Formation Of The Future

Gagik Harutyunyan

03 August 2009

Divination has always been one of those issues, which exited
humanity. Almost in all the societies we know, oracles had special
status and were held in high estimation. Back to the second millennium
B.C. the prophetic priestess of Apollo in Delphi were known in the
Ancient world for their gift of divination and before taking any
initiative the kings and the warlords necessarily visited the temple. A
part of "Delphic divinations" preserved and the analysis, carried
out in present days evidence that the most part of the prophecies
(41%) proved known realities, 32% were the orders-instructions,
(i.e. do this or that step), 22% were the direction-taboos, 3% –
wrong divinations, while only 2% of the divinations came true. As we
can see the probability of the divinations is 5%, while only half of
it came true.

Despite such unsatisfactory results the tradition of turning to the
oracles has preserved up to present days.

And today there are many figures, businessmen and common people who
regularly turn to various oracles and fork out trying to find out what
is going to happen to them in the near and distant future. According
to the experts this phenomenon is determined by the fact that some
people are inclined to see in the dim formulations of the oracles
real facts and developments of our life and this make them believe
different "prophecies". In special literature such effects are called
after the psychologists Barnum, Rosenthal and Gotorn who opened and
studied those phenomena.

"Deplphi" technology. In our times the divinations became more
coordinated and this sphere received scientific name – futurology. At
first futurologists were mainly writers and philosophers whose
divinations were the child of their intuition and fancies. It should
be accepted that a part of such divinations not only broadened
the outlook of their contemporaries but it had also been used in
the future. But futurology turned into scientific-experimental
method only in the second half of the last century (1953) when the
employees of American "think tank" RAND Gordon and Helmer elaborated
the technologies of forecast, which was called "Delphi" after the
place name of the Apollo temple. The essence of that method is as
follows: the successively adjustable questioning of the experts on
the possible future developments of the problem studied are carried
out in several steps. The answers and the assessments they get are
compared and processed in special ways.

Undoubtedly, to carry out "Delphi" method the adherence of many
preliminary conditions is necessary (e.g. anonymity of the experts, the
usage of the results of the previous stage survey by the experts and
etc). But the main factor of coarse is the presence of highly-qualified
expert resource and the culture of its purposeful usage. Today there
are at least 10-15 methods of forecasting, which are set on logical
and ideological base of "Delphi", being widely used in a number of
countries: with their help the estimates of the future in political,
economic, scientific, technical and other spheres are given.

Let us mention that the number of the forecasts of the global character
has increased recently. For example, the work "The Next 100 Years"
by George Friedman, the head of the well-known STRATFOR organization,
has been published recently. But in our opinion the pride of place
on the "forecast market" must be given to the document published at
the end of 2008 by the USINFCOM "The Joint Operating Environment-JOE"
where the specialists from the Pentagon tried to forecast the military
and political situation on our planet in a quarter of a century.

Philosophy of "Pentagon". It is remarkable that American military
experts begin their analysis from the consideration of the experience
of the past and some philosophical issues. According to them the
notion of the war and peace, which were formed by Sun Tzi (6th century
B.C.) and in the 19th century by Carl von Clausewitz, have not changed
fundamentally till now. It is remarkable that the formula of the
victory is seen by the American strategists just like Sun Tzi in the
cognitive plane, i.e. they often make the reference to the Chinese
classic: "If you know yourself and know your enemy, then you will
always win. If you know yourself but do not know your enemy then you
will have both victories and defeats. If you know neither yourself
and nor your enemy then each your battle is fraught with defeat".

One has also to agree with the statement, which you can find in that
document, that today’s political leaders realize and understand the
fast changes rather late and their perceptions of the future are
frequently attempt to shift the everyday realities to the future
through extrapolation. The authors of JOE approach this problem
self-critically and point out the mistakes, which were made by the
American military and political leadership in a consequence of wrong
perception even of the near future.

