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Monday, January 3, 2011
The end of the year is always a good time for people and institutions who are in the business of taking a look at the year ahead. Here are a few lists of predictions that might be of interest to readers of SAM:
Next Year's Wars. A joint effort of Foreign Policy magazine and the International Crisis Group (and first spotted by the always helpful US Army INTLST...), this list provides some initial insight into 16 possible new crises predicted to erupt in 2011. The list includes no-brainers such as Iraq and Sudan but also includes some surprises.
Forecast 2011: Conflict Hotspots. The International Relations and Security Network has put together an interesting end of year report that highlights Tajikistan, Pakistan and the North Caucasus as places to watch in 2011 among its fairly extensive list of reports and primary resources.
7 Technologies That Will Rock 2011. Technology is not only of general interest to all of us but of specific interest to intelligence professionals. One new tool, Quora, discussed in this list by TechCrunch, deserves a special look.
Virtual Worlds Predictions. I know, I know; virtual worlds seem so ... 2009. That is pretty much where you would expect them to be given the 2010 Gartner Hype Cycle, though. It is worth taking a look at this list if only for the government and R and D aspects of this technology.
All these predictions tend to increase uncertainty about the future (well, my uncertainty, at least). If it does the same for you , take a look at Wired magazine's recent essay on the Uncertainty Effect. It might not help you feel less uncertain but it may well help you understand your own biases a bit better.
Got other lists worth looking at? Leave 'em in the comments!