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Charles Hughes Smith is a someone that William Safire and Spiro Agnew would likely refer to as one of those "nattering nabobs of negativity", maybe even alarmist. Unfortunately, like a lot of the nabobs recently, he's been pretty much spot on about the housing crisis, the dollar and oil for over three years now. Well ahead of the wave and closer to the future economic conditions than most of us.
You'll see a great Soros quote at the bottom of his page: "Economic history is a never-ending series of episodes based on falsehoods and lies, not truths. It represents the path to big money. The object is to recognize the trend whose premise is false, ride that trend, and step off before it is discredited."
I think what he's getting at is that, possibly because of the Heisenberg principle and/or the Observer Effect: even if there was a truth, we don't have access to all of it, and via language, only a very small percentage But we can sometimes approximate enough to at least see the wave coming. Similar to the idea (Gibson?) about the future being unevenly distributed.
If you haven't already, check out "The Origin of Wealth" by Eric Beinhocker. Another brilliant and entertaining work on statistics, some game theory, stochastic waves, complexity economic, the behavior of markets, thermodynamics and innovation. My take away: Even if we could measure everything and found everything to be deterministic, we'd still have unpredictable chaotic patterns that would take longer to analyze than to let play out.