How do you see the world changing between 2022 and 2042?
I don’t. Not that the world won’t change; it will, one day at a time, and I hope that you and I witness it, one day at a time. But neither you nor I nor the so-called futurists can see the gory or happy details that we can trust to become reality, although they will try.
Don’t listen to them. Their track record is pathetically inaccurate. To wit:
· Democracy will be dead by 1950, wrote John Langden Davies in his 1936 book, “A Short History of the Future.
· Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop, pontificated Time Magazine in 1966. (Jeff Bezos at Amazon must have missed that issue.)
· It will be years –not in my time — before a woman will become Prime Minister, said Margaret Thatcher in 1969;
· Read my lips; no new taxes, promised President Bush II in 1988; and so on.
Despite the obvious failings and pitfalls, economists, stock analysts, businesspersons, and, especially, politicians, must predict, at times in the form of a promise. The results are often ludicrous, LOL experiences.
Here’s one. In 1928, the president of a major company in Pittsburgh peered fifty years into the foggy future, to 1978. He boldly predicted that Pittsburgh and Allegheny County would unite under one government, planting his foot firmly in his mouth by adding: ”which seems as certain as anything human can be.” He went on fearlessly and foolishly to predict that a canal would connect the Ohio River at Pittsburgh to Lake Erie, all railroads will be electrified, and every able-bodied man would be licensed to fly a plane.
All wrong in1928, 1978, and now.
Readers of my book, BIGSHOTS’ BULL*!@#, can LOL while learning more about the fallacies and follies of predictions, and perhaps relate to Soren Kierkegaard’s sage advice: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” .