American strategists attach special concern to the factor of political
will of the authorities, which presence adds great perspectives even
to the countries, which possess restricted resources.

Global economy in the future. According to the Pentagon experts,
in the next 25 years the global economy will grow more than 2 times,
and not only today’s economic giants will have GPR over $100 billion1
but also Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam. Those countries
will aspire to take the leading military and political roles in their
regions and to shape round themselves appropriate entities. Anyway
the US with its $21 trillion GDP will be the leader in economy but
by this performance China ($16 trillion), which will become the main
competitor of the US in the future as well, will approach it. Other
countries cede those powers (Japan – $7 trillion, India – $6 trillion,
Germany and Mexico – $4 trillion and etc.).

It is underlined in the document that if there are no necessary
measures taken then in the near future the energy crisis can be
expected. Today it looks like the oil production in the world has
some technological limit – 110 million barrels per day – but already
in 2012 there will be demand of 186 million barrels and it is not
clear yet how this problem will be solved.

But the humanity is threatened not only by the energy
problems. According to JOE in 2030 the water shortage will threaten
to 3 billion people, and real "water famine" awaits the Middle East
and Northern Africa. It is remarkable that the reservoir storages
built by Turkey on Tigris and Euphrates will cause serious problems
between this country and Iraq and Syria, which in its turn may cause
military actions.

Innovative struggle and information war. The Pentagon experts accept
that the US loose its exclusively monopoly political and economic
stances but they are sure that this power will dominate in the sphere
of innovations as it was before. It is especially mentioned that
in the wars of future fantasy and intellect will be the guarantee
of successes and those wars can be qualified as a struggle for the
"minds and spirits" of the people. The JOE experts are unconditionally
confirmed that information is "strategic weapon", and they proceed
from the provision that "the perception of what is going on means
more that what is really going on".

It is remarkable in this context that military department is seriously
anxious about the fact that in the American institutes of higher
education the elements of decay can be observed and now they cede in
their level to, e.g. Indian or Chinese universities. According to JOE
authors American scientific and educational sphere needs improvement
and reforms2.

Some conclusions. It is necessary to mention that the forecast
of the authoritative organizations issued for recent 10-20 years
(e.g. the US National Intelligence Council – NIC, the World Bank and
JOE) influence the decision making mechanisms in different countries
in definite ways. Further to the said the "authoritative forecasts"
became a peculiar factor of information and psychological influence as
they also influence the international community. The complex of those
circumstances is obviously reflected on the ongoing developments,
directs them and, thus, at some extent, forms the future according
to the prognoses made (remember the order-instructions of prophetic
priestess of Apollo).

At the same time "authoritative forecasts" are a result of the
collective work of the high class specialists and they contain useful
information not only for their leaders but also for the others. In
this regard, in our opinion, the philosophy of JOE authors and,
particularly, their approaches to the sphere of knowledge and the
issues of cognition are rather instructive.

In the aforementioned context it would worth quoting the formula
by Sun Tzi: "If you know yourself and know your enemy, then you
will always win. If you know yourself but do not know your enemy
then you will have both victories and defeats. If you know neither
yourself and nor your enemy then each your battle is fraught with
defeat". This is rather topical for Armenian society as well. Being
de-facto a combatant we have rather obscure ideas about Azerbaijan and
their society. Here we do not speak about military potential of that
country. It should be well known to our militaries. It is enough to
mention that few people speak Azerbaijani language; we have rather
obscure idea of their culture, ethno-psychology of that people and
etc. The situation is almost the same with our other neighbours. But
the most important is that we do not have enough knowledge about the
Armeniancy, i.e. about us. The research works in the Armenian studies
mainly concern material culture (which is also of great importance),
and there are incomparably less social and psychological researches
concerning the humanities and social sphere. It can be stated that
the self-knowledge is the most actual and at the same time least
studied sphere.
From: Baghdasarian