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The Melting Ice CUbe

Nassin Nicholas Taleb, 2007, The Black Swan, Penguin Books: 196

forward process

Operation 1 (the melting ice cube): Imagine an ice cube and consider how it may melt over the next two hours while you play a few rounds of poker with your friends. Try to envision the shape of the resulting puddle.

The forward process is generally used in physics and engineering

backward process

Operation 2 (where did the water come from?): Consider a puddle of water on the floor. Now try to reconstruct in your mind's eye the shape of the ice cube it may once have been. Note that the puddle may not have necessarily originated from an ice cube.

the backward process in nonrepeatable, nonexperimental historical approaches