‘The internet will soon go supernova and, in 1996, it will catastrophically collapse’, proclaimed Robert Metcalfe in 1995. Metcalfe was no fool. As the inventor of the Ethernet, he was an early internet pioneer and part of the intellectual establishment. His ludicrous prediction tells us two things about prognostication.
Firstly, the worst predictions don’t come from lunatics on the fringe; they are announced by experts and accepted by insiders. Secondly, predictions should be made sparingly and with humility.