What is a clerk futurist? A professional futurist has at least a BA degree, preferably a PhD; and good knowledge of statistics and various other branches of mathematics. This enables her [him, them, it, __] to build computer models of the future, or use other abstruse forecasting methods.
A clerk futurist might only have a high school or two-year degree.
Last year, I put this ad on Craigslist:
Clerk Futurist for hire. Services include:
Basic trend and cycle extrapolation over the next four centuries. (Caution: While these methods can produce accurate predictions, they gave several science fiction writers confidence that the Soviet Union would be a superpower through the 21st Century and beyond.)
Summaries of electronic betting on future events.
Predicting whether your science fiction idea has already been used. (I’ll give this one away free — it was used at least twenty years before you think it possibly could have been.)
And, in another area:
Proofreading/copyediting. Spellings which make sense changed to what the rules call for. (Note: I may need to learn the house rules — the way a particular publication does things.) Phrases like “the Soviet Union in the 19th Century” flagged.
How many takers did I get? None; not even an offer to give me exposure. Those who can sell their services do (and sometimes perform those services.) Those who can’t sell, blog.