Statistically Extraordinary

“Economic forecasting misses the real future because it has too short a range; fiction misses the future because it has too little imagination.”

Too little imagination? Yes, for a structural reason almost never taken into account. At any time the several “probable” things that might occur in the future are vastly outnumbered by the countless near-impossible eventualities, which are so many and individually so unlikely that it is not worth the effort of futurists or futurismists to examine and prepare for even a fraction of them. Yet one of those innumerable near-impossibilities is what is most likely to occur. Reality is thus statistically forced always to be extraordinary. Fiction is not allowed that freedom. Fiction has to be plausible; reality doesn’t.

The Clock of the Long Now, by Stewart Brand