Daniel Davies has a great piece in Crooked Timber on the failure of economists to forsee the current crisis:
[A]n important practical consequence of shutting out heterodoxy was that rather than having a few people to point to who predicted the crisis, the economic profession was left claiming that its true triumph was to be able to explain exactly why economists had been unable to predict it.
And of course, the old Peter Cook line has never been so relevant as it is to the economics profession now (“Sir Arthur, do you feel you have learned from your mistakes?” “Yes, and I’m confident that I could repeat them exactly”).
Also, this comment is striking:
Belgian economist Paul de Grauwe (one of those converted neoliberals) has made the following prediction – the more all economist’s projections for 2010 converge, the more the sense of false objectivity from that convergence will delay the realization that the thus converged projection is wholly wrong and unsubstantiated.
This resonated with me because it's a lurking worry I have whenever I read scenarios on technology or global change: they all tend to focus on the same sets of trends, big drivers, etc. Rather than be reassured that the nano-cogno-bio-IT convergence (the tech world's equivalent of the BRIC countries) is a real thing because everyone in the field talks about it, I worry that it's more likely that we're all missing the real story.