[extropy-chat] Futures Past

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sun Oct 9 18:37:38 UTC 2005

Thanks for keeping and posting this, Greg.   It makes for interesting  
Sunday morning reading.

What hits me from this list is that for all the predictions we have  
thus far (2015 is 10 years away) missed, we have exceeded some  
predictions and likely to reach many others by 2015.  So some things  
came a wee bit later.  Yeah we don't have smart roads and VR is still  
not great, cryogenics hasn't improved that much, space development  
sucks and so on.  But the technological basis for many of these  
things is moving along nicely.  I am not that unhappy looking back at  
looking forward.  I think one of the things making prediction  
problematic in this group is lack of sufficient understanding and  
grounding in current realities and likely contingencies.

- samantha

On Oct 9, 2005, at 5:49 AM, Greg Burch wrote:

> 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:
>        http://www.gregburch.net/writing/NearTerm.htm
> 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
> http://www.gregburch.net
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