I am extremely good at forecasting the future from past events.
I do it every day, when I go to the subway station, and I know there will be a train arriving in the next few minutes. When I walk into my office, I know roughly 90% of the people I will see on my floor. etc. etc. I use pattern creation and projection all the time, every second my life.
“ …our tendency to construct and believe coherent narratives of the past makes it difficult for us to accept the limits of our forecasting ability”. This statement is popycock. The only relevant question is what scope and what degree of confidence is being claimed. One can either claim a forecast with some degree of credible accuracy, or not.
For example, I know that no human empire has existed for more than 1000 years. This has been supported by all of history. I can thus predict with a pretty high degree of confidence (let’s call it 95%) that no empire currently existing will last more than 1000 years. Not the USA, not Russia, not China, no one.
There, I’ve made a a very good forecast of the future, in which I am extremely confident. Anyone care to place any bets?
P.S. One reason why forecasting the future is actually relatively easy is because… human nature doesn’t really change. That’s why Shakespeare is eternal, and why madmen dictators will always arise and why humans always choose to ignore history (too hard, too painful), and why we will always love, hate, envy, steal, lie, befriend, etc. etc. Perhaps history is just human psychology + circumstance.