FORERUNNER SIGNALS 1)2)5)
Many unexpected changes in processes and systems could be predicted, or at least detected with a good anticipation, if some specific events could be recognized in due time as early warnings.
The general problem of forecasting is most frequently considered in terms of more or less complex extrapolation of currently running trends, be it at short-, medium- or long-term in some time scale adapted to the process under study.
But some changes may be innovative to the point of ending the current trends or introduce some completely new process. The sudden appearance of AIDS in the 1980's or more generally unexpected new kinds of epidemics (Marburg or Ebola viruses), or market crashes, or volcanic eruptions are good examples.
In the case of AIDS, for example, the forerunner signal was the abnormal number of Kaposi's sarcomas in California at the beginnings of the 1980's.
However, forerunners signals are discovered only by people able to escape their own routinary reactions or even able to react when confronted with some uncommon events, or sequences of events.
Nobody can pick up any forerunner signal if not aware that some unexpected situation could develop. Moreover, forerunner signals are much clearer for trained people than for untrained ones, who even when perceiving some abnormality, are unable to make something out of it.
It is at least partly a matter of reference frames.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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