CASSANDRA's SYNDROME 1)4)
The fate of any clear-sighted individual, able to forecast some future event, but nearly never believed. This was the case of Cassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy, who was endowed with such a gift, but fated by the god Hermes never to be given heed.(Homer's Iliad)
The syndrome is in fact systemic and specific to social systems. Some very few individuals are endowed with foresight because they perceive quite concealed and unobstrusive interactions in a situation or issue, that could later on trigger very considerable and possibly dramatic consequences. Meanwhile, common people remain shortsighted and, as they see nothing special in the situation, they don't believe "Cassandra".
Another curious greek tale, more or less similar, is about Tiresias, the Theban prophet, who was blind. In many cases, the foresighting individual seems to be blind to the present issue, as his forecasts or prophecies appear to be incredible according to what common people perceive from the actual facts. Tiresias also is thus not understood or believed.
Let us hope a better fate for systemists concerned or worried about the future of human systems!
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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