[extropy-chat] Futures Past

Greg Burch gregburch at gregburch.net
Sun Oct 9 12:49:23 UTC 2005

Since I was old enough to read, I've been engaged by projections about the future.  My favorite parts of the set of children's encyclopedias we had in the early 1960s were those that provided projections about the future. They showed me such wonderful visions: Atomic-powered cars! Cities under the sea!  Vacations on the Moon! All this would come to be by the time I would be the age my parents were then.  Well now I am that age and we know what happened to all of those glossy futures.

But somehow, I never seem to learn.  Seven years ago, we had a discussion here on the List about what we called "near-term projections" for the future to c. 2015.  I gathered together some of the ideas in that discussion and put them in what I called a "futurist time capsule."  Here it is:


It makes for interesting and, in many instances, painful reading.  Bear in mind that this was the vision some of us had in the Spring of 1998.  We were surfing at the zenith of the 1990s Bubble.  The Collapse of the Bubble, 911, Enron, Columbia – all were in the future.

What do you take away from looking back on looking forward?

Greg Burch

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