An Introduction to Kismet

"Kismet" is a study of our ability to predict and forecast the future. It is the attempt to use information coming from this "futures study" to affect the future in ways to benefit ourselves individually, and humanity in general.  After reading through this introduction you may click on the blue arrow to read text in order of presentation.  If you prefer, you can click on any of the chapter titles above to link directly to that section.

Many Kismets

It is the opinion of the author that there are now and have been in the past many "kismets." That is, in a broad sense, thinkers, philosophers, and religious leaders have included the question of fate and mankind's ability to change our destiny as basic tenants in their system of beliefs.

Awareness of Assumptions

Other endeavors to predict and forecast make various metaphysical assumptions as matters of truth or faith, with forecast, prediction, and even prophesy following from those assumptions. While we would like to be able to engage in futures study free from any assumptions which color our results or direct our path, we can't pretend to such purity of thought. In the study and speculations concerning Kismet through the Kismet Institute for Future Studies ("KIFS") we try to be aware of and scrutinize underlying assumptions.

How Does Kismet Differ From Other Problem Solving Techniques?

Most approaches to problem solving or improvement of the human condition, while considering the future and the consequences of present action and behavior, focus on present problems or on an idealized future where enlightened humans adhere to prescribed ideas and behavior. Kismet is unique in that it approaches problem solving from the viewpoint of future consequence. While this distinction may at first seem trivial, it sets Kismet apart as a practical discipline.

Techniques You Can Put To Work Right Away

It is the intention that there be an immediate practical application of any "principles," "techniques," or "rules," which follow from our study. Since more powerful tools will follow, these techniques should be regarded as WORKING PRINCIPLES, and certainly not ultimate truth.

Better Life

Unless Kismet can be immediately applied to improve our lives, any academic value it may have will be ignored, lost, or trivialized. Therefore, the emphasis, from the beginning, will be on putting Kismet to work for us to make life better.

Better Lives

We are not doing a very good job as stewards of the planet. This is partly because of the "throw away" mentality that has come to dominate the thinking of so many people. Some regard the earth as just a stop-over on their way to a better place. We may litter and pollute the Rest Stop. We are not going to have to live here much longer. Others think that society's problems are so overwhelming that we just haven't a chance at achieving any positive future. Things are going to Hell fast, so why try?

Kismet is not pollyanna speculation on how great the future is bound to be. With a realistic assessment, we find that the future CAN BE at least as good as the present, and with a lot of work, a whole lot better.

Henry David Thoreau suggested simplifying our lives; appreciating and protecting nature. This is good advice. Life itself has grown much more complex since 1845 when Thoreau simplified his own life and in doing so "put foundations" under his castles in the air. The ways to achieve this harmony have changed since then. Our "bag of tricks" or "tool kit" includes ancient remedies, and more modern discoveries.

A tenant of Kismet, is that the future is ours to direct. The achievement: a better life for ourselves, and our planet a better place to live.

The time is now. We can't start yesterday, at least not without a Time Machine. Tomorrow may be too late. Listen to the song. It's singer had the right idea:

"If there are any who would have a better world, let us start living and loving, and let us start soon."

Other Related Sites

Mini-Cabin site:

In 1845 Henry David Thoreau moved into a small cabin (10 by 15 feet: 150 square feet) near Waldon's pond, worked the land with simple hand tools, wrote extensively, and urged us to "simplify" our lives. The author has done Mr. Thoreau one smaller, building an 8 by 15 cabin at the edge of a redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. To the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first dwelling to be called a MINI-CABIN (as defined thus:) By the author's definition, a mini-cabin is any dwelling of 120 square feet or less. 120 square feet is the largest building most counties and cities will allow to be built without a building permit.

American Cryonics Society ("ACS") site:

For many years the author has been a Governor of the American Cryonics Society, Inc. and has advanced the idea that people who expect to live in the future should help to make the future a better place. The author helped establish the following programs consistent with that goal: ACS Susan B. Marcus Endangered Species Program, and the Time Vault Program.

For those who want to live long and prosper.  Selected writings by Louis Cornaro, who was probably once the world's oldest man.  Cornaro's formula for living a long happy life might surprise you!!

Long life, and love,

Jim Yount
Mt. View, California
August 21, 2002


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