Futurist thought for the day

I’ve often noted that within the first thirty seconds of a conversation about the future the past usually comes up to support a prediction.

This is how Gregory Benford opens his introduction to the splendid new volume The Wonderful Future that Never Was. The words

caught my eye because I have been saying just the same thing for the last few years. So I take their appearance in print as independent verification of the observation. As he goes on to say (and he’s definitely not the first here), all our knowledge is about the past, but all our decisions are about the future.





The book is recommended – a nice combination of lavish illustration and acute commentary, even though the emphasis on the occasional “correct” predictions is a little unpersuasive a times. It is a worthy addition to the growing genre of retro-future publications which has been highlighted here before. Its only limitation is that it is all culled from a single magazine, Popular Mechanics. That is a fab source, but a volume like Dregni and Dregni’s Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future,  is worth tracking down for its rather wider coverage, and richer illustrative material.

Explore posts in the same categories: futures past, thought for the day

Tags: , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: