"The Gods see what is to come, wise men see what is coming, ordinary men see what is come."
"The comprehension of the future does not belong to the nature of man."
Philo of Alexander
"It is a mistake to look to far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."
"Everyone can see something of the future-provided that they adapt their intellects to do so."
"One would expect people to remember the past and to imagine the future, but in fact....they imagine the past and remember the future."
"The future is hidden even from the men who made it."
"Future-seeing is divided from futurology by two mutual misunderstandings. It is popularly believed that psychics can automatically see the future without recourse to mundane forms of help. This sometimes appears to be the case, but it is not true generally. Futurologists popularly believe they can extrapolate the future without recourse to psychic insights. This likewise appears to be the case sometimes, but is not true generally."
Your Nostradamus Factor
"The future is a mirror without any glass in it."
Xavier Forneret 1838
"Dreams and predictions. . .ought to serve but for winter talk by the fireside."
"Tomorrow is an old deceiver, and his cheat never grows stale."
Dr. Johnson, letter, 1773
"What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass."
"The higher aims of "technological progress" are money and ease. And this exalted greed for money and ease is disguised and justified by an obscure, cultish faith in ‘the future’. We do as we do, we say "for the sake of the future" or "to make a better future for our children." How can we hope to make a good future by doing badly in the present, we don’t say, we cannot think about the future, of course, for the future does not exist: the existence of the future is an article of faith. We can be assured only that, if there is to be a future, the good of it is already implicit in the good things of the present. We do not need to plan or devise a "world of the future"; if we take care of the world of the present the future will have received full justice from us. A good future is implicit in the soils, forests, grasslands, marshes, deserts, mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans that we have now, and in the good things of human culture that we have now; the only valid "futurology" available to us is to take care of those things. We have no need to contrive and dabble at "the future of the human race," we have the same pressing need that we have always had-to love, care for, and teach our children."
What are People for?
"Futurologists cannot point with pride to a single important
prediction that they have ever made. "
"The Future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."
The Screwtape Letters, 1942
"When the time comes, the lightning-flash of history will tear apart the clouds, consume all obstacles and then the future, like Pallas Athene, will spring forth in full armour. Faith in the future is our inalienable right, our highest value; faith in the future fills us with love for the present. In moments of trial this faith will save us from despair; and this love will live in noble acts."
Buddhism in Science
"A woman named Tomorrow
sits with a hairpin in
and takes her time
and does her hair the way
she wants it. "
"We fear the future, not without reason."
We hope vaguely, we dread precisely.
Our fears are infinitely more precise than our hopes."
"Kids are the only future the human race has."
"As for the future, your task is not to foresee but to enable."
Anoine de Saint xupery
"The modern prophet is a scientist, and not a prophet at all; he calls himself a 'futurologist' . And his predictions are not inspired, they are not revealed knowledge; they are a result of his brilliant mind applying some rigidly scientific methodologies (which he has invented) to the 'data' (which he has selected) ."
"All trends are mechanical predictions, and are likely to be
"The contemporary futurologist winks at the fool: Wanna sire a couple of Einstein’s"? We got the genetics for it, you know, almost."
"Earasmus of Rotterdam's biting little book (In praise of Folly)written in 1511 shows us how closely connected quackery and university were even then. "
Today there are some three hundred and fifty nonprofit corporations involved in the business of thinking for the government-
Army-Army Operations Research Office of John Hopkins
Navy Operations Evaluations Group at MIT
Defense Department and Joint Staff-Institute for
"Evolution has shown that at any given moment out of all conceivable constructions a single one has always proved itself absolutely superior to the rest."
"Much has been written about the future, yet, for the most part, books about the world to come have a harsh metallic sound. "
"The fool as Malthusian, the fool as space traveler, the fool as cunning strategist, the fool as 'one-world' citizen is in paradise . "
For I dipt into the future, far as the eye. could see.
Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder it would be"
"What will happen five minutes from now is pretty well determined, but as that period is gradually lengthened a larger- and larger number of purely accidental occurrences are included. Ultimately a point is reached beyond which events are more than half determined by accidents which have not yet happened. Present planning loses significance when that point is reached...Here is the fundamental dilemma of civilization. . .there is serious doubt whether the way forward is known. "
Dr. Henry Phillips
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"People often ask historians to tell them about the future. Heaven knows it is difficult enough to know about the past. The historian is no more competent than anyone else to foretell the future. In fact in many ways he is less competent because he understands the infinite variety of what might happen. When people ask me 'will there be another world war?' I am inclined to answer ' If men behave in the future as they have done in the past there will be another war. ' But of course it is always possible that men will behave differently. As a personal hunch I think it is unlikely and that there will be a third world war. One day the deterrent will fail to deter. "
How Wars Begin
"The French are going to win. It is a fight that is going to be
finished with our help"
(Admiral Arthur Radford, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1954)
"Every quantitative measure we have shows we're winning the war"
(Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense,l962)
"The Vietcong are going to collapse within weeks. Not months,
(Walt W. Rostow, 1965)
"1921 New York Times editorialist chided Goddard for the notion that rockets could fly through space with air to push against."
"He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator."
"Heaven only knows where we are going, and heaven knows what is happening to us-"
"Nothing is harder to predict than the past."
A characteristic Czech Joke during the Prague Spring
"Citizens, can you imagine the future? City streets flooded with light….nations brothers…..no more events. All will be happy."
Victor Hugo 1862
"The future appeals to you? All yours ! Myself I prefer to keep to the incredible present and the incredible past. I leave it to you to face the Incredible itself."
"We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present."
"The enemy has been defeated at every turn"
(General William C.Westmoreland 1968)
"At the moment I do not anticipate the fall of Vietnam. . .There's an opportunity to salvage the situation by giving the South Vietnamese an opportunity to fight for their freedom"
(President Ford April 3,1975)
"The Professor(Robert) Goddard with his "chair" at Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution does not know the relation of action and reaction, and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react-to say that would be absurd. Of course, he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
the New York Times in a 1921 editorial criticizing the rocketry research of R.H. Goddard
"Small atomic generators, installed in homes and industrial plants will provide power for years and ultimately for a lifetime without recharging."
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
Harry M. Warner 1927
"Space travel is utter bilge."
Sir Richard Van Der Riet Wooley
The Astonomer Royal (1956)
"Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax."
William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, (English Scientist (1824-1907)
"While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility…..
Lee Deforest (American Inventor 1873-1961)
"Rail Travel at High Speeds is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia."
Dionysius Lardner (English Scientist (1793-1859)
"The search for longitude may represent the first great public high-technology program. In its costs and benefits it became one of the most successful."
Why Things bite back
"People were encouraged to entertain an idle dream: the cities will be part of the country; I shall live 30 miles away from my office under a pine tree; my secretary will live 30 miles away from it to in the other direction, under another pine tree. We shall both have our own car. We shall use up tires, wear out road surfaces and gears, consume oil and gasoline. All of which will necessitate a great deal of work….enough for all."
Le Corbusier 1930
La Ville Radieuse
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
"The future is called "perhaps."
"This is my prediction for the future; whatever hasn't happened will happen! And no one will he safe from it!"
"The world is moving, men tell us, to this, to that, to the other. Do not believe them! Men have never known what the world is moving to. "
"There are destinies of splendour after all our doom of littleness and meanness and pain."
"It is very difficult to predict-especially the future."
Nobel prize winning physicist
" We know that there is no human foresight or wisdom that can prescribe direction to our life, except for small stretches of the way . . , . Fate confronts ( us ) like an intricate labyrinth, all too rich in possibilities, and yet of these many possibilities only one is (our) own right way, "
Two Essays on Analytical Psychology
Coll works.7 pp47-48
"Motherhood is the greatest experience a woman can have to develop concern for the future."
Barbara Marx Hubbard
"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."
"The study of the future may well be the most exiting intellectual enterprise of today. But is it more than an exciting adventure , It is an awesome responsibility. "
"Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."
Proverbs Ch 27
"The things we thought would happen do not happen; the unexpected God makes possible: And that is what has happened here today. ", .
"If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will
grow and which will not, Speak then to me... ."
"The way to know the shape of things in advance is to listen to seers and mystics instead of to economists and statisticians. " The world had ample warning of every event which it has greeted with such gasps of surprise in the past twelve months. Part of the preparation for the perfect world society will be the recognition of seers. It will be required of the President of the United States that he read one poem and one parable or fable a day, in addition to the editorials in the Times . The brotherhood of man can never be achieved till the democracies realize that today' s fantasy is tomorrow's communiqué. "
E.B. White 1940
"Jules Verne's novel of a lunar voyage was science fiction that came so close to the actual events you could almost believe he had a clear vision of the future, or that NASA scientists had used his novel as the basic script for their own moon adventure.
Verne predicted that the first moon voyage would be an American project. He was right. Verne sent three adventurers on a four-day December flight to the moon. The Christmas 1968 voyage of Apollo 8, which was the first to place astronauts (William Anders, Frank Borman, and James A. Lowell) in lunar orbit, took three days from launch until arrival at their orbit around the moon.
