THE FUTURE NO ONE EXPECTED: an alert to the extension scenarios


Every time the future prediction scenarios are far too unanimous, too logical, too optimistic, too exciting, and clearly comprehensible, the tendency is that these aren’t predictions but extensions, an extended present.

Every time the future prediction scenarios are far too unanimous, too logical, too optimistic, too exciting, and clearly comprehensible, the tendency is that these aren’t predictions but extensions, an extended present.

Of course, the prediction of future scenarios and possibilities exists overall for us to compromise with certain possibilities, certain constructions but it’s important to not turn it into a planning of hopeful linearity: many times, a great part of what we call studies of future, futurism or futures literacy nowadays, is nothing more than a new and handsome name we are giving to “target plans”.

For me there is a turning point in the credibility curve regarding the prediction of a scenario that happens when the plausibility and enthusiasm about it becomes ordinary.

Wherever the most accepted scenario is, it’s where that scenario won’t happen – or it will in rare occasions.

When everybody say that machines will substitute human labor, I understand certainly, where the thought comes from, I also understand that in countless cases we can even conclude it has already been substituted, however, there is man and there is machine: the prediction didn’t make up, it’s so ordinary that I believe it won’t at all.

See, on July 5th, 1996, in Scotland, a small sheep would change the scientific path in the world: Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned successfully from an adult human somatic cell.

It was a brand-new world full of possibilities that emerged, the magazines’ cover announced that scientists were willing to perform the first human cloning very soon. I know that genetic science progressed a lot since then, stem cells for example became usual words, but let’s face it: nothing we could ever expect in 97 – when Dolly was announced.

In 1969 the man landed on the Moon. The spatial exploitation was at full speed – it was like watching the beginning of the great navigations in the XV century: like seeing Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera.

How many years are left until human colonies on the Moon, Mars and beyond?

In the 90’s certainly we would miss Earth!

The world today can’t be more resistant to anything that has been predicted during the space race or cloning: today the daily news shows the Taliban extremists with the same mindset as in the age of Columbus, born in the age of the arrival of the man on the Moon and revealed to the Western by the end of the Dolly decade.

Every futurist would have been wrong – the sin in all of this consists in wanting to anchor the desired futures which sound invariably likely to occur, that many times is to be blinded to possibilities opposed to our “passions of the future”, even if they are happening right in front of our noses.

The future cannot be measured through ONE human expression, like technology: if we could measure the future through the perspective of aerial technology, there wouldn’t be any doubts that today we would be collecting air miles for our vacation in Neptune.

The future is not an expression, it resides in the comprehension of expressivity, the gathering of the most highlighted human expressions, the “exponential humanities” – and yet, a very flawed method.

Anyway, it would be foolish to abandon predictions of extension scenarios because of its undeniable fallibility, after all, they are the ones that moves us, even to places they never thought it would move us to. Columbus left on a trip to bring cinnamon, clove and sugar.

He didn’t find any of those.

Instead, he ended up direct and indirectly revealing the potato, corn and tomato: respectively the third, eighth and seventh most consumed foods in the world. The potato saved Europe from hunger many times, including in times of war that resulted in the opportunity of the human arrival on the Moon.

Who could ever predict that?



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