The Risk of Extrapolating Linear Trends Against Non-Linear Systems

by Chris Arkenberg, URBEINGRECORDED.com

A common habit in forecasting, particularly in energy futures & economic growth, is to take roughly linear trends and extend them over the next few decades. The notion is that there is inertia in what has already happened that will make the future look markedly similar, or at least there will likely be a more-or-less linear movement along an existing path.

[...] Linear projections help us continue to get things done based on fairly reliable expectations. But avoiding the next economic catastrophe requires a deep study of the many threads & amplifiers that drive black swan events.

Outliers occupy the thin edge of statistical possibility yet almost always have tremendous consequences. They are, by nature, entropic & disruptive, shifting the territory and demanding new adaptations.

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