Sunday, January 27, 2008

Crystal Ball Time

How do you predict the future without making a fool of yourself? You can extrapolate current trends to their logical next steps, but unless you stick to the weather -- hurricanes a-comin' next year! -- you're likely to be wrong. Human beings should have been cloned by now. Gasoline should be pumping at $5 a gallon. California, to the disappointment of many, has yet to collapse into the sea along its fault lines, metaphorical or otherwise. What, then, is the point of predicting the future at all?

Paul Boutin looks at a couple of books on predicting the future.


Wally Bock said...

Or, of course, you can ponder the ways that others have made fools of themselves. I humbly suggest a visit to Paleo-Future where they showcase predictions from times past. A recent post shared an article from 1950 predicting how things would be in 2000. For me it's one of the most delightful blogs to read, especially after reading some predictions.

And always remember this from William Gibson: "The future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed."

Michael Wade said...


Thanks for the link. I love the Gibson quote.