Despite the extreme
importance of feedback, it does have a significant weakness. It can
only provide feedback on what is. When we add forecasting to feedback a
minor miracle occurs. We get feedback on what will be. Feedback works
well to hit a moving target as long as the target is moving as
expected. That is why attack aircraft under fire add random course
changes to their flight pattern.
In Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom
Menace, Qui-Gon comments that, "The Jedi Knight appears to have
lightning fast reflexes because through the force he anticipates what
his opponent will do." In the real world of combat the undefeated 15th
century Samurai, Miyamoto Musashi said, "to become undefeatable, speed
is not important. The truly superior strategist never appears to be in
a hurry. He is slow and deliberate. You must learn to anticipate your
opponent. In this way you will appear to be fast."
Can it be done? Star Wars is only
fiction. On the other hand Musashi survived more than 60 combats,
sometimes defeating up to 10 simultaneous opponents. In his day the
duels were usually fought to the death. He claimed his strategy made
him undefeatable. You might say he took the scientific position of
testing his theory to the extreme. I think it worth investigating his
claim that anticipating what will happen is a major part of making you
undefeatable. In any case, if he were alive today, I would not
challenge his claim.
I titled this section Foresight and
Preparation. Obviously foresight is of no use unless it is used
to prepare for will happen next. We have already discussed Knowing
What to Do, which of course cannot be done well without foresight.
Planning and forecasting go together. You cannot plan without
forecasting. You can forecast without subsequent planning, but that
would be contrary to our fundamental human nature. In the Section
Knowing What to Do, I focused on planning. Here the focus is on
forecasting. The first question to answer is, "Can we do it?"
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(C) 2005-2014 Wayne M. Angel.
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