Verne launched his astronauts from a 900-foot cannon, the Columbiad, buried in the earth near Tampa on the west coast of Florida. The Kennedy Space Center, from which Apollo 8 was launched, is located less that 120 miles away on the east coast of Florida.
Verne's astronauts were picked up by a United States Navy vessel that accidentally witnessed their splashdown in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Hawaii. The Apollo 8 landing was witnessed by the United States Navy's aircraft carrier Yorktown. It was four miles away and waiting to pick up the Apollo 8 crew. The similarities between fact and fiction go on."
Dark Sky Legacy
"Are we going to control life? I think so. We all know how imperfect we are. Why not make ourselves a little better suited for survival? That’s what we’ll do, we’ll make ourselves a little better."
"We need to decide to what extent we want to design our descendants."
"The denizen of the technological state of the future will have everything his heart ever desired, except, of course, his freedom."
Center for the study of democratic Institutions Santa Barbara, Ca
"….whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events eve resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they re produced by men who ever have been, and ever will be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same result."
"Disrespect for futurology can be happily liberating for the scholar tempted to dabble in predictions, the strain of preserving academic detachment and stifling moral judgments can be forgotten. In the predictions made here. I candidly confess my unscientific notion of the job and my abhorrence of the future I foresee. The museum-keepers may rescue their relics of our world from its burned-out shell; or from a moonscape crumpled and dusted by ecological disaster; or from an unpeopled planet reconquered by resurgent nature; or from a colony of space invaders; or, most surprisingly of all, from something recognizably similar to what we have got. But I propose in this epilogue to forgo their perspective and to envisage only the relatively short-term future prefigured in the trends of the last thousand years-to see how the next millennium might start to grow out of the last.
Futurology is a fashion. The approach of the end of the current millennium has stimulated it, but, judged over the length of a lifetime, it looks like a fashion in decline. It seems to my wife and me, as we gather, like citizens of Flatland, around the sort of hearthside evoked in the epigraph to Part One of this book, to have peaked in our own childhood and youth when public interest in the future was enlivened by debate between scientific perfectibilians and apocalyptic visionaries. The optimists predicted a world made easy by progress, lives prolonged by medical wizardry, wealth made universal by the alchemy of economic growth, society rectified by the egalitarianism of technologically prolonged leisure. The pessimists foresaw nuclear immolation or population explosion or a purgative world revolution-a cosmic struggle reminiscent of the millennium of Christian prophetic tradition-which would either save or enslave mankind
No one gets excited by such visions today. Scientific progress has been, at best, disappointing-encumbering us with apparently insoluble social and more problems; or else, at worst, alarming-threatening us with the mastery of artificially intelligent machines or genetically engineered human mutants. Economic growth has become the bogey of the ecologically anxious. Meanwhile, world revolution and the nuclear holocaust have been postponed, and apocalyptic prophecy has resorted to forebodings-variously unconvincing or uncompelling-about ecological cataclysms….."
Felipe Fernandez Armesto
" I saw that if I could go 50 years ahead, everybody would leave me alone. And that’s exactly the way it happened. I was allowed to do anything I wanted and people said, "Well you’re very amusing, but obviously I can’t take you seriously." But because I’d deliberately got to living and thinking 50 years ahead on a comprehensive basis, I inadvertently got myself into a strange position. I began to live on that frontier, and it was like any wave phenomenon: I was living where it was cresting and things happened to me long before they happened to the rest of society."
R. Buckminister Fuller
"Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two possible political futures-both bleak, neither democratic. The first is a tribalization of large swaths of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened Lebanonization of national states in which culture is pitted against culture, people against people, tribe against tribe-a jihad in the name of a hundred narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of interdependence, every kind of artificial social cooperation and civic mutuality. The second is being borne in on us by the onrush of economic and ecological forces that demand integration and uniformity and that mesmerize the world with fast music, fast computers, and fast food- with MTV , Macintosh, and McDonald’s pressing nations into one commercially homogenous global network; one McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce. The planet is falling precipitately apart and coming reluctantly together at the very same moment."
Benjamin R. Barber
"Jihad vs. McWorld"
"In the winter of 1996, futurist Erin Whitney-Smith put together a conference on the internet that brought together mountain people from all over the world. She found that men and women in the Urals, the Rockies and the Alps in common hated the people in the valley, who they felt exploited the,; were independent; disliked governments that interfered with that independence; and cared deeply about the environment. That group has now become a virtual community and shares experiences, successes and failures in ways that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. Mountain people have bonded through the virtual identity they have developed on the Web. The question that should concern government and law enforcement agencies around the world is that there are thousands of such groups spawning each year. Each group brings together like-minded people who arguable share more common interests and a greater loyalty to each other than they do to the country where they were born."
