Should We Try To Predict The Future?

Despite many thousands of years of practice, human beings are mostly unable to predict the future. After failure upon failure, the question arises: should we even try?

From big events to trivial ones, we humans are really inept when it comes to divining what comes next. There are some very basic things — the sun will rise tomorrow — and that’s about it. Jobs are unstable. Health issues can arise at any time. Marriages fail regularly. And of course, the farther out in the future you go, the less certain things get.

Admittedly, as our understanding of the universe grows, some predictions come easier. For example, scientists can predict with great accuracy solar and lunar eclipses.

And yet, even science has its limitations. Predicting exactly when a particular breakthrough will or will not happen is an exercise in futility. Science is, inherently, an exploration of the unknown, which means that progress is inherently unknowable.

None of this stops us from trying to predict what comes next. From taking your umbrella with you when you go out for the day, to selecting the numbers for the lottery jackpot, we can’t help but guess what will happen next.

A lot of time, effort, and money is spent regularly on prognostication. Insurance companies have armies of actuaries. Pundits get paid to sound confident in their predictions of the next election, even if they were completely wrong about the last one. Meteorologists use the latest in cutting edge technology in forecasting the weather.

Could all this time, effort, and money be put to better use? Would our lives be better without the constantly mediocre attempts to predict the future? Or is it the case that our efforts in that direction is what drives us to learn? To make new discoveries that can make our lives better in other ways?

Related questions: What is time? How much does your past determine your future? How do you plan for the future? What is your five year prediction? Ten?

Politics: Incremental Or Transformational?

We don’t ask too many overtly political questions, but here is (a non-partisan) one: do you think politics is inherently about steady, incremental progress, or broad, sweeping, transformational change?

Share why if you wish.

Politics: Incremental Or Transformational?

What Do You Love About Your Country?

Chances are, you love where you live. Or at least, you love some parts about it. What do you love about your country?

There are many general areas that someone could find appealing about the nation where they reside. For example, natural beauty, which might include a spectacular waterfall, a majestic forest, or stunning lakes (among others).

Security is yet another thing that might set one country apart from another. Do you feel safe, from both your fellow citizens as well as from other countries?

One thing that can vary drastically from place to place is political climate. Do you like yours? Why or why not? Do you feel represented in government? Do you feel free?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Freedom or security?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is technology neutral?’


Or perhaps you like the people all around you. What are some of the traits of people that are among the best? Generosity, an accepting nature, thoughtfulness, honesty?

Another option is opportunity, which includes literacy, education, jobs, housing, health care, and others. Are opportunities available to you where you live?

There are many other possibilities as well. What is it that you like best about your country?

Related questions: If you could live anywhere, where would it be? What is patriotic behavior? Why do you live where you live? Are you free?

What Does The Second Amendment Mean To You?

With the recent shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX, attention has been focused on the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. What do you think of it?

The text reads, in full:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What are you willing to sacrifice?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What do you believe?’


Does this amendment signify a deep-seated right for individuals to bear arms? Is it an antiquated holdover from years ago? Does the vague language help or hurt it?

You don’t need to be a constitutional scholar to hold an opinion. What is yours?

Related questions: How can we encourage debate? Personal Rights or Public Safety? When should you not follow the law? How can we be safe?

Why Are We So Divided?

No matter which metric you use, it seems like there is a yawning gap between people. We are more divided than ever. What is fueling this growing difference?

Short of an escalation into violence, it’s difficult to imagine a more divided population than exists in the United States and the world.

Income inequality means more families are struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, wealth is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

There are more people leaving organized religion with each passing year. Those that remain feel persecuted.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


But by far, the most intense division is political. Individuals in different political parties can’t even seem to have a civil conversation. Each side believes the other one is destroying the country. As a result, we are self-selecting into opposing neighborhoods, cities, and states. Nuance, complexity, and compromise are forgotten or ignored.

How did we get here? What is the cause of this division? Is it a media that is chasing advertising money? Or political leaders looking to consolidate power and influence? Are the wealthy looking to collect even more money? Are the poor lazy and shiftless? Alternately, are social media outlets — a new technology — spreading misinformation in the interest of attracting viewers?

In your opinion, who is to blame for our current state of disunity? And more importantly, perhaps, how can we reverse that trend and see our commonalities rather than our differences? Why are we so divided?

Related questions: What do we have in common? How can we encourage meaningful conversation? Why do we hate? How do we know we are right?