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Don’t rely on the past for your vision of the future

It’s time for predictions on 2021. As our special correspondent writes, recent experience sometimes taints our vision of the future

The Latin word ‘pacificus’ translates as ‘tranquil’. Five hundred years ago this week, on November 28 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached an ocean which he named Pacific because it was so calm. You would think that he clearly arrived on a good day as countless mariners will attest to the violence of a Pacific storm, but having just spent 38 days passing through the turbulent waters of what subsequently became known as the Magellan Strait, his perception was based on comparison...

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