The Next World War
"WE have trained these (men) to think of the Future as a promised land which favoured heroes attain-not as something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, wherever he is."
The Screwtape Letters
"History is apt to judge harshly those who sacrifice tomorrow for today."
"Future n. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured."
The Devils dictionary (881-1911)
"If a man carefully examines his thoughts he will be surprised to find out how much he lives in the future. His well-being is always ahead. Such a creature is probably immortal."
"Do we not all spend the greater part of our lives under the shadow of an event that has not yet come."
The Treasure of the Humble (1896)
"It is the great past, not the dizzy present, that is the best to the future."
Sex, Art, and American Culture
"I believe the future is only the past again, entered through another gate."
Sir Arthur Wind Pinero
"The most prevalent opinion among our so confused contemporaries seems to be that tomorrow will be wonderful-that is, unless it is indescribably terrible, or unless indeed there just isn’t any."
Joseph Wood Krutch
"The Twentieth Century. Dawn or Twilight?"
Human Nature and the Human Condition
"Tomorrow links in us, the latency to be all that was not achieved before."
Man Against the Universe The Star Thrower
"Because unless you believe that the future can be better It’s unlikely you will step up and take responsibility for making it so, If you assume that there’s no hope. You guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things. There's a chance you may contribute to making a better world. The choice is yours."
"Sometimes in the next thirty years, very quietly one day we will cease to be the brightest things on earth."
"It is possible that we may become pets of the computers, leading pampered existences like lapdogs, but I hope that we will always retain the ability to pull the plug if we feel like it."
Arthur C. Clarke
"We used to think our future was in the stars. Now we know it’s in our genes."
"Frightened by the accelerating speed of technological change, distressed by the loss of disposable income, worried about a future without jobs, and angry at the government, the electronic self oscillates between fear and rage."
Arhur & Marilouise Kroker
"The sense of the future as a gradually unfolding toward a known and desirable end is precisely what we Americans seem to have lost."
"There is a sublime and friendly destiny by which the human race is guided."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The most effective way to ensure the value of the future is to confront the present courageously and constructively."
"I don’t think that life in the cosmos, more than a fraction of it, is some distorted replica of our chemistry-I would put my money on the silicon memory bank as an immortal form of life and on the disembodied form as the ultimate."
Fr. Robert Jastrow
"The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be."
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous."
Alfred North Whitehead
"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."
"No one knows the story of tomorrow’s dawn."
"We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there."
Charles Franklin Kettering
Seed for Thought
"Our resurrection does not lie wholly in the future; it is also within us, it is starting now, it has already started."
"Two futures beckon us. ‘We can choose to engineer the life of the planet, creating a second nature in our image, or we can choose to participate with the rest of the living kingdom. Two futures, two choices. An engineering approach to the age of biology or an ecological approach. The battle between bioengineering and ecology is a battle of values. Our choice, in the final analysis, depends on what we value most in life. If it is physical security, perpetuation at all costs, that we value most, then technological mastery over the becoming process is an appropriate choice. But the ultimate and final power to simulate left, to imitate nature, to fabricate the process brings with it a price far greater than any humanity has ever had to contend with. By choosing the power of authorship, humanity gives up, once and for all, the most precious gift of all, companionship."
"Extrapolation doesn’t work, because neither nature nor human society is guaranteed to act reasonably."
Why Things Bite Back
"Dante, in the Divine Comedy, gives an exact description of the Southern Cross, a constellation which is invisible in the Northern Hemisphere and which no traveler in those days could ever have seen.
SWIFT, in the Journey to Laputa, gives the distances and periods of rotation of two satellites of Mars, unknown at the time.
In 1896, an English author, M.P. Skiel, published a short story in which we read of monstrous criminals ravaging Europe, slaughtering families which they considered were impeding the progress of humanity, and burning their corpses. The story was entitled the S.S.
A novel called Futility by Morgan Robertson described an ocean liner called the Titan which struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage. (written fourteen years before the Titanic)
The book Hadrian VII by Baron Corvo contained predictions of the invention of color photography and the murder of the Russian Royal family.
‘If you have a creative experience, it has to be prophetic because nature is prophetic."
"The great and blessed property of true art has a mission which is both educational & prophetic."
