Predicting the Future

There is a beautiful movie called Next in which the lead actor is Nicholas Cage, one of my favorite actors. Cage plays the role of a person with a unique gift. He can see into the future, but only for the next two minutes. Now two minutes may not sound like a lot but if you think about a situation in which someone is shooting at you, two minutes is a long time to escape the trajectory of the bullet. The outcome can make a difference between life and death. More mundane benefits like profiting from the stock market or knowing what to say in an interview may be more fun ways of using such skills. Cage is shown to be a unique human being with prodigious talents, unlike others.

Can an ordinary human predict the future? In a research study conducted scientists attempted to test the ability of the human brain to predict the future. They found that the mind creates models of what is likely to happen. This prediction occurs in microseconds. However, even at hyper-speed, the brain was able to predict where an object would be and begin to move the eyes to see the object before it moved to its next point in space. Your brain had anticipated the trajectory of the object and had already begun to move your line of vision before the object had moved.

Now, this may not be anywhere close to the two minutes, which by the way now sounds like a lot, that Cage was able to look into the future, but regardless, it was a prediction. In mathematical terms, your brain was taking in a host of signals, running some form of an algorithm and predicting the future. There is no reason to believe that you cant do the same for more complex events that stretch two minutes on the time horizon. If you do discover that you can look into the future, do let me know. There are a bunch of stocks I would love to buy.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.