I guess, octopus Paul represents the most archetypical image of a ‘future researcher’ for many people. The Oracle Octopus from Germany became a forecasting celebrity during the last year’s World Cup when the see beast correctly ‘predicted’ the winning teams in the seven matches of Germany in a row, and then tipped the outcome of the finals between the Netherlands and Spain. The very process of making these predictions was both archaic and quite contemporary: no words from the prophet, only manipulations with the symbolic (visual) representations. One is either a winner or a looser, and none of those pseudo-intellectual tossings of the ‘scenarios’ or ‘multiple futures’, thank you very much. No questions of a process or a method asked, and even if yes, not answers are to be given anyway. The most comprehendible explanation goes into something like ‘a deep and irrational intuition of all the sea creatures’ (literally extraterrestrial, they are all connected with each other through water anyway). I wonder when the ‘having tentacles is an advantage’ will enter the job descriptions of the strategic analysis of all sorts.
The octopus died in October 2010, and a few days ago they opened his monument in the Sea Life aquarium in the western city of Oberhausen where he lived. He surely saw this coming.