It can be argued ad infinitum that everything is true or that nothing is true, and that to “predict” essentially means just what its Latin roots – prae (before) and dicere (to say) – suggest: to say something will happen before it happens, but without any guarantee that it will happen. Even so, it is almost impossible to stop predicting based almost entirely on the fact that something has happened before and is continuing to happen. This is how prediction models keep being built, and how we keep adjusting our predictions about the climate and everything else we know to be cyclical, which curiously ends up being EVERYTHING. I say “everything” because it is easy to observe that we are immersed in a planetary structure that moves according to cycles and rhythms. And if we move beyond the planetary context and just look at what happens on the earth and with ourselves, we still end up seeing everything in terms of cycles and rhythms.
Implicit in the concept of cycle is the idea of repetition, and everything that is repeated can be projected into the future without much problem or doubt. Thus we tell ourselves that tomorrow exists and also the day after tomorrow, and in a few hours night will fall and then day will come. This tendency to project keeps us feeling secure because it turns out to be relatively accurate; nevertheless we do encounter surprises from time to time, and then our certainties falter and uncertainty appears.
Uncertainty usually causes us problems because it doesn’t fit into our predictable world. This year, 2020, is full of uncertainty, and of course there will be many predictions of all kinds explaining the reason for these anomalies. The opinion makers and those who do not believe in them will be divided equally trying to explain, and to explain to themselves, everything that does not fit and produces uncertainty. The result of all this will probably be to produce even more uncertainty. After all, no one really wants to admit that it’s impossible to coherently explain all these rampant transformations. Unless you deeply study how changes (of all kinds) operate in the individual, in society and on the planet… just to begin with.
Personally, I am inclined to think that it is neither important nor correct to keep trying to explain what happens based on what has happened. Because if I examine things closely, these predictions are only correct if they are framed in terms of the general and not the particular. Earthquakes in a specific place can be explained by geological and geographical studies, etc., but that kind of understanding does not make it possible to predict them. Viruses cannot be predicted either, and viruses are sometimes not well understood. Not to mention social uprisings, or even less, economic collapse.
Those who dedicate themselves to prediction are still in the dark about the rhythms of processes. Anyway, I have my serious doubts about how so many experts in everything can be constantly adjusting their predictions and forgetting the previous ones.
Uncertainty is not resolved through predictions or explanations. In fact, I don’t think it can be resolved at that level at all. I do think that the “uncertain” can be extraordinarily positive, in that it can push us down untraveled paths, helping us gain in understanding and in true certainty, which I locate internally. If I only always walk the same path, I never have the opportunity to learn and to see what I have not seen yet, to experience new sensations and new ideas. I limit myself and I limit others.
On the other hand, if I see uncertainty as something that opens up new possibilities, I have the opportunity to see everything that does not fit within the predictable in a new way. Then without a doubt I lose my security and gain in internal experience. This is a good arrangement in a world that is increasingly in crisis, where the old explanations no longer ring true to the tired ears of a world that yearns for total renewal.
These images / drawings are from a collection called “Weekly Reflection”. Most of the time the text is related to the photo or the drawing and is a “poetic” interpretation of the image. All the images and drawings are made by Rafael Edwards, all the texts are created by Fernando Aránguiz and all the English translations by Trudi Richards.
If you want to be part of this project, send me an email.