Mistaken Prediction #6


“The guitar’s all very well, John, but you’ll never make a living out of it.”

John Lennon’s aunt Mimi was skeptical about his career plans.

John Winston Ono Lennon, (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English rock musician, singer-songwriter, author, and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles. With Paul McCartney, Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century and “wrote some of the most popular music in rock and roll history”. He is ranked the second most successful songwriter in UK singles chart history after McCartney.

Lennon was an often controversial peace activist and visual artist. After The Beatles, Lennon enjoyed a successful solo career with such acclaimed albums as John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine“. After a self-imposed “retirement” to raise his son Sean, Lennon reemerged with a comeback album, Double Fantasy, but was murdered less than one month after its release. The album would go on to win the 1981 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

In 2002, respondents to a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted Lennon eighth. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Lennon number 38 on its list of “The Immortals: The Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time” (The Beatles being number one). He was also ranked fifth greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone in 2008. He was posthumously inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Mistaken Prediction #2


When we try to predict the future, we often allow our assumptions to argue for our own limitations, sometimes at our peril. In this series of Mistaken Predictions, we deride predictions that close our minds to the future and celebrate our collective visions that allowed us to imagine alternative scenarios. Equipped with tools that open us to near limitless options, we cheer the fact that the future is inherently unpredictable.

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“That virus [HIV] is a pussycat.”
–Dr. Peter Duesberg, molecular-biology professor at U.C. Berkeley, 1988

By 2006, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization estimated that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized on December 1, 1981. During 2008 more than two and a half million adults and children became infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), the virus that causes AIDS. By the end of the year, an estimated 33.4 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS. The year also saw two million deaths from AIDS, despite recent improvements in access to antiretroviral treatment.

The latest statistics of the global HIV and AIDS were published by UNAIDS in November 2009, and refer to the end of 2008.

Estimate Range
People living with HIV/AIDS in 2008 33.4 million 31.1-35.8 million
Adults living with HIV/AIDS in 2008 31.3 million 29.2-33.7 million
Women living with HIV/AIDS in 2008 15.7 million 14.2-17.2 million
Children living with HIV/AIDS in 2008 2.1 million 1.2-2.9 million
People newly infected with HIV in 2008 2.7 million 2.4-3.0 million
Children newly infected with HIV in 2008 0.43 million 0.24-0.61 million
AIDS deaths in 2008 2.0 million 1.7-2.4 million
Child AIDS deaths in 2008 0.28 million 0.15-0.41 million

Africa has over 14 million AIDS orphans.

At the end of 2008, women accounted for 50% of all adults living with HIV worldwide.

In developing and transitional countries, 9.5 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 4 million (42%) are receiving the drugs.

Why Scenario Planning?


Our beliefs about the future determine our attitudes in the present. We develop maps in our mind (mindmaps) that lead us from the present to the future. If we believe the future (the official future) will be bleak, we will proceed today towards that destination, making decisions based on this mindmap. We may be precipitating the very future we dread. At the very least, we may be missing opportunities so busy are we, preparing for the apocalyptic future we dread.

Conversely, if we belive the future will “take care of itself,” we may be unpleasantly shocked having inadequately preparing for possible setbacks, turmoil or disaster.

The future is always a mix of the unpredictable and the result of actions we make today. What if there was a way to create a positive future with mindful actions, while also increasing our resiliance to the unexpected?

There is. It’s called: Scenario Planning.

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