[ExI] Most Useful Futurists Past?

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon Sep 28 12:33:11 UTC 2015

On 2015-09-26 20:51, Robin D Hanson wrote:
> If we are hoping to be helpful to the future by studying the future, 
> it might help to have clear examples of people in the past who did 
> similarly. Not just people who forsaw the future with some accuracy, 
> but who helped to make the future better via their efforts. Visionary 
> inventors fit this description somewhat; by painting a picture of what 
> could be developed, they inspired people to develop a better future. 
> But setting such inventors aside, who else do we have?

HG Wells is often mentioned. He was the founder of attempts at 
scientific futurism, and actually did some not too bad forecasting work. 
He may be more well known as a sf writer, but he got many people to 
start on scientific forecasting as a real topic.

I think the Haldane-Bernal-Stapledon chain of influence may be another 
good example of vision and argued forecasting combined with popularization.

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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