Fwd: [evol-psych] And now for the forecast

From: Robin Hanson (rhanson@gmu.edu)
Date: Tue Nov 07 2000 - 11:39:10 MST

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>Subject: [evol-psych] And now for the forecast
>And now for the forecast
>People have been staring into crystal balls for hundreds of years, sometimes
>with alarming accuracy. But usually they have been hugely, and entertainingly,
>wrong. Jonathan Margolis looks back at the history of futurology - and risks a
>few predictions of his own.
>Jonathan Margolis
>Monday November 6, 2000
>Buried deep in the stack at the Bodleian library in Oxford, from which it is
>exhumed on average once every 50 years, lies a forgotten early 18th-century
>book which is both fascinating and disappointing by turns. A rare volume - and
>deservedly so - Memoirs of the 20th Century: Being Original Letters of State
>under George VI was the first ever complete work of futurology.
>Written around 1730 by a clergyman, Samuel Madden, it opens intriguingly
>enough, with a letter datelined Constantinople, Nov 3 1997, but sadly goes
>downhill from that point. Madden's 1997 is dominated by a George VI who is a
>mighty world emperor, but most of the book's 527 turgid pages are mired in
>contemporary, 18th-century concerns.
>Full text:
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Robin Hanson rhanson@gmu.edu http://hanson.gmu.edu
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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