Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mystic Minister

Last month I wrote to the government's science minister, Lord Drayson, to tell him that the off the cuff remarks he was going to make this weekend about being able to predict the future were clearly nonsense. Now that the remarks have taken place, I still hold to this view.

He isn't actually claiming to be psychic but merely latching on the ideas in Malcolm Gladwell's Blink*, however if Gordon Brown had a sense of humour he might emulate Kelvin Mackenzie who famously informed the Sun's resident astrologer of his redundancy in a letter that began "As you will already know....".

* I haven't read Blink, but am I correct in thinking that the basic idea is that the subconscious mind can ofter assemble information and reach a decision before we are conscious of it?


Letters From A Tory said...

Maybe he can give us some prediction on the outcome of the next election, seeing as his job rests on it?

James Higham said...


Umbongo said...

The basic ideas are:

1. that some (all?) decisions are made on incomplete evidence
2. that Gladwell (as usual) is startlingly unoriginal and, in this case, is repackaging ideas that go back (at least) to Burke.