See article "How to Predict Everything by Timothy Ferris "New Yorker,July 12,1999
Books: Encyclopedia of the Future …edited by George Thomas Kurian and Graham T.T. Molitor, Macmillan Library Reference.
Exploring your Future: Living, Learning and Working in the Information Age, edited by Edward Cornish
"The future Ain’t What it Used to Be: the 40 Cultural Trends Transforming your job, your life ,your world. By Vickie Abrahamson, Mary Meehan, and Larry Samuel.
"The Future in Plain Sight: Nine Clues to the Coming Instability
More Wild Cards in the Deck (according to the Arlington Institute)
Aids virus mutates and becomes transmittable by air
Life in other dimensions discovered.
Fetal sex selection becomes the norm
Social breakdown in the United States
Civil war in the United States, based on conflicting ideas
Major U.S. military unit mutinies
Economic and/or environmental "war criminals" are prosecuted
Growth of religious environmentalism
Computers and/or robots think like humans
The earth’ axis shifts
Asteroid hits the earth
Ice cap breaks up, oceans rise 100 feet
Gulf of jet stream shifts location permanently
Global food shortage
Climatic instability and turn f0or the worst.
Computer maker blackmails a country-or the world
Terrorists use biological weapons
Major information systems disrupted
A new Chernobyl
Terrorism swamps government defenses
Inner cities arm and revolt
Major break in Alaskan pipeline
New generation can’t read, write, think, or work.
Nanotechnology takes off
Hackers blackmail Federal Reserve
Global financial revolution
Second World nation demonstrates nanotechnology weapons
Humans directly interface with the Net
Virtual reality and holography move information instead of people
Faster-than-light travel is shown possible
Energy revolution makes fossil fuels obsolete
Large-scale lengthy disruption of national electrical supply
Room-temperature superconductivity arrives.
Fuel cells replace internal combustion engines
Virtual reality revolutionizes education
Loss of intellectual property rights
Stock market crashes
The dollar collapses
The U.S. government is redesigned
Electronic cash enables a tax revolt in the United States
International financial collapse.
Religious-right political party gains power
Israel defeated in war
Information war breaks out.
Civil war between former Soviet states goes nuclear
Mexican economy fails and is taken over by the United States
Western state secedes from the United States
Collapse of the United Nations
End of the nation-state
Source: The Arlington Institute
"There is also the argument, first advocated by J.D. Bernal in what has often been called the best book about the future ever written, The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1929). That planets are not the right place to live, anyway. Our ultimate home will be space, in the weightless environment of artificial worlds that can be created nearer to our hearts’ desire. More recently, the late Gerard O’Neil promoted the idea in his book The High Frontier (1977); and, perhaps biased by my scuba-diving experiences, I too have argued that we will not be really happy until we can escape from gravity. We are exiles here on dry land, in transit between the ocean of water in which we were born and the ocean of space where most of history will run its course.
Perhaps. I have no doubt that space colonies will be built, some of enormous size. But there is a great deal to be said for a planetary environment, and gravity is not all bad. Because it has such enormous inertia, a planet is a fail-safe, automatically correcting system: it is not easy to wreck it, though sometimes we seem to be doing our best here on Earth. In comparison, space colonies appear fragile constructions with few back-ups-disasters waiting to happen."
Arthur C. Clarke
The Snows of Olympus
"Even four hundred years ago, Francis Bacon emphasized that the most important advances are the least predictable. Three ancient discoveries especially astonished him: gunpowder, silk, and the mariner's compass. In Novus Organum he writes "these things....we not discovered by philosophy or the arts of reason, but by chance and occasion," They are "different in kind," so that "no preconceived notion could possibly have conduced to their discover." It was Bacon's belief that "there are still many things of excellent use stored up in the lap of nature having nothing in them kindred or parallel to what is already discovered.....lying quite out of the path of imagination."
Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future In This Century-on Earth and Beyond
Read: "Why the future doesn’t need us" by Bill Joy…Wired April 2000
Book: "Predictions: 30 Great Minds on the Future…Ed by Stan Griffiths
Book: "Foundations of Futures Studies" by Wendell Bell
Book: "UBIQUITY: The Science of History....or Why the World is Simpler Than We Think" by march Buchanan
Book: "The Encyclopedia of the Future" MacMillan Pub
Book: "Seeing into the Future" by Harvey Day
Book: "The Pattern of Expectation" by I.F. Clarke
Book: "Inevitable Surprises: Thinking ahead in a Time of Turbulence" by Peter Schwartz
Book: "Hope and Despair: How perception of the Future shapes Human Behavior" by Anthony Reading
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