Re.: Prediction

[From David Goldstein (2005.02.13.2250 EST)]

I am thinking about tennis. I am playing doubles. My partner is serving and I am playing net.

I am watching the receiver very carefully. I am watching where the ball bounces in the box of the receiver, how the reciever is positioned and moving and the ball just before and after it leaves the receiver’s racket.

Prediction consists of guessing where the ball is going to go and making a snap judgement about whether I can “poach”, meaning move towards the ball and hit a winning net shot.

This is prediction because, I am anticipating where the ball will be. I move and get myself ready to volley.

If I move too soon, the receiver will see this and could change where the ball is going.

If I move too late, I won’t be able to successfully poach.

I am describing this situation to try and take the discussion into an everyday situation.

I think this is prediction. It clearly depends on taking in lots of information from the scene. A correct prediction may lead to a winning net shot. An incorrect prediction may lead to the receiver hitting a passing shot.