| The Limits of Predictability
This chapter is part of a work in progress and is subject to continual revision. Date of last revision: January 6, 2004. The chapter was originally published in NetFuture #153. Copyright 2004 The Nature Institute. All rights reserved. You may freely redistribute this chapter for noncommercial purposes only.
When I throw a rock at a tree trunk, I may or may not hit it; but when I dial the number of a friend, I don't waste much energy worrying that an incorrect phone will ring. Instead of crossing myself three times before dialing, I place well-justified trust in the predictable performance of the technology. (Users of Microsoft Windows software, however, may be forgiven the occasional act of crossing themselves.) It seems the nature of a properly constructed machine always to do, at some level, precisely