Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Insight, Foresight and Hindsight

I thought since the title of my blog is Insights and Foresight, it would be interesting to look at the usage of those terms over time with the Google Books Ngram Viewer. The results surprised me:

The usage of the word foresight has been low throughout the 200 years and slowly dropping. Hidsight has been even lower, but rising over the last 20 years. The surprise to me is the growth in the use of the term insight. We clearly are focusing a lot of what's happening now.

However, looking at the terms past, present and future shows a diffferent picture:
The patterns are very different. Remember however that present has several meanings so its results are ambiguous.

The use of the word complexity may shed some light on what's going on:

Perhaps insight usage is increasing as our description of the world becomes more complex. We need more insight in order to cope.

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