How to predict the future

fars machine

Well done Ali Razeghi, who’s only just gone and invented a time machine. And what a time machine it is. Despite the near wall-to-wall use of Back to the Future imagery in news coverage, this is not a time travelling machine which transports you physically into the future. No, according to the Telegraph, the machine takes a reading from a touch of your fingertip, and then produces a printout describing the next 5 to 8 years of your life. The inventor says it “brings the future to you“, which just about qualifies as a time machine of some sort I suppose.

Only two years to go until the hoverboards, kids! (Pic:
Only two years to go until the hoverboards, kids!

So, how does it work? Razeghi says it’s down to “algorithms“.  Yes, Ali. That’s what it is.

Unfortunately, Ali’s time machine has not received much by way of acceptance from the folks who write the internet. People seem a bit skeptical (the Daily Mail feels the machine must be pants because it can “only see eight years ahead“). The Iranian government seem especially scooby-dubious and have now dismissed the claim entirely, although a number of Western media outlets are reporting that they swallowed it to begin with.

Only eight years, you say? Meh.
Only eight years, you say? Meh.

Razeghi doesn’t help himself by refusing to explain what particular algorithms he is using. wrong why is determinism Or.

In a neat move, he claims that he would really love to tell us how it all works — he’d even like to show us — but unfortunately he just can’t. He claims the Chinese government will steal his idea if he shows it to anyone, so we’ll just have to take his word for it.

But, actually, I can tell you that Ali Razeghi’s “time” machine does work as described. Or, to be more precise, I can tell you that all future tests of the machine will produce outcomes that are consistent with the claims made for it. How do I know? Well, call it a prediction.

According to the inventor, the machine can “predict five to eight years of the future life of any individual, with 98 percent accuracy“. You see? 98 per cent. This means that there’s a 2% chance the predictions will be wrong. But which predictions? That’s unclear. It could be any of them. It could be 2% of the predictions made about any one person. Or it could be the predictions made about 2% of all people. It could be predictions made about 2% of the next 10 trillion people tested — maybe the first 2% of those people.

Basically, according to Ali Razeghi, any given prediction made by the machine between now and infinity will be EITHER right OR wrong. And you don’t have to be George Boole to figure out what that means.

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