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USA abuzz with Meghan’s presidential plans

Is it possible to forecast the future? Meghan Markle may one day run to be US president – if you believe the rumours. Tempted to scoff? Many stranger things have happened, say the experts. Far away, among the dusty desert hills of Santa Barbara, California, lives a very modern power couple. He is the prince who left his homeland for a new life with his new bride. She is the successful Hollywood actress who shunned a royal role to speak out against racism. Every day, their audience – and their connections – are growing. Prince Harry has many roles in life: he is a former working royal, an army veteran, a podcast producer and an amateur poultry farmer. But this week, he found two more jobs to add to that list. Just 24 hours after being named the “Chief Impact Officer” of a Silicon Valley life coaching company, the Duke joined a committee to tackle fake news in America. And earlier this month, millions tuned in to watch the Duchess of Sussex tell her side of the story behind the royal rift in a dramatic television interview. Now, royal watchers are more certain than ever before: Markle will use the couple’s newfound platform to become America’s first female president. Is it a crazy idea? Imagine this: the year is 2036, and crowds are cheering wildly on the streets of Washington DC as CNN declares 55-year-old Meghan Markle the winner of yet another rancorous presidential election. In the distance, her triumphant husband takes a call of congratulations from his brother, King William of England. Prince Harry knows exactly what he will do as First Gentleman – after all, he has years of experience as both a mental health and media expert. As he says goodbye to his brother, another caller appears on the line: it is Kwasi Kwarteng, the newly elected prime minister of the United Kingdom. But is imagining the future like this a waste of time? Some say no, nothing is impossible. In 1994, 15 years before his inauguration, Barack Obama was a 32-year-old law lecturer at the University of Chicago. Few people knew his name – and of those who did, none would have dreamed that the young African-American standing before them would one day be the most powerful person in the world. The art of predicting the future is hardly a modern phenomenon. In Ancient Rome, augurists interpreted the flight of birds to help make vital military decisions. Meanwhile, the prophets of the Old Testament eagerly foretold the second coming of the Messiah. Today, humans may no longer believe a list of future presidents can be found in the world of birds, but forecasting is still big business. In 2011, psychologist Philip Tetlock responded to a US government competition to find better ways of predicting the future. The result was the Good Judgement Project. Tetlock recruited thousands of ordinary people to make a series of forecasts about the future. Several months later, he selected the most successful and named them “the superforecasters”. Tetlock’s group of superforecasters even trounced policy experts – who, despite their security clearance, turned out to be no better at predicting the future than chimpanzees throwing darts at a board. Is it possible to forecast the future? Aiming high No, say some. Humans may have an innate desire to think ahead but actually forecasting the future with any degree of accuracy remains impossible. The rumours surrounding Meghan Markle are wild speculation. Even today, expert pollsters routinely fail to predict who will win major elections. Without any concrete evidence, it is meaningless to try and guess who will be the US president in 2036. Of course, say others. From weather to politics to the stock markets, forecasting is a vital part of our everyday lives. Of course, no one can actually see the future in advance, but this is not about magic or making random guesses. The superforecasters prove that by applying logical thinking to events happening in the present, it is possible to forecast the future with a great deal of accuracy. KeywordsFake news - After the 2016 election, BuzzFeed Newsfound that the top 20 hoax news stories spread further on Facebook than the top 20 election stories from mainstream news sites.

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