New Developments in Early Forecasting of Public Problems

A New Intellectual Climate

by Olaf Helmer-Hirschberg


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A report of philosophical, pragmatic, and methodological changes in world attitude toward the future — all favoring positive long-range planning. The second computer revolution is leading to true man-machine symbiosis. The social sciences are turning to an interdisciplinary systems approach to the solution of sociopolitical problems, using mathematical models, simulation procedures, and a systematic approach to the utilization of expert opinions. To arrive at a positive payoff for all requires reasonable expectation that cooperative moves will meet with a cooperative response. The revolutionary reorientation in the social sciences gives hope that in the next generation this attitude will extend into the uncivilized area of international relations. (Prepared for presentation at a Public Affairs Perspective conference under National Industrial Conference Board auspices, April 1967, New York.)

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