One of my favorite chapters in E.F. Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful” is called “A Machine to Foretell the Future” — in this chapter, Professor Schumacher criticized (more or less) what my father did for a living: Econometrics and econometric forecasting.
There’s a popular quote from Walt Disney that goes something like:
the best way to predict the future is to create it
Today, we have machines to comb through the past (e.g. Google.com, Archive.org, etc.), machines to share the present (Twitter.com, Facebook.com, etc.), but it seems like we don’t have anything that might help us create the future.
Note the word “seems” — I actually have an idea in this vein… I am working on it now. What kinds of “features” do you think such a machine ought to have?