Wednesday, March 10, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 689

Science fiction. Wikipedia says it’s a fiction genre that differs from fantasy because its imaginary elements are possible within scientifically established or postulated laws of nature. I’d have thought that, being the sort of guy I am, I’d be a sci-fi aficionado. But I’m not, and never have been, one. That’s not to say I’m uninterested in the future. Because I am. But I’m not a futurist. Despite which futurism enthrals me – mainly because futurists’ predictions are generally so wrong. (I’ve no idea if former IBM chairman Thomas Watson was a futurist; but in 1943 he famously predicted ‘…a world market for maybe five computers’.) Anyway futurists’ predictions fall into two groups – those that extrapolate from the past, and those that don’t. In the former group’s this fascinating piece of futurism in the 7 March Sunday Age. It’s limited to tangible items that some futurists deem likely to disappear in the future (and thus it excludes items likely to appear). It mentions phone landlines, lawnmowers, garden sprinklers, rotary clotheslines, first-class travel, street directories, telephone books, textbooks, photograph albums, photographic prints, CDs, solariums and cash. It’d be fun to review this list in 10-15 years time, to see how accurate it is. I hope I’m around to do it. This said, I have no problem with the article’s list of ‘Things that…will not disappear – crime, pornography, drugs, gambling, religious belief’. Ho hum.

No comments: