Preparing for winter
Two days ago I was attending annual, one day conference, dedicated to virtualization with VMWare products.
More or less all presenters were using vendor provided slides, often the same or very similar (boring). Only a handful prepared their own presentation. In my opinion the highlight of the day was gentlemen from SRC d.o.o, who illustrated very well the paradox of various (failed) predictions from Gartner, Forrester Research and similar bunch of companies who’re “predicting” the future with “statistical observations”, with a joke about predicting the winter.
Here is my translation of the joke from Slovenian to English (with my interpretation):
It’s autumn and time to prepare for the winter in a small North American Indian village.
Local Indians are visiting their shaman to get some advice about the coming winter.
Indians: “Hau shaman, can you tell us how chilly this winter will be?”
Shaman: “Hau my people! Better prepare the firewood for the winter, because long and chilly winter is ahead of us.”
Indians: “Are you sure about that?”
Shaman: “Of course I’m sure, I’m not your shaman for nothing!?#%?… But, I’m willing to seek further confirmation with our Manitou. Please come back in a week or two.”
Indians: “Ok, chief, we’ll start to prepare the firewood immediately, see you next week.”
As soon as Indians left the shaman tent, he called his white man friend, meteorologist in the nearby city.
Shaman: “Hi Bill, long time no see, we shall meet and smoke a pipe or two. By the way, can you help me with the weather forecast for this winter?”
Bill: “Sure chief, what do you want to know?”
Shaman: “What’ll winter be this year?”
Bill: “Ughh.hmm…I think it’ll be long and chilly winter.”
Shaman: “You think or do you know?”
Bill: “Well, I don’t have all data at hand, but I can do some additional research, just for you, my friend. Please call me in a week or two.”
Shaman: “Thanks Bill!”
Weeks goes by, Indians preparing the firewood started complaining; hard work in the wood hurt their backs, they started to wonder if the winter will really be as cold as shaman predicted.
Shaman sensed the tension in the village, furiously picked his iPhone and quickly dialed meteorologist.
Shaman: “Hau Bill, what’s up? Did you get your forecast data for this winter?”
Bill: “Good news chief, I can firmly confirm that the winter will indeed be long and harsh. For several weeks we observed how Indians are madly chopping down the trees, they must be preparing for harsh winter…”
Shaman: “What the @$%&#$%”
Disclaimer: any resemblance to real life reports from various IT researchers is a pure coincidence.