Caring about the future
Going through the last articles of 2007 (in newspapers), I found this interesting "The World of Tomorrow" in the NYT (via the Dr. Fish mailing list). The article describes how on Jan. 1, 1908 (New Year’s Day one century ago), the New York World had a piece called "1808 - 1908 - 2008) about the past and the future of America (“What will the year 2008 bring us? What marvels of development await the youth of tomorrow?”). The NYT now tried to replicated this by "ruminating" at 2108. Interestingly, more than the predictions the following quote attracted my attention:
"The point of such predictions was not necessarily that they were accurate but that people cared enough about the future to bother thinking about it. Whether their visions turn out to be right or wrong, whether they are bleak or tongue-in-cheek, all are generous efforts to wonder about the lives of New Yorkers of 2108, as those New Yorkers of 1908 once wondered about ours"
Why do I blog this? Although the predictions are interesting, reading them without the few lines above is very important as it shows the purpose of foresight per se: not predicting but caring about the future.