Are writers nearing the limits of human imagination?
09 Aug 2007

Are writers nearing the limits of human imagination?

In an interview with Silicon.com, William Gibson

09 Aug 2007

In an interview with Silicon.com, William Gibson declares that he’s given up on envisioning futures:

We hit a point somewhere in the mid-18th century where we started doing what we think of technology today and it started changing things for us, changing society. Since World War II it’s going literally exponential and what we are experiencing now is the real vertigo of that – we have no idea at all now where we are going.

[…]

You can see it in corporate futurism as easily as you can see it in science fiction. In corporate futurism they are really winging it – it must be increasingly difficult to come in and tell the board what you think is going to happen in 10 years because you’ve got to be bullshitting if you claiming to know. That wasn’t true to the same extent even a decade ago.

This helps to explain why recent “science fiction” has shifted toward “science fantasy.” It must be said, however, that the corporate futurism that he refers to is a really bad way of looking at the future. Rather than picking out a preferred future scenario, we should look at multiple futures and prepare for each of them. There’s no reason why any given set of futures cannot co-exist.

That’s why this site is called “Education Futures” and not “Education Future.”

Maybe a new genre of literature and thought will develop, with multiple futures, presents and pasts. More on this later…

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