Paul Saffo writes that the fastest way to make an effective forecast is often through a sequence of lousy forecasts.
He continues "Instead of withholding judgment until an exhaustive search for data is complete, I will force myself to make a tentative forecast based on the information available, and then systematically tear it apart, using the insights gained to guide my search for further indicators and information. Iterate the process a few times, and it is surprising how quickly one can get to a useful forecast."
The mantra of the process he reveals is "strong opinions, weakly held." Take a definite stance and prove yourself wrong. Repeat until you can no longer do the latter.
As I was reading the post, the picture that came to my mind was of an eddy - the prediction not as a single do-or-die point, but as a whirlpooling series of points - a line - seemingly taking a tangential and misguided route to its destination but continually course-corrected by its own momentum and willingness to change direction at every point.
Not surprising then that a prediction usually may end up being wrong.
[Original pic by nino**]