by Walt Brickman, Editor, The Bricklyn Eagle
Summary of Article ➤ You’ve undoubtedly already heard references in our posts to the Chief Prognosticator. We felt some readers might appreciate more background on this quite important position. For your convenience, we’re also adding this entry to our online Glossary.
The Chief Prognosticator play a key role in Bricklyn, as that individual’s advice is often given great weight by members of the Federal Council (and by all citizens of the Realm) on matters of “high significance affecting the future of Bricklyn.”
While the position bears some similarities to the “Wise Elders” role in Native American tribes, it also draws on the tradition of oracles and prophets, though the Chief Prognosticator is clearly not a religious position, nor does it involve any sort of fantastical precognition. Most importantly, the Chief Prognosticator and his/her staff in the Office of the Chief Prognosticator (OCP) rely heavily on scientific research and data in their predictive reports, and often consult with the Realm’s Chief Historian.
➤ Some readers might reasonably ask whether Bricklyn’s founders drew inspiration for the Chief Prognosticator’s role from Isaac Asimov’s “psychohistorian” Hari Seldon. Principal Historian Winifred Tiler Jackson discounts this possibility, as no references to Asimov are to be found in archival material about the Bricklyn Constitution’s establishment of the position of Chief Prognosticator. However, it must be acknowledged that many Bricklynites of all ages are Asimov fans!
It almost goes without saying that the position of Chief Prognosticator is completely non-partisan. Also worth noting, the minimum age for being appointed is a young 60!
How the Chief Prognosticator is Selected
As required by the Constitution of the Realm of Bricklyn, the Chief Prognosticator is chosen and appointed for a 15 year term. Selection is made by unanimous agreement of the three members of a specially convened panel. This panel is comprised of the President of the Council; the Principal Historian of the Realm; and the Chief Scientist. The make-up of this panel reflects the fact that the Chief Prognosticator must not only be skilled at deep political analysis, but also be well-versed in both history and the STEM fields. Fluency in both English and Danish is also required.
Of course, potential candidates are first discreetly vetted by staff of the OCP.
Weighing the Words of the Chief Prognosticator
The most influential of past Chief Prognosticators was Ray Brickbury, who was involved in the key 1992 decision limiting computer network connections to the Outland world, and establishing The Exchange as the only place where citizens could access Outland networks and databases (excepting access provided to certain government offices, including, not surprisingly, the Office of Outland Affairs).
The current Chief Prognosticator is David Bricks. Readers might recall his involvement with the very recent decision of the Federal Council placing a ban on Facebrick. Bricks also appears weekly on the Bricklyn Broadcasting Network’s News Hour.✥