Can this society learn from the mistakes of futurism?

Society has always been obsessed and worried about what might come, in the medium and long term, as a result of science fiction and futurism. Just as “2001: A Space Odyssey” imagined certain particularities for the new millennium. The 1980s and 1990s raised many possible realities for the future of humanity, whether in books, series or movies. Today, there are several podcasts that pick up on these looks with the return of space stations and infrastructures on the moon.

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Although technological changes have entered the category of inevitable, it was also shown that futurism is much more difficult than it seems. It is often pointed out that the decisions made are arbitrary. One example is, what would have happened if Henry Ford instead of fuel cars had aimed to build electric cars. It would surely have brought about a major change in the course of human history. This is where the discovery of oil comes into play and how man was inclined to shape the future in the face of this new look at how the present day was brought forward.

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How to look towards futurism

The book “The Skeptic’s Guide to the Future”, by the Novella brothers, seeks to improve everything that is planned about the future. To this end, the 10 “fallacies” of futurism are identified. The first criticism is to imagine a futuristic society like today’s, only with more gadgets to interact with. One of the writers has posited that “you can’t just project a technology into the future, you also have to think about it in the context of all the other technologies that are also advancing during the same time period.”

Within the planning of one of the Novella’s, he understands that we will not be traveling in space, 500 years from now, as we are now. Rather, genetically modified offspring should be targeted as cyborgs for space travel. This, one of the writers understands, must be included in the calculation of the look into the future.

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Looking at a chequered history

The writers of the book on looking toward futurism believe that there are important personal activities that deserve more attention. For them, one should not look at the short span of time and recognize the historical moment in which one lives. For the Novella’s, leaving that center could lead to “losing the ability to adapt nimbly to changes in technology, to changes in culture, to make decisions about the future.” This is why it is understood that the look towards what is to come should be an academic discipline in view of the benefits that can be obtained.

Steven Novella understands that big mistakes have been made by not looking at the future correctly. Advances have not been understood, using as an example the transition from analog to digital, as the most relevant change model of the times. The writer understands that no one was able to foresee or understand the change that digital technology would bring to our society. This game changer was not seen coming and now comes the question of what the reality will be like at the end of this century and the beginning of the next.