Catastrophic Futurism

A brief overview of current futurism shows that most of it is predicated on a notion of catastrophe. Global warming, energy, finance, radical terrorism, the Singularity, all of these concepts have at their core the idea that mankind is held hostage to unpredictable events beyond our control. Taleb's influential Black Swan theory posits infrequent, large scale events as the causal driver of history. There is of course a large degree of validity to this point of view. We undoubtedly do face major problems, but is catastophism a useful futurist model?

Futurism's obsession with the catastrophe has distracted us from the real goal of the discipline. The job of a futurist is not to predict the future, his job is to create the future. If a visionary is right, it is only by accident. Instead of aiming for correctness, we should aim for visionary impact and power. Mankind wants to hope. We must be allowed to dream.

Forget predictive power, these are the axioms we must build on:
1) Which human values are important?
2) What technological means are available?
3) What does a world that embodies our values and means look like?

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