[ExI] Most Useful Futurists Past?

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Sep 29 11:51:24 UTC 2015

On 2015-09-28 15:36, Robin D Hanson wrote:
> I accept these as examples of futurists that are read, admired, and 
> inspired others into futurism. But do these count as concrete examples 
> of helping "make the future better via their efforts”, other than via 
> creating or inspiring invention? I worry that the futurist track 
> record is far heavier with admiration, and even accuracy, than with 
> concrete help for the future.

What about Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash", which directly inspired 
Second Life and looks like it influenced Google Earth (and maybe more 
Google strategy - the similarity between the privatized CIA in the novel 
and Google are pretty interesting).

Then there are the people doing population forecasting, from Malthus and 
onward. Their models have become essential for large-scale government 
planning and finances, not to mention shaping the discourse on 
population, overpopulation, demographic transitions etc.

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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