable fact just further dramatizes how dangerous point forecasting can be.

Just to illustrate, let's take the current ongoing presidential hoo-hah. 

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September 14, 2012

The Future of Apple and Us

Patrick Marren
Partner

Your scenario consultants imagine the future of Apple products to 2020...so you don't have to.

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August 21, 2012

400-Word Scenario #5: Revenge of the Real?

Patrick Marren
Partner

The Actual has its revenge upon the Virtual...

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August 07, 2012

My Team's Okay, Your Team's Evil

Patrick Marren
Partner

Jonathan Haidt thinks we're weird. And as scenario consultants, we have to agree.

Actually, he thinks we're WEIRD - as in, "Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic." Or at least you live in a country that by world standards corresponds to such adjectives. And if you live in such a country, you may fall into the trap of believing that all moral questions ultimately can be resolved through rationality. That is wrong, according to him.

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