I Like to Ask About the Future

I am fascinated by what people imagine the future will be. They are wrong in various degrees, usually because they lack the scope of hindsight, and overcompensate by exaggerating whatever is socially or technologically current. It is easy to look on predictions from the past with condescending amusement, but I think it is a good lesson to remind us how flawed and unsophisticated our own predictions invariably are.

A good example comes from Herman Memont, a gentleman who, at 20 years of age in 1740, told me that he imagines the future holds a better way of carving trails and keeping them level so horses may travel with much greater speed and efficiency. He believes that a hundred years hence (1840) that half the world shall have seen fit to convert to a Presbyterian Church. He also imagines that new metals shall be discovered, easier to forge and to the great benefit of men working the lands. I should also mention he also says every good man will have two dark and obedient slaves to work these metal wonders. This shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, but I think my look, an arched eyebrow, may have given away something of what I thought of this unfortunate aspect of the past.

Last week, I was speaking with a representative from 2118 when I inadvertently mentioned a delicious BLT I’d have for lunch.

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato?” he asked an eyebrow arched.

I worry now that perhaps in the future people don’t eat meat and I am seen as some dull savage.

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