Thom: Techniques of Foretelling the Future


„It is striking how all past and present techniques of foretelling the future depend on the following principle: a generalized catastrophe (tea leaves in a cup, lines on the palm of a hand, drawing of cards, the shape of a chicken’s liver, etc.) is studied and its morphology is then associated, by a suitable isomorphism, with the preoccupations and difficulties of the client. This method is not absurd insofar as the dynamic of morphogenesis may contain local accidental isomorphisms with the dynamic of human situations, and often a gifted soothsayer may well elicit some valuable conclusions from this examination. To classify these isomorphisms in some definitive manner would be to embark on the characteristic form of delirious thought.“ (p. 330, n. 6) #Thom #future #catastrophe #morphology #isomorphism

Thom, René, Structural Stability and Morphogenesis: An Outline of a General Theory of Models. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press 2018.