By Raphael Wieland

“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” -Isaac Asimov, Asimov on Science Fiction

Although those words were written by a science fiction writer more than thirty years ago, the message is still resoundingly true. We have all experienced change in our personal lives. Whether we are meeting someone new or losing a loved one, our lives change just as readily as the weather. Change affects everything in our universe from abstract things like our emotions to even more abstract things such as our modern economy. Some things, such as the number of transistors in our personal computers, change quickly, while other things, such as government regulations, change relatively slowly.

An important change-related buzzword is trend. A trend is the general tendency for something to change in a certain way. Trends can be identified pertaining to just about everything. Many trends can be anecdotally quantified with data, and when enough data is obtained, future trends can be predicted. However, one thing that must be remembered when analyzing trends: They show correlation, not causation. It isn’t because two years passed that personal computers can process twice as much: it is that technology improved that much.

This article has gone through a great deal of change since the first sentence. I started off trying to convey that many things have changed for me this summer, and ended up talking about correlation and causation. My english professor might be unhappy about me writing about an un-unified topic, but as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “Change is the only constant.”