Prediction  

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Loisirs Littéraires au XXe siècle (English: "Literary leasures in the 20th century") is the title of an illustration from the story "The End of Books" by French writer Octave Uzanne and illustrator Albert Robida, a story about a post-literate society in which readers have become 'hearers', consumers of audio books. It was published in the collection Contes pour les bibliophiles (1895). The illustration depicts a female reader of the 20th century, imagined by Robida, who is listening to  "12 poètes assortis" (twelve assorted poets) in on the balcony overlooking a future city.
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Loisirs Littéraires au XXe siècle (English: "Literary leasures in the 20th century") is the title of an illustration from the story "The End of Books" by French writer Octave Uzanne and illustrator Albert Robida, a story about a post-literate society in which readers have become 'hearers', consumers of audio books. It was published in the collection Contes pour les bibliophiles (1895). The illustration depicts a female reader of the 20th century, imagined by Robida, who is listening to "12 poètes assortis" (twelve assorted poets) in on the balcony overlooking a future city.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A prediction is a statement or claim that a particular event will occur in the future in more certain terms than a forecast.

The etymology of this word is Latin (from præ- "before" plus dicere "to say").

Supernatural prediction

Predictions have often been made, from antiquity until the present, by using paranormal or supernatural means such as prophecy or by observing omens. Methods including water divining, astrology, numerology, fortune telling, interpretation of dreams, and many other forms of divination, have been used for millennia to attempt to predict the future. These means of prediction have not been proven by scientific experiments.

In literature, vision and prophecy are literary devices used to present a possible timeline of future events. They can be distinguished by vision referring to what an individual sees happen. The New Testament book of Revelation (Bible) thus uses vision as a literary device in this regard. It is also prophecy or prophetic literature when it is related by an individual in a sermon or other public forum.

Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual. It is an integral part of witchcraft and has been used in various forms for thousands of years. Diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency, most often describe as an angel or a god though viewed by Christians and Jews as a fallen angel or demon.

Prediction in fiction

Fiction (especially fantasy, forecasting and science fiction) often features instances of prediction achieved by unconventional means.

  • In fantasy literature, predictions are often obtained through magic or prophecy, sometimes referring back to old traditions. For example, in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, many of the characters possess an awareness of events extending into the future, sometimes as prophecies, sometimes as more-or-less vague 'feelings'. The character Galadriel, in addition, employs a water "mirror" to show images, sometimes of possible future events.
  • In some of Philip K. Dick's stories, mutant humans called precogs can foresee the future (ranging from days to years). In the story called The Golden Man, an exceptional mutant can predict the future to an indefinite range (presumably up to his death), and thus becomes completely non-human, an animal that follows the predicted paths automatically. Precogs also play an essential role in another of Dick's stories, The Minority Report, which was turned into a film by Steven Spielberg in 2002.
  • In the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, a mathematician finds out that historical events (up to some detail) can be theoretically modelled using equations, and then spends years trying to put the theory in practice. The new science of psychohistory founded upon his success can simulate history and extrapolate the present into the future.
  • In Frank Herbert's sequels to Dune, his characters are dealing with the repercussions of being able to see the possible futures and select amongst them. Herbert sees this as a trap of stagnation, and his characters follow a Golden Path out of the trap.
  • In Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, the humanoid inhabitants of planet Gethen have mastered the art of prophecy and routinely produce data on past, present or future events on request. In this story, this was a minor plot device.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Prediction" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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