Why do some futurists tend to describe the future as a global, logical and predictable sequence of their own present mentality, if the future that they themselves describe is anything but that?
In a nutshell? It is impossible to study the future by stripping off the clothes of the present. You are only able to see what you are capable of being.
A few years ago I wrote an article about the future of education and work. In a view of work as a resultant or final part of the educational system, we understand that one thing necessarily implies another.
Within an industrial society, as we were until like yesterday, both work and education are understood to be linear, repetitive, segmented and predictable.
It is a passive point that today, while the labor market is increasingly adapting to a digital society, wich means a non-linear, multidisciplinary, connected and unpredictable mindset, the educational system, for the most part, still follows industrial precepts.
Of course, we are experiencing a split moment, and boiling is part of the narrative of these moments, which cannot prevent us from trying to advance institutions that make up society to adapt to this same society. Even in times of boiling.
There are, however, some details that the greatest experts overlook when it comes to describing the chaotic variables that make up the future as well as the contemporary picture that they intend to show as glimpses of an already born tomorrow.
First, there is an obligation to observe the places, local ones.
If society of the digital revolution is non-linear, multidisciplinary, connected and unpredictable, the future that it must describe, would also be so. If the society of the digital revolution is non- linear, not repetitive, not segmented and it is not predictable, why is it that the future that it describes is built precisely in this way?
Let us see: the very understanding of the revolutions to which we have already been subjected as mankind and also to those we have already imagined to follow, is a linear understanding and an also absolutely predictable understanding.
The idea of tomorrow that some of the experts describe follows a very little chaotic order, not in what it will provide, but how it will happen in itself.
The future should not be linear or predictable in a post-digital revolution society, and although it is connected, it would not be global either.
The global term here refers to a universal vision of the future - perhaps driven by the fetishes made possible by today's global connectivity.
Perhaps it is also, in fact, a logical path, but it is impossible to try any kind of parallel with reality, if we imagine it for the next 50 years.
Of course, the realities of 10 years ahead will enable new realities that may or may not cause the next 10 years planned today to be accomplished in 5, and so on, but there is no way to predict, of course, each variable opens an infinite window of other variables, including the possibility that they sound like "delay" to today's ears. Remember: non-linear and not predictable.
The simple exercise of “fututing” in this way is an exercise in the industrial mindset, above all linear and predictable.
What I want to propose here is an exercise in different futures.
It cannot be said that the future is a universal linearity for the whole human species: there are absolutely different futures and future stages for absolutely different societies.
As a species, the industrial revolution has meant that we are not at the same time and in the same place (as we were during the agricultural mindset) so that we can walk together chronologically and we are not even close to being.
Much of the planet does not experience the digital revolution at its peak to be able to say that it has it internalized, that it has it as the status quo of its current mentality.
The vast majority of the planet still lives in a late industrial or industrial system mindset. Part of it still lives an agricultural system status; both do not tend to leave it anytime soon: especially if one thinks of a forced transition by ostracism.
Before we can imagine ourselves as a whole species within a new era, we must imagine ourselves as a whole species in different eras and stages of eras.
"Oh, but everyone has internet, everyone is connected, we are all in a digital mindset system".
Not everyone, but even if it were, the simple fact of having access to digital media does not mean the absorption of the digital revolution for an entire society.
Many societies even use digital media only as a way to improve their mentality and industrial adequacy.
Many futurists as well.
A society that emulates a digital status is not a digital society.
Much of what is understood as the future today is designed by a small part of people in the world and credited to everything else as linear paths of truth.
This is not only wrong compared to any real narrative, but it also contradicts the very discourse of the future that is being proclaimed out there.