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Comment on Harold A. Linstone: When is a need a need? The problem of normative forecasting in a changing environment, in: Technological Forecasting and Social Change 1 (1969), 55-71

: Cuhls, Kerstin


Technological forecasting and social change 102 (2016), S.11-13
ISSN: 0040-1625
Fraunhofer ISI ()

I was asked to comment on the article “When is a need a need?” I have to admit, I had to read it again, and the first thought that came to my mind was a picture of Harold A. Linstone at a conference in Hamburg 15 years ago, standing in front of me: “Kerstin, be careful, you are reinventing the wheel. And that is a saying other people already told me 20 years ago when we were at the beginning of our forecasting…” I have never forgotten his words and nowadays, I am sometimes impatient with my students or my younger colleagues, and bite my lips in order not to repeat the same sentences. But the question “when is a need a need?” is still unsolved, discussed even more and seems to be more difficult than ever. The four hypotheses of the article can be discussed in a similar way today - and the questions remain the same. Some reasons, arguments and events or names have changed, but it is still up to date! This is alarming! Have we not learned anything in the meantime?