are they bugs or buffalo?


You can easily tell the difference between large things in the distance and small things near to you, by the detail in the image. Near distance things have more granularity and detail, far distance things are less clear with sketchy details.

Imagination works in exactly the same way as your eyesight, when it comes to forecasting or predicting things. The nearer in time, the more detail. The farther in to the future, the less detail and more sketchy the outline becomes.

This has a massive impact on our ability to plan projects or make forecasts about the future. With anything requiring us to imagine a reasonable period of time, we are generally only able to predict the broad, rough details and not able to get to the detail. This is also true of the past, with our ability to remember the broad details, the salient points that fit the schema rather than recall the full details.

Our forecasts (and memories) are also influenced by our current state of mind, or current hot topics. We pay more attention to the current focal points or trends.

(Daniel Gilbert – Stumbling on Happiness)


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