Re: Futurism not so hard afterall?
Fri, 10 Dec 1999 18:47:06 -0800

Robin Hanson, <>, writes:
> It seems like I must know a half dozen people who are better futurists than
> 99% of these commentators (many of which have been on this list). But as
> far as I know none of these people have been asked to write millennial
> futurist articles. Either the media aren't really interested in credible
> futures, or they have no idea how to distinguish them.

How do you judge the quality of a futurist though, without waiting for the future to happen? Do you consider someone a good futurist on the basis of a track record of successful predictions? Or is it more that his predictions seem relatively plausible?

One thing you can do is to identify bad futurists because their scenarios are internally inconsistent. As a trivial example, Star Trek is a bad prediction of the future; many of their technologies should change the fundamentals of their society, and their economic system doesn't seem to be consistent with how they show people behaving. Perhaps similar problems can be identified with shorter-term technological predictions.