The future is not a story

August 10, 2008

If I were in charge of a futurist seminar, one of the first things I would probably do is discourage anyone from mentioning any fictional story whatsoever. I do believe that fiction does have something to teach us about future possibilities, but the bias towards interesting stories is so overwhelmingly strong that most casual thinking about the future is thoroughly contaminated by it. No narrative can predict the future, because the future is a blur of uncertainties from our perspective, and will only appear like a narrative in retrospect.

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