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Discussion of the Capability in Individuals

When you think of a lemon for long enough your mouth will start to salivate in anticipation. The hair on your neck standing up when something startles you in the middle of the night is anticipation.

Realizing what is around you and gauging future events is also anticipation. Current trends can often suggest what will unfold. Anticipating this and taking necessary measures to accommodate change is a valuable skill. Good anticipation comes with experience. Knowing yourself and your tendencies can show you the path of least resistance and also avenues for opportunity.

Discussion of the Capability in Society

Much like in individual capability, society's anticipatory skills are based in past experience. Realizing that a current situation is similar to a past one, a society may see what needs to be done. During the Great Depression, for example, the government created many public projects to create jobs. In the Great Recession of the last few years, the government has implemented government projects in a similar way to encourage circulation of revenue. In novel situations, logic and reasoning can anticipate the obstacles that we may not have experience with and also how to navigate them. A current example is climate change. Humanity has never faced an obstacle like this before, but projections based in science anticipate what will happen if the current course of actions that contribute to climate change continue. They also anticipate possible solutions that counter climate change effects. We have no way of knowing what exactly will occur, but based on the current situation, projections make valuable attempts to understand the effects so we can make the best plans for the future.

Projections can come from many different sources, not necessarily affiliated with the governing body. The anticipation of these groups may be heard or disregarded by the institutions capable of addressing their concerns. The Government and other institutions must sift through a large amount of data giving projections and suggestions for the future. Finding which ones are pertinent on the largest scale and that can be dealt with effectively has its battle ground in Congress or in board meetings for private institutions. How well a business or government anticipate future situations sets them up for success. But ultimately, they must anticipate the proper course of action for the projected situations, and that relies on good decision making.

How it currently works

  • Stock markets try to anticipate trends; futures on commodities are traded
  • Advertisers target anticipated desires of consumers
  • Government agencies assess need and spend resources
  • Polls are conducted to tests political and marketing messages alike


Potential deficiencies

All of the above

Idealized version of how the capability would work in society