Michael Rogers a MSNBC columnist yesterday described his thoughts after the World Future Society’s annual meeting in Toronto dealing with foresights and futurology. Here are some excerpts I found interesting:

Some presentations were quite speculative: one fellow describes neural implants that would rewire our brains to let us perceive things like a fourth primary color. (“Why would we want to do that?” one audience member wanted to know. The speaker explained: “Because it would be interesting.”)

Other presentations were serious looks at corporate future-gazing by companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Philips and BASF. It’s clear that European firms tend to be more interested in futurism — which they often call foresight analysis — than are Americans. (...) There was, however, relatively little focus on more negative aspects of human behavior, beyond a few sessions on the future of law enforcement and terror prevention. On balance, the futurists seemed to be an optimistic bunch, which may be self-selecting. If you’re going to spend your career thinking about the future, you might as well feel good about it. (...) in the end, making lots of accurate predictions isn’t necessarily the job of the futurist. It’s more the act of stimulating creative thought about the future that, in turn, influences how we act today. At the Toronto conference, veteran futurist Joseph Coates put it this way: “Being right or wrong isn’t so much the point as being useful. The ultimate purpose is to change people’s minds.”