Limiting rule for prophets

Never prophesy anything less than 10 years ahead.

By that time, nobody will remember what you said.

I don’t know who originated this.  I got the quote from my friend Oidin.

It reminds me of the words attributed to Winston Churchill, to the effect that a statesman should be able to predict what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and 10 years from now, and to be able to explain why his prediction did not come true.

When I was a reporter for The Daily Mail in Hagerstown, Md., in the 1960s, there was a reporter named Harry Warner for the other newspaper, The Morning Herald, who would keep records of planners’ and consultants’ projections concerning economic growth, population growth and so on, and check them against reality when they came due.  It would be a good thing if more reporters and public officials did that.  It wouldn’t prevent decisions based on mistaken forecasts, but it might reduce the number of decisions based on the same kinds of repeated mistaken forecasts.

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